Best Drums EVER: 88 drummers at 8:08 –88Boadrum in Brooklyn, NY

At 8:08pm, on 8/08/08, on the Williamsburg waterfront in Brooklyn, NY, 88 drummers gathered to perform.

This was a revisiting of the 77 drum extravaganza on 7/7/07 – and it was AMAZING.

The piece was created and orchestrated by the Boredoms, who performed it LA this year, while electronic dance faves Gang Gang Dance led it here in Brooklyn, NY.

Best event EVER. it was FREE, and nothing was being sold. Instead, at a silk-screen station, volunteers silk-screened t-shirts for the first 300 attendees,

or, later, silk-screen whatever you felt like taking off and getting silk-screened!

tho’ sponsored by nike, it was the antithesis of the corporate arts spectacle/festival.

the perfect anti-Olympics 8/8/08 activity!

The vibe was super cool, super respectful, . . and the music was incredible – fantastic organization, three movements of bout 28 minutes or so, each

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Pearl Jam in NYC June 24, 2008 – guest review

well, I saw the Thievery Corp in Central Park, last night, on assignment for This Week in New York. A stupendous show. Review to come!

Meanwhile, Mr. Twi-ny himself saw Pearl Jam at Madison Square Garden earlier in the week.
check it out!


Tuesday, June 24, and Wednesday, June 25

“Why be satisfied,” Eddie Vedder declared early on in Pearl Jam’s first appearance at Madison Square Garden since July 2003. “We’ve got all night.” Explaining that they had negotiated a deal that allowed them to play past curfew, Vedder led the band through thirty songs and more than two and a half hours of nonstop energy. On a very brief tour (twelve shows in nine cities in twenty days) organized around the group’s recent appearance at Bonaroo, PJ is not out promoting an album, or even a specific political candidate. Instead, they are having a blast, mixing up setlists with songs from throughout their nearly twenty-year career.

Vedder seemed particularly pumped to be back in New York City, waxing poetic about its record stores — after playing “Spin the Black Circle” — and sharing memories of past gigs here. For the uninitiated, Pearl Jam shows have taken on the aura and epic proportions of Springsteen concerts, as fans know just what words to shout at and when to pump their fists in unison; the band mixes up the setlist every night, with songs about the working man and war; they make cover songs their own. On Tuesday night, they included the Who’s “Love Reign o’er Me,” Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower,” and the Ramones’ “I Believe in Miracles,” with special guest CJ Ramone. Most of the band has been together from the beginning, and chants of “Boooooooooooom!” ring out whenever keyboardist extraordinaire Boom Gaspard joins Pearl Jam onstage.

With Jeff Ament on bass, Stone Gossard on rhythm guitar, Mike McCready on lead guitar, and Matt Cameron on drums, Vedder led the ferocious crowd through such songs as “Corduroy,” “Faithfull,” “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town,” and “Even Flow,” with McCready striking all the requisite guitar god poses (and holding a fierce duel with Gaspard on the Victoria Williams song “Crazy Mary”) and Vedder rambling around the stage, occasionally stopping for a little wine and a cigarette. Vedder dedicated “Do the Evolution” to comedian George Carlin, who passed away Sunday, and the antiwar singalong “No More” to a seriously wounded Iraq veteran, making his cries of “I’m still alive” on the encore “Alive” that much more potent. (Of course, playing it immediately after the Ramones cover, he might have simply been celebrating that CJ was still with us, after the tragic deaths of Joey, Johnny, and DeeDee.) Ted Leo and the Pharmacists open the show.

Chromeo at WAMU Theater, New York City, March 11, 2008

Chromeo at WAMU theater, New York City Fun, fun, fun, but what a wacky venue! Dance music hotties Chromeo and Justice played Tuesday nightat the WAMU theater in nyc’s MSG, as part of the “myspace music tour” .

What the hell is that? Well, the “myspace music tour” is about as superannuated as I felt at the show. The “myspace” tour seems to have hit after myspace itself was hot. Cuz the WAMU is a little theater – a side room of Madison Square Garden. (That side room was originally known as the Felt Forum, back in the day.) A MUCH smaller venue than MSG itself. Kinda had a “playroom downstairs” feel.

Justice and Chromeo were booked for the “big room” –the stadium — but ignominiously failing to sell enough tix to fill even 1/4 of the World’s Most Famous Arena, they were demoted to the dinner-theatre ambience of WAMU.

But it felt kinda like the playroom, as oh-so-rock-star Dave Maclovitch, the guitarist of Chromeo, struck some tasty poses

for the teens and tweens and 20-somethings in the crowd. “We’re Chro–me–oh and we are here to get you DOWN!” He and bandmate Patrick Gemayel’s

infectious sampling of oh, say every p-funk and Prince riff to ever hit the radio, plus some judicious Hot Cherry licks, got everybody bouncing. The insane subsonic bass on “Fancy Footwork,” introduced by an invitation for everyone to two-step, came hot after “Bona Fide Lover” with its hilariously deadpan guitar solo opening. No one was sitting in the comfy seats.

Too much fun! Chromeo knows their shit, and they dj the electrofunk with so much good nature and enthusiasm I had to love ’em. (Plus I love p-funk and 70s funk stuff so much that if they just played a bunch of old 45s I’d be happy.) Wikipedia note: I learned that Dave is A-Trak’s older brother (A-Trak is Kanye West’s dj)- that prob helped this Montreal-based duo get a leg up.

A leg up –Har har! Their gear was perched on goofy leg stands – inevitably calling up memories of that “major award!” of Christmas Story

Chromeo judiciously mines some of the most stupid-ass irresistable hooks from 70s and 80s radio staples – including the opening to the “logical” song by Supertramp, which they wove into “Momma’s Boy” (I think that’s the title.)

Dave made a rueful allusion to their demotion by saying, “I guess we are playing Madison Square Garden! and I thought if I ever played a stadium, I’d have to play this — and they rode off into Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”. The crowd didn’t believe it, and next song was back to the booty-shaking evocations of Bootsy Collins-era funk that played. . . before these kids were born.

What the hell. The incredibly cute little blonde chick next to me kept asking if my hubby and I had any pot, offered to share her beer, petted my hair and apologized when she drunkenly fell on me, and well, the kids are alright. They always are.

The interstitial music included the original “Logical Song” from Supertramp, plus LCD Soundsystem’s immortal “Daft Punk is playing at My house” and Goldfrapp’s “Ride a White Horse” – a perfect segue into Justice’s set. Review of said set, with ORIGINAL VIDEO! VIDEO! VIDEO! will be up in thisspace tomorrow. Stay tuned!

[credit all fabulous photos to This Week in New York Many more up on the separate and fabulous This Week in New York flickr site.

Fresh Pop Crack–here first!

so I’m finally BACK from my peregrinations round Ireland.

Nothing I like better than bringing back some foreign music. But Irish radio in the countryside SUCKS ASS. BIG TIME. My friend Claire recalled that last time she was there, all she heard was Chris DeBurgh, over and over. And now it’s superformatted, playing the SAME 10 songs, over and over, and over and over. . . .as our car of four careened around the roadways, piling up massive left-hand side of the road miles from Galway to Dublin and down the south, the SAME 10 crappy songs played, over and over. . . ARGGH.

what I did find in Ireland was some fine bhangra on the AAG cable TV channel (all asian something or other). My bro Dave and I watched this incessantly, at all hours of the day and night, to the dismay of our spouses–mainly cuz it wasn’t in English. What was cool to me was seeing more Pakistan rather than Hindi-based or Punjabi material – tho’ Punjabi still rules! This was my fave:

Abrar Ul Haq: “Islamabad”

nice finale!

But on the radio was ONE song, amongst the 10 pieces of Pop Crap, that was PURE Pop Crack. I speak of Electrovamp's monstrous "I Don't Like the Vibe in the VIP." Nothing like a car full of Scordati hollering "Shake my peaches and cream; I'm gonna make you scream . . .like you haven't in ages!" Okay, so the other car denizens were screaming in pain. Tough. But do not miss this one. It sizzles like a mouthful of Pop Rocks and Coca-Cola.

Electrovamp--I Don't Like the Vibe in the VIP

and ya heard it here FIRST!!! came out in England 31 dec; came out here 8 Jan. These Welsh sisters, 17 and 18, are hot hot hot. I think the song is almost a remix of an old club hit, but who cares?

Finally got home late Sunday night, turned on my beloved New York Noise, a NY-only cable show of indie music video, on channel 25, nyctv. (Search google - you can watch some online! - don't sleep on this one! well, okay, you can, cuz it's actually on pretty early, at 10pm) New York Noise was having a post-punk haircut extravaganza, juxtaposing hilarious and much-loved 80s Joy Division, Orange Juice, Klaus Nomi, and OMD vids with Franz Ferdinand and other current sporters of the "post-punk haircut." Compare and contrast. Very worth watching.

And what should appear but the extremely fabulous and underrated Monochrome Set! with their video for Jacob's Ladder. okay, everybody say "too much art history 101" and then identify the refs here:

whew. back in the ultimate self-referential mirror world of indie pop. at last.

But I think I might not like the vibe in that VIP room better. . . .

Gonna release this movie someday

Wed night I went to a private preview screening of the Jamaican underground cult
classic Shottas – (aka the Jamaican Scarface), which was supposedly finally going to open September 22. Its release has been pushed back to Nov 3 – thank goodness – now nothing can interfere with my mandatory opening night viewing of Jackass 2. Ahem. (Yes, I have to see Jackass on opening night. I don’t care if everyone else says it’s a piece of crap. Queens Girl knows why.)

Anyway, Shottas is an unreleased cult classic – it’s been circulating in bootleg copies since at least 2002, when it screened at the Toronto Film Festival, with a couple of different soundtracks – the one I heard at the “official” screening Wed night was pretty good – more “gangsta” than “culture” – but who knows if that’ll be the final one. The suspicious lack of any and all credits – for anything! – at the end of the film indicates they STILL haven’t cleared the music rights. This is not all that surprising.

So what is this movie? It IS the Jamaican Scarface (“shottas” is Jamaican patois for gangsters), with Ky-mani Marley (a son of Bob’s), Spragga Benz, and Wyclef Jean as a bunch of Jamaican gangsters in Miami and Jamaica, growing up, taking over, living the life . . .with tons of slo-mo, fast-mo, and regular-mo bloodshed and massive gun battles. Brian De Palma has a lot to answer for – as does Sam Peckinpah.

But I really liked this movie! Especially the first part. The stunning portrait of Kingston reminded me of the vision of Jo’burg in last year’s great Tsotsi. But the narrative falls far short of that film’s, Spragga Benz doesn’t perform a bit of dancehall, and Wyclef ain’t exactly as talented an actor as he is a musician/producer/etc. . . well, I still say go see it, whenever it finally shows up in theaters. But don’t expect a masterpiece. Just hope the soundtrack I heard is the one you hear – cuz it rocked.