All Points West Pt. 1 – Nicole Atkins, Chromeo, Metric – Liberty State Park 08/09/08

All Points West – a 3-day extravaganza of 3 stages filled with the top indy/alternative (well, sort of) music the current scene has to offer.

A more corporate, managed, ultra-controlled and manufactured experience it would be hard to imagine, esp compared the previous evening’s arty collectivist goodness of 88Boadrum (see previous blog).

apw was on an “island” off Jersey City that required a ferry ride to reach. A $20 per person (purchased in advance on Ticketb@ast@ard, or $30 at the landing) ferry ride. The expensive, highly limited parking passes were were sold out far in advance.

The trip from Wall St via NY Water Taxi took 15 mins., tops. it took longer to walk the causeway from the ferry to the showgrounds than to ferry from Manhattan to “liberty” island.

the only thing liberated on “liberty” isle was our cash. Already bleating like sheep, we were herded toward gates where Draconian gatekeepers went thru everyone’s bags, ruthlessly collecting contraband – not cannabis, but even MORE evil — i.e., food.

No food allowed. I had brought a single whole wheat pita with a little peanut butter spread. GONE. Because white bread and much festival food just screws w/my stomach, and I was gonna be in the sun for 9 hours, w/only my pal PortaJohn nearby, it seemed like a good idea. NOT. I was advised I could bring in food only with a doctor’s letter. As I hollered, “Better give that to the homeless!” the pita was carried away.

here’s the border guard, holding the offending flatbread:

The place was hilariously fake and corporate, but the music was fine. Saw Your Vegas, Nicole Atkins, The Virgins, Chromeo, the Black Angels, Metric, a bit of Animal Collective, K’naan, the Roots, and, of course, Radiohead. Missed Kings of Leon and a few others.

here are the photos, all courtesy mr. twi-ny of This Week in New York. (for MANY MORE that will blow you away with their excellence and general coolness, you must go here: This Week in New York’s FLICKR. Seriously!)

Nicole Atkins was charming, quirky, and a pretty funny songwriter. “Pork, Grilled Egg, and Cheese”was a highlight.

Chomeo was their usual silly Francophile disco dancebeat self. I didn’t stay for much of their set, since it seemed exactly the same as the one they used when they opened for Justice.

Next on the main stage was Metric. Emily Haines is to Metric as Debbie Harry was to Blondie. They are not the band, but they are.

Next, the good parts:K’naan, the Roots, and Radiohead. yee=hah these bands were hot!


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.