Deerhunter @ San Francisco’s Mezzanine


Deerhunter kicked off the Noise Pop Festival this Tuesday at San Francisco’s Mezzanine and holy shit was it good. Ranking right up there as my favorite live performance so far in 2009, but we are just getting started.  They pulled out quite a few new songs early on in the set but after a few quirky interludes from Bradford Cox the band got down to business and had us knee deep in Microcastle yumminess.  For those of you who pulled out early before the encore, you don’t know what you missed. The band delivered a relentless, blistering, mind-blowing wall of sound finale that left me with goosebumps and grins all night long.

Listen to Agoraphobia” 

Vampire Weekend, Cold War Kids @ The Mezzanine



It was an Indie Pop extravaganza at The Mezzanine in San Francisco this Wednesday. The night began with local band Audrye Sessions putting out a very impressive performance. I posted a cover they did recently of Elliott Smith’s Waltz #2.  One of the more beautiful covers I’ve heard lately.  While their sound doesn’t quite gel with my overall music taste, their live presence gave me motivation to revisit that initial judgement.  Big, orchestral sound and beautiful arrangements.  Very talented and sure to go far.

Next up was Chairlift, who’s performance paled in comparison.  I know many people are big fans of this Brooklyn-based trio and they received oodles of publicity for the song ‘Bruises’ that was featured on an iPod commercial.  (Which I’ve come to realize that if I don’t already hate the band being featured on an Apple commercial, I soon will. The Ting Tings are a perfect example.) But this band does absolutely nothing for me – recorded or live. I mean really, who puts a chorus of ‘stop, drop and roll’, into a song?  Their lyrics are just idiotic. Here’s another one:  “The most evident utensil/Is none other than a pencil/Not a multi-colored stencil.” What?  My 3 year old could write more compelling lyrics. It’s like bad 80s music all over again.  The equivalent of Nena’s ‘99 Luftballons’

Thankfully Cold War Kids turned the vibe around with an energetic performance, albeit short.  Their rousing rendition of Saint John was great. Vampire Weekend played their usual set (this was the third time serendipity brought me to one of their shows this year) and they did not disappoint.  Love ’em or hate ’em, they do deliver.  It will be interesting to see how they follow up all the hype from this year.

Listen to Audrye Sessions‘ cover of Elliott Smith’s Waltz #2

Listen to  Chairlift, Evident Utensil (if you dare)

Listen to  Cold War Kids, Saint John

Listen to Vampire Weekend, A Punk

School of Rock: Cold War Kids

The story of a boy and his toilet paper holder continues.  Judah’s at it again.  This week it’s Cold War Kids, ‘Hang Me Out to Dry’.  While technically not his best work, he gets lots of style points for his Elvis-like footwork. Lead singer Nathan Willett can learn a thing or two from these moves, no?

Cold War Kids and Vampire Weekend top the line up for the Pre-Not So Silent Night Party at Mezzanine in San Francisco this Wednesday, December 10. (Thanks, Joerg for the ticket!)

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