Thursday, February 26, 2009

Concert Review: Ben Folds Live At the DPAC 2/25/09

Last night I was fortunate to go to a Ben Folds concert!
This was not the first time I have seen the North Carolina native and hopefully it will not be the last. Ben Folds performed at Durham's new Performing Arts Center, which is beautiful. Ben jokingly said that it was great to have performed at such a Historic site. He also commented on how full he was from Mama Dip's, a fantastic restaurant in Chapel Hill, in between his songs.

The crowd was interesting, it was filled with people who had never heard Ben Folds, children under 10, Adults over 40, and the typical college students. The diverse crowd was there to celebrate Ben's massive crowd following from his Ben Folds Five Days to his current new solo album Way to Normal. We were all seated until about halfway through the show when most of us couldn't handle sitting during his awesome anthems and groovy songs. By the end of the show, everyone was applauding, dancing, and singing.

Ben's stage presence is amazing, he makes the entire hall feel like we are in his living room. He will sit down and teach you how he distorts his piano into sounding like a funky electric beat kit, which he showed us was from placing two Altoids cans over certain parts of the piano and a cheap distortion petal. He also did his now famous conducting of the crowd in Not the Same. He made the entire place fill up with three part harmony, and then divided the crowd in two, making it go into 6 distinct parts, with one side being the driving pulse.

Folds also explained the "leaked" tracks so many die hard Ben Folds fans got before the album Way to Normal came out. Ben explained that he and the band came up with alternate songs that had the same name on the album on a flight to Germany I believe. Anyways, the songs he promptly recorded and "leaked" were really different and some of them were better than the tracks that made it on the real Way to Normal album. That being said, Ben played a wide assortment of tunes, both real and fake, from his early career with Ben Folds Five to his current album.

Here is last nights set list:

Bitch Went Nutz (fake)
Annie Waits
Alice Childress
Way To Normal
You Don't Know Me
Lovesick Diagnostician (Dr. Yang fake)
Dr. Yang
Free Coffee

Fred Jones Pt. 2

Entire band:
Kylie From Connecticut
Zak and Sara
Rockin' The Suburbs
Not The Same

Philosophy, ending with Theme From Dr. Pyser

Check out these songs:
Ben Folds - In the Breeze
this song demonstrates Ben Folds' great improvisational skillz
buy it

Ben Folds-Bitch Went Nutz
off of Way To Normal
buy it

Ben Folds - Bitch Went Nutz (leaked fake)
off of Way To Normal Seeds and Stems
buy it

Ben Folds Five - Philosophy
off of Ben Folds Five
buy it

Please buy Ben's album Way To Normal and if you get a chance, go see him!
Look for Ben's new album where he is performing with University Acapella groups! It should be released in the early summer.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Backtracking//Euro Trip

Alright so, I spent the last week or so traversing Europe with my school's National Honors Society.

We started in Southern France, on the coast of Southern France in Nice. Here they had what I consider the best celebratory habits, marching down the street with genuinely unique costumes to...can you guess it? MGMT! (Note: if you wish to see me dancing on top of a dresser, watch the video.)
We went to Monaco, the most un-fking-believebly rich place I've ever seen, where I lost a grand total of 5 euro while gambling at the Monte Carlo (hooray self control) and saw the most absurdly expensive yachts and cars in the world. In fact, the entire time I pretended that guy from the VH1 show "Fabulous Life" was narrating the experience.

Then we headed to Italy, passing through Milan en route to Venice. Admittedly, I was disappointed to find that the city was not inhabited by merpeople, nor is it sinking at a visibly noticeable rate. It was, however, the most amazing city I've ever seen (unfortunately, there was not much of a music scene)
Finally we crossed the alps to Austria, which was not a notable country save their peculiar religion, which simply replaced Jesus Christ with the demi-god Mozart. That being said, Salzburg (better known as the place where they filmed the Sound of Music) acknowledged Julie Andrews as a sister deity to the pianist. It was not uncommon for the local citizens to drop what they were doing and break out into Do-Re-Mi or My Favorite Things. (Did this really happen? No- but in my head it sure as hell did.) So, as to look less like a bunch of tourists, our group of 50 decided to choreograph a perfect rendition of So Long, Farewell as we exited the city towards Vienna (again, my head..).

Vienna was founded by the power hungry incestuous ruling family, the Hapsburgs, which naturally resulted in a bunch of retarded rulers (no, not like Bush retarded, like, they were actually mentally handicapped.) Nowadays it's more well known for its strong ties with classical music, operas, etc. While that stuffs not really my cup of tea, it's still a huge deal over there. So thats cool.

What was I listening to this whole time?

Long flights and bus rides to new places= lots of "thinking" music. Kid A and OK Computer shared heavy rotation through the Alps. The Kinks' Lola vs Powerman is my favorite traveling cd, mostly due to the track This Time Tomorrow. Sigur Ros turns any landscape flying by seem like a scene from a movie.

I'm surprised that Tswift isn't up here. I became sickeningly obsessed with the song Love Story. Need proof? Check this out.

Here's some of the other stuff I was listening to

Hoppipolla by Sigur Ros
buy Sigur Ros here

The Tourist by Radiohead
buy Radiohead here

Humpday returns, without concerns

Humpday is back, along with covers. This week has been interesting, my massive music collection has finally exceeded my internal hard-drive space. I transferred all my music on to a 500 Gig external hard-drive, that should buy me enough time until I can figure out a better solution.

This weeks Humpday cover is truly spectacular.

Beck-Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat (Originally by and Selected by Bob Dylan)

The song comes from a compilation from War Child titled Heroes. The concept of this compilation is unique in that legendary artist pick songs they want contemporary artist to cover. There is a wonderful sense of paying tribute to these legends on this album that is usually not found on a cover album. Even better than the great music on this disc is the fact that every purchase donates a portion of the proceeds to War Child, a charity that provides humanitarian assistance to children in devastated regions.
I will give the overall album 4 out of 5 stars.

So for all its worth, give it a listen. If you like it buy it, and save the children with good music. Everyone wins.

go to to buy the album

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Humpday Covers #5

I am sorry to say that recently all of my playlists have been deleted. So it will take me a while to compile the massive covers collection that I have acquired over the years. I am going to try to see if I can get the playlists off of my ipod. If you have any ideas, leave me a comment.

Here is this weeks cover. Here is something pretty humorous.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday Shuffle Time

This weeks shuffle is...

White Room - Eric Clapton
from the album: Orchestra Night.

Check this bootleg out at the Grateful Breed.
buy Eric Clapton

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Rockus Event: The Ultimate Battle of the Bands

As a kid, my only exposure to any sort of Battle of the Bands was only in the realm of cartoon characters. This association is in large part due to my obsession with the classic Nickelodeon show Doug, and his absolutely fantastic band The Beets. Don't remember them? These kids sure as hell do.

Thinking the fad had passed, it broke my heart to think that I had missed my chance to experience said sonic warfare. I was sorely mistaken.

Unbeknownst to me, there is an intercollegiate musical challenge taking place in my very own home city. BU, BC, Harvard, MIT, Berklee, Emerson, Northeastern, and Tufts each are taking part in the Rockus battle of the bands, hosted by Veritas Records and Rolling Stone magazine.

As chance would have it, one of Eli and I's good friends from camp, Nick Lattanzi, is the lead singer and mastermind behind the BU based band The Oneways. Although every person who ever went to North Woods is well aware of Nicks innate talent, it is only recen
tly that his music has begun to get him attention. That attention has grown immensely over the past few months, with his first release Shiny Car! (available on iTunes) eventually leading to his winning of the Boston Folk Festival Best Songwriter award. His newest release, Paxamericana (which, because Nick is awesome, is available for free download here), garnered enough attention at BU to give him a solid backing going into the BU Rockus semifinals.

Unfortunately, The Oneways didn't make it past the semifinals. Ironically, they lost to one of my friends from school's band, Kids With Kites, who are awesome musicians themselves.

The finals will be held in April, where each school will be represented by their winning semi-finals band. Judges in April will be by the Founder of Rolling Stone magazine, a Record Exec of his choice, and Boston music celebrity of his choice. Among other things, the winner is to be awarded a quarter-page announcement in the next issue of Rolling Stone.

Friday the 13th Got You down?

Friday the 13th got you down? Have you seen one too many black cats that have crossed your path? Or perhaps you have walked under an open ladder? 

Well Don't Fret, We here at The Warm Gun are here to help you get that luck back. Its a simple process, really. Just listen to these "Lucky" Songs. And before you know it life will get better, you may even find a four leaf clover!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Humpday Covers #4

Its that time of the week, hump day. You know what that means, here is this weeks cover.

Last Nite (Strokes Cover) - Adele
From BBC's Radio One Live Lounge
buy BBC's Live Lounge

I recently Bought this Album and Will write an extensive Review on it.
If you see any of these albums you need to buy it immediately. Seriously, it is so good.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Backtracking 2/2-2/8


Of Note:
Uh, really nothing. This happens from time to time. If I have nothing new to listen to, my fallback plan is to listen to Radiohead. In part, my Radiohead listens this week were with the hopes of finding the perfect song to be mashed with Lil Wayne at the Grammys. Unfortunately, there was no such event.

Nick Lattanzi is a friend of Eli and I's from camp. He's a Boston based musician and plays in a band called the Oneways. He was part of a battle of the bands this weekend, so I listened to a bunch of his stuff beforehand. More on him and the Oneways to follow


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