22 September 2011

Do Your Ears A Favor: Two Door Cinema Club - "What You Know"

Your ears have probably been filled up with a lot of nonsense lately so why don't you do your poor ears a favor a listen to something good?

How about some nice, friendly, up-beat, indie-electrorock?

Well, then you have Two Door Cinema Club.

They're playing the Wiltern tonight (it's sold out) so if you have tickets and have never seen them live, you're in for a treat. Back in November 2010 I saw them at the Music Box (Henry Fonda) and again at Coachella this year.

In a day and age where fame seems to come and go so quickly, it's fascinating to see a small band from Northern Ireland make a steady progression in their musical career.

Two Door Cinema Club released their debut - Tourist History - in early 2010 and by November of 2010 they were touring America and filling up the roughly 1,300 person Music Box in Los Angeles. In April of 2011, they drew one of the biggest crowds at Coachella and played to an overflowing Mojave Tent.

{Two Door Cinema Club - "What You Know" at Coachella 2011}

Quite a progression for these kids from Northern Ireland. Tonight they've sold out the Wiltern and will be playing to approximately 2,000 or more souls.

Why is this group so good?

Well, truth be told, they're a bit of a "safe" band. They're not edgy, their style isn't shocking, their sound is relatively straight-forward. But they are real and that's what endears me to this band. Their record isn't overproduced, the lyrics aren't sappy, the vocals aren't whiny, the music is crisp and upbeat.

Tourist History doesn't hide any shortcomings of the band. Listen to the record, watch them live, and you'll see that this band is legitimately talented.

Do your ears a favor and get the entire album and enjoy it from start to finish.

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19 September 2011

Birthday Concerts

{ Photo by Cheryl Ann @ Bar Spiel }

My birthday falls in the middle of September and in recent years I've seen some fantastic shows around my birthday.

Back in September of 2005 I saw Oasis at the Hollywood Bowl with Kasabian and Jet. Oasis had long been a favorite band of mine since high school and to finally see them perform at a beautiful venue on a beautiful night was, well, beautiful. Touring behind their muscular new record Don't Believe The Truth it appeared as if Oasis were returning to a form they haven't had since the mid-90s.

But by August of 2009, the new phase of Oasis that seemed promising ultimately sputtered and faded away as internal strife ultimately split-up the band. Jet, predictably, was a flash in the pan. Kasabian showed promise but subsequent albums never captured the power of their debut.

I saw Phoenix with Metric at the Greek Theater in September of 2009 and I saw Phoenix again in September of 2010 at the Hollywood Bowl.

This small French band only catered to a small fan base since their release of United in 2000 but received world-wide recognition with their May 2009 release of Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix.

The Greek Theater holds just under 6,000 people and within a year they were playing to nearly 18,000 people at a sold-out Hollywood Bowl. Needless to say, the progression of this band in 12 months has been pretty amazing.

Tonight I will see Bon Iver at the Shrine Auditorium. My thoughts on Bon Iver have been well-documented on this site and I'm looking forward to an amazing experience. I hope the venue isn't too dusty.

I enjoy going to see a big concert around my birthday because it serves as a hallmark of a time in my life. It's hard not to look back at a show, the year, who you were with, and where you are today and see how much has changed and how much has stayed the same and how far you've come.

Concerts are like bookmarks for your life and Bon Iver will be the little post-it note in my brain that marks 2011.

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