Monday, October 11, 2010

ARCADE FIRE Rocks the Shrine Auditorium

I know, I know. By now we all have heard from all of our annoying hipster friends, myself included, that the newest release by Arcade Fire, "The Suburbs", is the best album to ever grace the human ear. Well, it's hard to praise an album with such high regard when it's hard to dismiss the critical acclaim and commercial success it has achieved. That is, however, until you have seen the band live to understand the artistic quality as well as overall professionalism that goes into the hard work they have put in towards being the internationally recognized "indie rock" octet that they have become. Then, one can sympathize with their worldwide acceptance.

This past Thursday the 7th and Friday the 8th of October, 2010 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA (right next to the USC campus) "the band of a generation" put on two shows in consecutive nights that will not soon be forgotten to those lucky Los Angelinos who were able to find tickets. It seemed like the show was incredibly intimate, exclusive, and personal, and only the VIP of LA natives attended. Considering the size of the venue isn't nearly the size of the Greek Theatre or Hollywood Bowl, it seemed very exclusive as fan to be seeing the same band who sold out Madison Square Garden one month prior at the same venue that hosts the OSCARS and BET awards.

"The Suburbs" may not be the best album ever, however, the balance of hauntingly nostalgic lyrics and epic harmonies leaves us with nothing but an emotional pit in our stomach that can only be identified as personal association and overall understanding that we have lost a sense of identity since our youth, yet we have gained something in return, and what we have gained is often times something we can't describe.

So, listening to "The Suburbs" is not the same as listening to a good album. It goes beyond just hearing a good song on the radio that makes you feel like singing along with the chorus. It takes you to a place you remember as a child but could never get back. It brings purpose to all of those conversations we've had with old friends where we reminisce of "the good old days", and how we wish we could experience and appreciate our innocence once again and for all of time.

As far as the concert, the epic nature of the music and orchestral style did not fall short of it's reputation, and can only be understood and appreciated by seeing them live with one's own eyes and ears. The concert enveloped the theme of their album with a hypnotic light show and video displays, as well as just reminding us that this is a rock show, and we are here for one reason only: to sing along and dance until our heads fall off.

This video, however, is the best I can do to prove such a memorable event took place. I recommend all, whether you like their music or not, to be advantageous in taking the opportunity to see this band at least once in their life. You will not be disappointed.

More videos to come.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

live: Nelson Angelo at Zinc Bar (NYC)

Nelson Angelo ("Brazilian Jazz")
Wednesday, September 29
Sets at 9:30, 11 and 1AM

I took the train into the city around 11:30PM; it was a Wednesday night in New York city, after a couple of thunder storms and tornados had pounded the city for a couple of days in a row, streets were calm, pretty much empty, but clean.

I get to the venue around  12:20AM paid the typical $10 dollar cover I believe, stroll down the 10 steps into the underground venue, which moved locations by the way; straight to the bar order me a Negra Modelo, but they are out, next best option was a Blue Moon draft, so be it. ($12.00, I think)

Paid, sipped, ahhh!  walked towards the back room take a peak through the heavy curtains the show is on! I thought the set was about to end so I walked back to the bar, sat down for 90 seconds, I say fuck it, I'll sit into the middle of the set and stay for the next, little did I know...

There is Nelson Angelo center stage, playing some bossanova chords on "The Frame" one of these babies: 

Drummer stage right (you would see him to the left of the room), electric Bass, flautist and saxophone stage left, I think a rhythm pretty much next to Nelson, was a younger fellow. There was some pianist also.

The second song he played after I got there is titled "Salvar como nosso Planeta" which literally translates into "Save/Rescue like our planet" pretty much sounds like MPB track from the 70's / 80's, MPB stands for Musica Popular Brasileira. Reminded me a bit of Tom Jobim whom he recorded with once.

Gentle chords, for gentle lyrics.

His range goes from Bossa, to Scat to Rock and Roll. Plus his anecdotes were quite funny, specially in a choppy sorta drunken english.

He recanted something about a time when his first wife was pregnant with their first child and she wouldn't let him "smoke", they were very young, so he would go smoke in the bathroom and afterwards
had to use air freshener. - Something about this was very funny, I guess because he was talking about marijuana. He broke into a song after his story.

Overall a great cast of musicians and unfortunately not enough music for my satisfaction, because the show was over around 1:10AM,  I thought he was starting his last set around 1:00AM but they didn't.

While he was packing his gear I went up to the stage to thank him and complain at the same time, "eu cheguei muito tarde" I told him in Portuguese, saying I got here too late. He said sorry and that he would be playing in Amsterdam, I said I'll see you there. (ha! I wish)


Gabriel Suárez Teschner

You can sample some of his tracks and keep in touch with him here: Nelson Angelo on MySpace

Visit Zinc Bar next time you're in NYC: Zinc Bar

BIO ( 
Born in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, in 1949, Angelo studied classical guitar for three years while still in his teens. A self-thought composer and arranger, he started his professional career in Rio de Janeiro, in 1966, immediately building a strong reputation. He’s also part of the musician that create the “ Clube da Esquina ”, a music way with Milton Nascimento association.      Since then, his deep harmony knowledge has been an integral part of the best music created in Brazil for the past thirty years, enriching many albums by such leading Brazilian artists as Antônio Carlos Jobim, Chico Buarque, Edu Lôbo, Elis Regina , Alaíde Costa , Luiz Eça , Nana Caymmi, Milton Nascimento, Luiz Bonfá and many others . During this period, he also had the privilege to record with jazz vocal diva Sarah Vaughan on her internationally acclaimed album “I love Brazil”, which was released on the Pablo Label and received a five star review on Down Beat in ‘78.During the ‘80s,Angelo live sometimes in Paris ,where he recorded another two masterpieces of modern Brazilian acoustic sounds:“Nana Vasconcelos & Nelson Angelo & Novelli” (by Polystar - Europe and Japan), now twice in CD format, and “Mineiro Pau” by Cellouloid. Now, for the past ten years, Nelson Angelo release several solo albums, featuring very important guests from the popular Brazilian art of music, such as Edison Machado, Dom Um Romão, João Bosco, Robertinho Silva, Carlos Malta, Raul de Souza, Hugo Fattoruzo, Cristóvão Bastos, Paulinho Trompete and Toninho Horta among many others. After the sounds of Brazil became an integral part of London’s dance floor jazz scene in the ‘90s,his original record of “Tiro Cruzado”(Cross Fire), a song also covered by Sergio Mendez and Tom Jobim, became an acid jazz cult guaranteed in all clubs. His main songs,are:”Fazenda”, Tiro Cruzado (Cross Fire) with Marcio Borges, ”Quatro Luas” with Ronaldo Bastos ”Canoa, canoa” with Fernando Brant , ”Saramento”with Milton Nascimento, ”Um canto de trabalho”and many others with Cacaso.

Dead Man's Bones at FYF 2010 - part 2

Dead Man's Bones at FYF 2010 - part 1