Archive for the 'review' Category

The Rolling Stones – November 25, 1994 – Joe Robbie Stadium, Miami, FL

September 17, 1994 around 6:00 am in the parking lot of Sears at the Coral Square Mall, Coral Spring, FL. I took the earliest bus I could to get there. I was one of the first 10 people or so in line. None of us knew Ticketmaster would be using a lottery system that morning. I bought tickets all the time from them during this era, and they hadn’t ever used it before this show – at least not at this location, where I bought tickets for most of the big shows I went to.

I drew an unbelievably bad number and ended up being sent to stand behind hundreds of people who arrived long after I had. After waiting in line for well over four hours, I finally arrived at the counter where I scored two tickets, for me and my stepdad. We were to be seated in the very last row of Joe Robbie Stadium at the low cost of just $100 (not counting Ticketmaster fees). Two months later our backs were against the concrete walls behind us and the techs setting up on stage were just tiny spots. I was so excited!

While we waited for the show to start, the dude next to us smoked crack. When he noticed me staring, he asked if I was a cop. Oh wait, I forgot to mention… I was a fifteen year old kid at the time.


“Is your dad a cop?”

“No.” He went back to his pipe. Later he explained he had been looking to buy a joint, but only could find crack in the streets of downtown Miami. The Spin Doctors opened, and they killed it. I can’t believe I actually just typed that. The crowd was pumped. I remember feeling very different from any other show I had been to until that point. Something magical was happening. The crack smoker asked me and my stepdad for a ride home, and we pretended not to hear him as the stadium went into a roar while a spotlight traced a blurry figure walking from the edge of the stage. I glanced over at the Jumbotron and recognized the figure as Whoopi Goldberg. She arrived at center stage, grabbed a mic, and said something like “Ladies and gentlemen… I am here for one reason: to introduce the greatest band in the world – The Rolling Stones.” Everyone went crazy screaming and cheering as she walked away (she later joined the backup chorus during Sweet Virginia) and the band took stage. That’s how I remember it. Below, you can see how it actually went. Oh, I forgot to mention… the whole thing was multi-cam & soundboard pro-shot and broadcast worldwide on Pay-per-View.

Watts’ drums started to pound, Jagger strutted out and took a bow, followed by Richards and Wood. This (tour, not exact show) was the Stones’ first in four or five years (depending on how you count), and they decided to go all out – especially for this show which beyond being on pay-per-view saw a VHS release (followed by a DVD release years later). Special guests on stage that night were Bo Diddley, Robert Cray, and Sheryl Crow. An elaborate set design included gigantic fire breathing snakes, and a detachable section of the stage that moved the band across the floor of the stadium and out amongst the crowd for an acoustic mini-set.

Check out some of the videos below the setlist and witness why this tour became the highest grossing concert tour in history until that time, and until today it remains at #10 (or adjusted for inflation it’s actually #3).

Not Fade Away (The Crickets cover)
Tumbling Dice
You Got Me Rocking
Rocks Off
Sparks Will Fly
Live with Me (with Sheryl Crow)
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
Beast of Burden
Angie (Acoustic)
Dead Flowers (Acoustic)
Sweet Virginia (Acoustic)
Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)
It’s All Over Now (The Valentinos cover)
Stop Breakin’ Down Blues (Robert Johnson cover) (with Robert Cray)
Who Do You Love? (Bo Diddley cover) (with Bo Diddley)
I Go Wild
Miss You
Honky Tonk Women
Before They Make Me Run (Keith Richards on lead vocals)
The Worst (Keith Richards on lead vocals)
Sympathy for the Devil
Monkey Man
Street Fighting Man
Start Me Up
It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But I Like It)
Brown Sugar

Jumpin’ Jack Flash (Encore)




- breathmint

Twenty Twelve: A Best of for Playlists

My official 2012 “best of” list. This past year seemed to be more of a year of the side project single releases and/or remixes outnumbering originals.  I found it frustrating that a lot of good music was coming in “one hit” forms so in addition to a best of album list there will also be a best of songs list. Some of my top albums were mentioned when I made a 6 month update. You can see that here.    


Blackbird Blackbird – Boracay Planet blackbird   You might have heard this song playing in the background of a car commercial (at least the band gets money out of it!). This album is great, and it also makes good background music if you ever find yourself with a bag of shrooms and a friday night.


Errors – New Relics   1349182514_errors-new-relics Errors would best be described as synth, psychedelic electronic music. They remind me a bit of Psychic Ills but with a female singer and more downtempo.


 Lorn – Ask the Dust 5021392728193 This Lorn album is possibly their best. The remix album they released this year of this album is fantastic too.


Black Marble – Weight Against the Door tumblr_lya1r8HFDE1r4phooo1_1327365548_cover

Black Marble is a really great cold?/new? wave band. The lead singer has a perfectly deep monotone voice and the music is minimal but catchy.


Carnivals – Humility EP canrivals If I still had a car, I would turn this up and drive down a dark highway. Very spacey, they sound a bit like the band Hood in their song structure comprising of strung together spacey electronic samples with an indie rock foundation.


Chelsea Wolfe –  Unknown Rooms: A collection of Acoustic songs chelsea-wolfe Apparently she is a friend of a friend. Lucky me. I love Chelsea Wolfe and wish she would release more music under the Wild Eyes project as well. No matter, her music is stunning.

added bonus because this is a particularly beautiful cover:


Expensive Looks – Dark Matters expensive looks I can’t stop listening to this band, their new album (a 2013 best of) is just as addicting. They sound a bit like a mix of Lemonade, Discovery, and Pictureplane.


Tropics – Popup Cinema homepage_large.e05f165e This album filled the void that the disappointing Toro y Moi release created.


Shad[]wb[]x – Haunted by Colors shadowbox-haunted-by-colors She is amazing and yes I’ll probably post something about  Shad[]wb[]x on every music update.


Vitalic – Rave Age vitalic-rave-age-nov-2012 This is definitely the best Vitalic album. I’m glad they came back full force.


Benoit & Sergio – New Ships Ep benoit-sergio-300x300 Some electronic dance pop, I wish there were more songs.



Revelator/Wear your Wounds Split

– I put the Adrift in You on repeat and it never gets old. Please let me clarify that this project should be associated with drone metal (like Om or Nadja). For some reason a review comparing them to Cold Cave, My bloody Valentine etc. has been copy and pasted everywhere. I would love to blame Pitchfork for this utter failure of a review but they have yet to word fuck this release. I hope these projects will release more and this isn’t just a “one time” thing like Greymachine because I really need more music like this.

Toro y Moi – so many details

– I didn’t care for the full release this year, nothing can bring me back to the kind of love I had for the Causers of This kind of Toro y Moi. This song kind of brings me back and I wish the whole album had been more like it.

Mixhell – Exit Wound

– This kind of reminds me of A Place to Bury Strangers. This song came out of nowhere from Mixhell and they don’t have anything else like it.

Andre Obin – A Star is Torn

– Dear Andre Obin, If you happened to google yourself and find that you have come across this article please release a whole album. Soon. Thanks.

Dropout Orchestra – Your Girl (Kinema Remix)

– This song is a bit cheesy and completely a dance song but it’s a personal favorite.   And so concludes my list for 2012.



Disappointments that I might have been caught ranting and raving about in anticipation:

• Purity Ring – Shrines   ———-  They released all of what I considered their best content prior to the album release and then the rest of the album sounded like filler. I was bored with it and definitely disappointed. Oh well… I do tend to get bored easily.

• Toro y Moi (I’m going to stop beating this dead horse)

• How to Destroy Angels – An Omen ————— I loved the initial release and so I was excited to see what Reznor and his wife came up with next. No matter how hard I try, I just can’t even sort of like it (ha but kinda I want to). The only song keeping it afloat is Keep it Together. It’s strange because I generally like all of Reznor’s side projects including the giant instrumental “Ghosts” album. His judgement has usually been spot on especially when he pulled the plugs on the material he worked on for Puscifer saving himself the embarrassment had it ever been released . This particular release of How to Destroy Angels completely lacked direction and therefore lacked a sense of inspiration. The sound and structure of the songs start as a seeming attempt to deliberately be anything but a Reznor song only for it to utterly dissipate into his trademark style. Its been apparent Reznor’s desire to feel something different, to be something different only to be stuck within himself and let that frustration fuel his creativity. This release had a strange impact, it seems as if he finally lost himself. No worries, The Fragile has a special place in my broken bruised forgotten sore heart.

Anything forgotten will be updated as I think of it.

- betweenthesound

AlmostAGhost’s Top Albums Of 2012: #1. Sharon Van Etten – Tramp

biting my lip as confidence is speaking to me

biting my lip as confidence is speaking to me

Tramp is the album that I listened to the most all year long, the album I kept turning back to, woke up with it in my head, wanted to hear it again and again. Sharon Van Etten has expanded her palette a bit, using more electric guitar and intensity, but still maintaining her beautiful hypnotic melodies.

The songs hit on a lot of emotion, in a very conversational lyric tone–that’s her style–but instead of feeling extremely personal, that conversation invites you into the songs and moments. As great as her voice is, I think this is her talent. Her words have some wordplay and cleverness, so it’s not just pure emoting, but still many times it sounds as if she’s just talking to herself. But instead of feeling like eavesdropping on someone, it feels real, a mirror, a landscape. The conversation goes all over from frustration to humor and sadness to confusion and clarity, and often all in the same song.

I lived with this album for most of the year and it impressed me more than any other in 2012.

Sharon Van Etten “We Are Fine”

Sharon Van Etten “Leonard”

- almostaghost

AlmostAGhost’s Top Albums Of 2012: #2. Spiritualized – Sweet Heart Sweet Light


i used up all my affection

Spiritualized just continues dropping albums full of blues, feedback, gospel, drugs, love, pain, intensity, the sun, repetition, catharsis. None of these things are new, this their seventh album. This is pure Spiritualized, striking and affecting, a brilliant mix of simple parts making something more. This is what they do.

(This is, though, the worst album cover I’ve ever seen.)

Spiritualized “Get What You Deserve”

Spiritualized “Little Girl”

- almostaghost

AlmostAGhost’s Top Albums Of 2012: #3. Bat For Lashes – The Haunted Man

scaredy rabbits make good paper ghosts

scaredy rabbits make good paper ghosts

In reading through the lyrics of The Haunted Man in the liner notes, I noticed that there are a lot of exclamation points. “Thank god I’m alive!” “Let the perfume drip, let it rise!” “I’m in bloom! Oh yeah!” “Baby throw your head back! Let your hair down!” “And we’re only but a second away!” “And the headiness howls, rise and rise!” In a way, this sums up the album.

Some of Khan’s earlier records (also amazing) are more dreamy, goth, fanciful than this one. The Haunted Man feels more real and earthy: nature lurks in most of the songs, sex in others, little bits of the haunted past here and there, the beats pulse and thrive, and above all, it feels alive. That’s her exclamation here, song after song. This is what it feels like to be alive.

The title implies some sort of haunted feeling, the album cover makes that explicit: the weight of someone else on your shoulders. But instead of feeling the burden, it makes her exclaim.

Bat For Lahes “All Your Gold”

Bat For Lashes “A Wall”

- almostaghost

AlmostAGhost’s Top Albums Of 2012: #4. Trembling Bells & Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – The Marble Downs

ferrari in a demolition derby

intractable and bad for your health

This, I believe, is essentially a Trembling Bells record–they wrote and performed almost everything, but the addition of Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy as a singer on the songs is quite cool. Trembling Bells’ singer is like the opposite of Billy–soaring British female vocals mix with Billy’s earthy Americana voice. And together, they bring an edge to their swirling mad folk sound to these songs about beauty and destruction and destructive beauty and beautiful destruction.

Trembling Bells & Bonnie Prince Billy – Every Time I Close My Eyes (We’re Back There)

Trembling Bells & Bonnie Prince Billy “I Can Tell You’re Leaving”

- almostaghost

AlmostAGhost’s Top Albums Of 2012: #5. Cate Le Bon – Cyrk


making it work

I wrote about this infectious album earlier this year.

Cate Le Bon “Cyrk”

Cate Le Bon “The Man I Wanted”

- almostaghost

AlmostAGhost’s Top Albums Of 2012: #6. David Byrne & St. Vincent – Love This Giant


million particles born today

David Byrne & St. Vincent made the nerdiest album of the year, which if you know anything of Byrne and Annie Clark is hardly a surprise. They created an idea first–horns!–and built off that, together. From what I’ve read, they traded lyrics back and forth too, finishing and adding lines, a true partnership. That said, a lot of the words do sound Byrne-esque, in how they effortlessly go from minutiae (watching TV, valentines, dinner party) to bigger ideas (“the forest awakes,” “outside space and time,” etc.).

There are a few songs on here which sound very much like their respective solo work, but when they do songs like “Why” or “Lazarus” where they go back and forth, it’s as good as anything they’ve done alone. They actually don’t “duet” much, which allows both their talents through. The ideas here are plentiful and thoughtful, which is exactly how you could describe David Byrne and St. Vincent individually.

Actually these are the toughest albums to write coherently about; this is just a bunch of ramble ideas I’ve had while listening. But albums like Love This Giant have a mystery to them, something that will keep revealing itself over time.

David Byrne & St. Vincent “Optimist”

David Byrne & St. Vincent “Lazarus”

- almostaghost

AlmostAGhost’s Top Albums Of 2012: #7. Bear (The Ghost) – What Was All This For?

if you miss my interpretations

if you miss my interpretations

I honestly know almost nothing about Bear (The Ghost). I happened on their album at some point though, and couldn’t get it out of my head. It kept climbing up my list, as I liked it more with every listen.

Their warm sound led to numerous plays–no required constant plays–as it fits all sorts of situations: both being played loud and soft, as background music or being trapped with it on a drive, during moments of contemplation or dancing around.

Since these are just 5 songs, all fairly lengthy, I could only share one mp3 here due to WordPress’ file size limits. And I would ask everyone to hear it all instead of just a song. Bear (The Ghost) also does not appear to be on Spotify or anything like that. However, you can listen to their album on their website here:

And I absolutely encourage everyone to do so. Bear (The Ghost) is my favorite new band that I found in 2012.

- almostaghost

AlmostAGhost’s Top Albums Of 2012: #8. Hello Seahorse! – Arunima

al fuego

sonic ranch

Ah I wanted to write a bit more about Hello Seahorse! But it’s late and I haven’t the time and I’ve already fallen off my countdown schedule so I’ll be quick. And besides, Hello Seahorse! is from Mexico, and they sing entirely in Spanish so I honestly have no idea what the songs are about anyway. These could be horrible lyrics for all I know. (Don’t ruin the mystery for me if you know Spanish, thanks.)

But still, they get some fun drama out of their songs, and almost always get a good sense of movement in their music. The singer has a pretty powerful voice, which always adds to their momentum. The songs have drive, and even without knowing what they’re talking about, that much is evident.

Hello Seahorse! was one of the highlights for me at Coachella this year and this album, which came out 6 months later, did nothing to diminish that.

Hello Seahorse! “La Flotadera”

Hello Seahorse! “Para Mí”

- almostaghost