A Year of Concerts: 2014

Concerts, Reviews

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Yusuf Islam / Cat Stevens | “Peace Train … Late Again” Tour | Nokia Theatre L.A. Live | 12/14/14 [Concert Review & Photos]

Yusuf Islam / Cat Stevens | “Peace Train … Late Again” Tour | Nokia Theatre L.A. Live | 12/14/14 [Setlist & Video Clips]

Jamestown Revival, Nikki Lane & Pete Molinari | The Troubadour | 11/30/14 [Concert Review]

Jamestown Revival | The Troubadour | 11/30/14 [Photos and Video]

Nikki Lane | The Troubadour | 11/30/14 [Photos and Video]

Pete Molinari | The Troubadour | 11/30/14 [Photos and Video]

MusicOfMyMind14’s 2014 Vinyl Selections

Opinion

I purchased a lot of music in 2014. A ton of CDs, a couple of cassettes, and a few digital purchases. I’m also a lover of the vinyl format … but with the generally higher prices for vinyl, I’ve had to be a bit more selective with my decisions as to what new LP gets added to my racks. Some of the selections were good, some bad … but what I’ve got for you here are a handful of LPs that I purchased that I’m particularly fond of.

How To Dress Well | First City Festival | 8/23/14 [PHOTOS]

Concerts

To Check Out Other Acts that I Caught At First City Festival, CLICK HERE.

THE ACT: How To Dress Well | Facebook Twitter

INSTAGRAM VIDEOS: CLICK HERE

SOUNDS LIKE:

THOUGHTS:  I’m a huge fan of Tom Krell’s (pka “How To Dress Well”) music. How big of a fan? I have all of his albums on vinyl, and his latest release, “What Is This Heart?”, currently sits comfortably as one of my albums of the year. I’ve written about him HERE and HERE so I won’t get into what I think about his music in this post. Just enjoy the pictures.

 

To Check Out Other Acts that I Caught At First City Festival, CLICK HERE.

First City Festival | August 23 & 24, 2014 | Homepage

Concerts

This is the “Homepage” for the links to all of the blog entries posted about the acts I was able to catch at First City Festival, August 23 and 24, 2014. Below are links to Instagram video posts, photos and some brief thoughts about each band that I was able to enjoy in beautiful Monterey.

To read my “Love Letter” to First City Festival CLICK HERE.

Saturday, August 23th

Sunday, August 24th

How to Dress Well’s “Repeat Pleasure” (Part 1 of 3 “What Is This Heart?” trilogy) (Official Video)

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Tom Krell p/k/a How To Dress Well.

Tom Krell p/k/a How To Dress Well.

I’m a fan of Tom Krell’s music. Performing under the stage name “How To Dress Well”, his music has always has always resonated a sadness or longing in me. Whether its his airy falsetto, or the generally dark lyrical topics of his compositions, his music always makes me want to lay on a coach and contemplate life, love, at other personal topics.

When I saw him perform at The Roxy earlier this year, Tom performed “Repeat Pleasure” and noted it was a song about controlling emotions even though you know that “if you do something once, you’ll probably do it again”. He also noted that it was perhaps the most “poppy” songs he had had ever written.

That being said, I suppose one would have expected a music video with an airier, light hearted mood, but I think if that had been done, it would have been so out of character for Tom, his fans, myself included, would have said, “Huh?”

Tom’s music video for “Repeat Pleasure”, which is apparently part 1 of the “What Is This Heart?” (the name of his forthcoming album) trilogy, will pull on your heartstrings. It seems to tell the story of a young man who’s grandfather is gravely ill, and his efforts to take him somewhere familiar before passing. The video is appropriately “How To Dress Well”, and I fully appreciate Tom’s creative vision for his music.

How To Dress Well | The Roxy | 3/18/14

Concerts

 

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The first time I saw Tom Krell p/k/a “How To Dress Well” perform live, I thought to myself, “I really need to see him perform in an intimate club venue.” On March 18th, at The Roxy Theatre, I got my chance.

What intially hooked me to How To Dress Well’s music was twofold. First, the music leaned dark, simple and atmospheric; the kind of music you could press play on a rainy day, lie on a couch and let it sooth you to sleep. Second, I was very partial to Tom’s tender and vulnerable vocals stylings. A lot of male singers can use their falsetto, but not all male singers can use it the way Tom does.

Before the set started, I scanned the room to see what kind of audience was in attendance. I didn’t have to ask. By the looks of it, I may have been the oldest one in the room. I was a bit impressed insofar as the music that’s been released thus far is quite mature (both lyrically and musically). I asked the two fresh faced kids standing to the right of me (who weren’t wearing drinking bracelets) how they got into How To Dress Well’s music, and they said Spotify. I asked the young girl standing to my right the same question. She said Spotify.  A quick non-sequitor … even if major recording artists are complaining about the amount they get paid from streaming services like Spotify, it would appear that Spotify led at least 3 kids to spend their extra cash to buy a ticket to see an act like How To Dress Well perform at a Hollywood club on a Tuesday night. Just saying …

The music of the evening was stellar. I knew that Tom was in the process of recording new material, but I wasn’t expecting that he’d be showcasing a lot of the new songs at the gig. It was truly a pleasant surprise for me. He had the drummer from Broken Social Scene play with him (he used a drum machine at FYF Festival) and that added a new life to the music’s live effect. I was again impressed with the way he used his two-mic set up (one mic without reverb and one mic with) to give his songs layers of depth and feeling.

And I was right about wanting to see him perform in an intimate venue. The concert-going experience was magnified 10 fold for me. For How To Dress Well’s music, you want to be captivated. You want to focus on the emotion that Tom is purging from his body and hang on very word/note. Being in an intimate venue afforded Tom the ability to interact and really connect with the audience.  When introducing songs, I really got the sense that Tom wanted the audience to connect with its meaning, and it’s a lot easier to do so when the audience is captivated rather than tent-hopping at a festival. When I say intimate, I don’t necessarily mean a small club venue. In fact, if could pick another venue for Tom to perform in, I’d love to see him perform at The Orpheum.

I didn’t quite catch the names of all of the new songs (some of them were still untitled) but I did my best to list them below, together with little concert notes that I took.

  1. “Two Years” (?): A song about his father
  2. “The Power” (?)
  3. “What You Wanted” (?): A song about how you feel when you have a desire that you can’t control
  4. “Cold Nites”: After he sang this song, he told that audience that he got shivers while he was singing it stating, “That felt really good”
  5. “If You Were My Girl” (?): A dance song
  6. “No More Death” (?): He asked for the venue to turn the lights down since it was a “really dark song”
  7. “I Don’t Know What’s Best For Me” (?)
  8. “Suicide Dream 1”: A song about a friend
  9. “Childhood Faith in Love” (?): Inspired by “You Can Have The Best Of Me” by the Starting Line
  10. “Repeat Pleasure”: A song about controlling emotions even though you know that “if you do something once, you’ll probably do it again”, Tom suggested that this was perhaps the most “poppy” songs he’s written and that it was going to be a big hit
  11. “Words I Don’t Remember” (?)
  12. “Set It Right”

Encore

  1. “Baby” (?): Tom mentioned that in the next part of his life, he wants a baby, but that this song is his fear of the fragility of babies, derived from a fear of wondering if a baby is alive while its sleeping (A cappella)
  2. “Lovers Start” (A cappella)

 

Unfortunately, the Flickr slideshow below is not available on mobile devices. If you are on a mobile device, please click THIS LINK to get redirected to the set of photos. If the slide show below isn’t working, then Flickr has disabled their embed option for WordPress and hasn’t yet updated their HTML code, which totally BLOWS! If you can see the slide show below, hooray!

 

Forest Swords | The Roxy | 3/18/14

Concerts

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Opening for How To Dress Well at the Roxy was a music producer from Liverpool, England named Matthew Barnes, know by his stage name, Forest Swords. I hadn’t put two and two together before, but as it turns out he produced How To Dress Well’s 2012 single “Cold Nites”. In digging up a little history of his discography, I discovered that his 2010, debut EP “Dagger Paths” received rave reviews across the board; named FACT Magazine’s #1 album of the year, given 8.4 rating on Pitchfork and called “one of 2010’s finest underground records” by NME. Critics have even compared his musical stylings to current stand-out recording artists like James Blake and Bon Iver. If that isn’t high praise, I don’t know what is.

If you are at all interested in music by Portishead or Massive Attack, you need to hit up his Soundcloud account to get a taste of what he’s all about.  I’ve embedded his track “Miarches” below for you to check out:

Backed only by a bass player, he performed a set of dark, brooding, atmospheric instrumental creations that had the audience mesmerized, caught in a hypnotic dreamscape. I realized that I was hooked to his music as I caught myself humming made-up melodies to his instrumentals. I immediately started wondering why I haven’t heard more of his production for other recording artists.

After the evening’s music ended, I made my way to the merchandise booth to purchase some music. Matthew was there shopping his wares and I made some small talk with him asking him whether he’s produced for others. He indicated that he had taken a break from music for a spell and was just focusing on his own projects for the moment. If I were a betting man, I’d put a few dollars on that changing sooner rather than later.

Unfortunately, the Flickr slideshow below is not available on mobile devices. If you are on a mobile device, please click THIS LINK to get redirected to the set of photos. If the slide show below isn’t working, then Flickr has disabled their embed option for WordPress and hasn’t yet updated their HTML code, which totally BLOWS! If you can see the slide show below, hooray!

 

A Year of Concerts: 2013

Concerts

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Listed chronologically, the most recent show first.

Stevie Wonder | Songs In The Key Of Life | Nokia Theatre L.A. Live | 12/21/13

Shy Girls | The Spare Room and Bootleg Bar | 12/12/13 and 12/13/13

Snoopzilla and Dam Funk “7 Days Of Funk” Record Release Party | Los Angeles Exchange | 12/10/13

Thundercat | The Echoplex | 12/05/13

Moses Sumney | The Echoplex | 12/05/13

Pearl Jam | Los Angeles Sports Arena | Nov. 23-24, 2013

Ben Harper | Walt Disney Concert Hall | 11/18/13

The Record Company | The Satellite | 11/15/13

The Janks | The Satellite | 11/15/13

Nine Inch Nails | Staples Center | 11/08/13

Iron & Wine | The Orpheum Theatre | 10/31/13

Laura Mvula | The Orpheum Theatre | 10/31/13

Hiatus Kaiyote | Skirball Cultural Center | 10/30/13

Moses Sumney | Skirball Cultural Center | 10/30/13

Hanni El Khatib| El Rey Theatre| 10/25/13

Bass Drum of Death | El Rey Theatre | 10/25/13

Tijuana Panthers | El Rey Theatre| 10/25/13

The Secret State | Loaded Hollywood | 10/13/13

Filter Magazine’s Culture Collide 2013 | Echo Park | 11/10/13 – 11/11/13  (Wooster, Tiny Ruins, Maya Vik, Iza, Medicine, Jacco Gardner, Gemini Club and Great White Buffalo)

Fiona Apple and Blake Mills | Walt Disney Concert Hall | 10/7/13

Depeche Mode | Staples Center | 9/29/13

M83, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and Phantogram | Hollywood Bowl | 9/22/13

The Beach Ball Festival: Soul Revue | Santa Monica Pier | September 21, 2013 (Myron & E, Lee Fields and the Expressions, Maceo Parker, Allen Stone and Aloe Blacc)

Laura Mvula | El Rey Theatre | 9/17/13

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Lobster Festival | Port of Los Angeles | September 14, 2013 (The Section Quartet, Nightmare & The Cat, Deap Vally, Dead Sara)

Girl in a Coma | The Echoplex | September 12, 2013

Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue | Twilight Concert Series | August 29, 2013

The Dustbowl Revival | Twilight Concert Series | August 29, 2013

FYF FEST | L.A. State Historic Park | August 24 and 25, 2013 (Mikal Cronin, Charles Bradley, The Breeders, Devendra Banhart, The Locust, Deerhunter, TV on the Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Orwells, Pional, How To Dress Well, No Age, !!! (ChkChkChk), Shlohmo, MGMT, Solange, and Holy Ghost!)

Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Jazz Band |Burton W. Chace Park | August 17, 2013

The National | Jimmy Kimmel Live | August 12, 2013

Hanni El Khatib | Twilight Concert Series | August 8, 2013

Hiatus Kaiyote | The Bootleg Theater | July 31, 2013

Geographer | Getty Center | July 27, 2013

Tijuana Tears | The Virgil | July 24, 2013

Savages | El Rey Theatre | July 23, 2013

Alabama Shakes | Hollywood Palladium | July 17th, 2013

Rodrigo y Gabriela | Hollywood Bowl | July 14, 2013

Young, Gifted & Nina: A Tribute to Nina Simone | California Plaza | July 5, 2013

BET Experience | R. Kelly, New Edition & The Jacksons | Staples Center | 6/30/13

BET Experience | Snoop, Kendrick Lamar & J.Cole | Staples Center | 6/29/13

BET Experience | Beyonce | Staples Center | 6/28/13

Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters | Shrine Auditorium | June 26th, 2013

Nina Diaz | Hotel Café | June 9th, 2013

Ink-N-Iron Festival | Queen Mary | June 8, 2013 (Girl in a Coma, Hopeless Jack & the Handsome Devil, Kaleigh Baker, The Fleshtones, Dead Kennedys and Iggy and the Stooges)

Illumination Road | The Roxy | June 4, 2013

Make Music Pasadena 2013 | June 1, 2013 (The Record Company, The Peach Kings, YACHT, Robert DeLong, Youngblood Hawke, Haunted Summer and The Likes of Us)

A Night For Jolie; A Night To Remember | Henson Recording Studios | May 31, 2013

Hanni El Khatib and The Black Angels | Mayan Theater | 5/21/13

What Made Milwaukee Famous | Central SAPC | 5/19/13

Dead Sara | El Rey Theater | May 9, 2013

New Build and No Ceremony/// | First Unitarian Church | April 27, 2013

Coachella 2013 | April 12-14 | Friday (Of Monsters and Men, Passion Pit, Palma Violets, Modest Mouse, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Jurassic 5, Stone Roses and How To Destroy Angels)

Coachella 2013 | April 12-14 | Saturday (Ben Howard, Pucifer, Violent Femmes, Grizzly Bear, Postal Service, Franz Ferdinand and Phoenix)

Coachella 2013 | April 12-14 | Sunday (Alex Clare, Rodriguez, Vampire Weekend, Nick Cave, Wu-Tang Clan and Red Hot Chili Peppers)

Toddchella | Part I | Tijuana Tears

Toddchella | Part II | The Record Company

Toddchella | Part III | We Were Indians

The Weeks | Three Clubs | 3/29/13

Nik Kai | 12 Year Old Guitar Prodigy | The Future of Shredding

The Night Hiatus Kaiyote Blew My Mind At The Del Monte Speakeasy 3/23/13

Jose James | The Del Monte Speakeasy | 3/13/13

Morrissey | Staples Center | 3/1/13

Orange Tulip Conspiracy |El Cid | 2/22/13

Soundgarden | The Wiltern | 2/16/13

The Robert Glasper Experiment | The Roxy | 2/8/13

Social Distortion | The House of Blues (Sunset) | 01/26/13

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How To Dress Well | FYF Festival | August 25, 2013

Concerts

To check out pictures of other bands I was able to catch at the festival, CLICK HERE.

How To Dress Well's double mics.

How To Dress Well’s double mics.

Though he released a highly acclaimed album back in 2010, I didn’t become familiar with Tom Krell’s (p/k/a How To Dress Well) music until earlier this year. While I was reviewing the various acts that were slated to perform at the festival this year, I clicked on the musician’s link from the FYF Festival website and thereafter spent the next hour playing his music. I was hooked, and circled his 5:20pm set time as “must attend”.

I spent the months leading up to the festival buying albums of all of the artists that I was interested in, when I purchased How To Dress Well’s 10” EP “Just Once”. It may be one of the best purchases I’ll have made this year. Limited to 1000 copies, that vinyl is described as a one time-only, orchestral release, part of proceeds from sale of which went to MindFreedom.com to benefit those with mental health issues. It was recorded in the memory of one of Tom Krell’s friends and was simply, amazingly, hauntingly beautiful.

Tom Krell p/k/a How To Dress Well.

Tom Krell p/k/a How To Dress Well.

I was able to get up front for his set. While the stage hands were setting up, a DJ was spinning some 90s era music. An Aaliyah song started to play and I noticed Tom offstage singing along. When he took to the stage, he was accompanied by a keyboardist and a violinist. Using the a two-microphone technique,  he jumped into his set opening with a new song tentatively titled “For Cyril.” Amazing. And it kept on coming.

His music, with sparse drums and layered, falsetto vocals, set a mellow vibe as haunting as the recordings I had purchased. It may have been a rather dark set for the middle of the day- which Tom acknowledged half way in when he introduced an upbeat song with, “This is a dance song, because it’s too early to be this dark”- but I was loving every minute of it. He further made light of the dark set by also telling the crowd that it was his mom’s birthday. He mixed R. Kelly’s “I Wish” into one of his songs to his audience on their toes. At the end by telling the audience that if there was anything he would want to impart on the audience before he left, it was to be, “Be nice to people.” A simple message amongst complex, stunning music.

Tom Krell p/k/a How To Dress Well.

Tom Krell p/k/a How To Dress Well.

His set met my expectations, save but a few technical difficulties, and I will definitely be keeping an eye out for any more intimate club gigs that he may have in Los Angeles in the future.

The setlist was sourced from setlist.fm:

  1. For Cyril (New Song)
  2. Suicide Dream 1
  3. Cold Nites
  4. No More Death
  5. & It Was U
  6. Ready for the World
  7. Set It Right
  8. Repeat Pleasure (New Song)
Tom Krell p/k/a How To Dress Well with his violinist.

Tom Krell p/k/a How To Dress Well with his violinist.

Tom Krell p/k/a How To Dress Well with his keyboardist.

Tom Krell p/k/a How To Dress Well with his keyboardist.

Tom Krell p/k/a How To Dress Well.

Tom Krell p/k/a How To Dress Well.