15 September 2006

FRICTION: A Brief Smile, Femme Generation, Takka Takka, Annuals - 14 Sept 2006

Free Sparks. No. Free Sparks. NO. FREE SPARKS! Okay, actually, I'll have three of them please. Why? Why? Meh, free. Baaad decision. Thankfully I had the good sense to cut myself off after three of those sugary mind scramblers but the damage was done. Still, I'm not yet convinced that Sparks doesn't help make seeing bands more fun. What am I talking about? Seeing A Brief Smile, Femme Generation, Takka Takka, and Annuals last night at Friction was fun because they all ROCKED!

A Brief Smile were first up. I mentioned them briefly back in April but never got a chance to check out their live show. What I dig about this band is where I sense they draw influence from, namely the rocking side of shoegaze. Building from slow beginnings their songs tend to explode by the end...reminded me of The Walkmen. Listen - “Kitchen Floor”

Next up was Toronto's Femme Generation. I knew nothing of this band going into the show but now I find myself wanting to know so much more. What are their likes and dislikes? Walks on the beach at dusk? Me too! They brought infectious enthusiasm and an obvious desire to force people to move their feet, something I find surprisingly lacking at many rock shows I go to. Streamers, confetti, a trombone, the 'woo oh oh oh oh ooohs' in "Semper Fi, Little Guy", and this certain je ne sais quoi that made me think of Jane's Addiction (not their sound, but just something) and late '80s LA fun...I loved it. Listen - “Semper Fi, Little Guy”

Takka Takka will rock ya rock ya. That's my new slogan I'll be pitching to them for t-shirts. Funny thing is, it's not like they're out to Mötley Crüe-rock your socks off each time they take the stage but more like they're there to deliver their unique and honest brand of rock & roll as best they can so that you'll have no option but to end up loving them. See, Takka Takka rules the school and when they're finished with you and you pause to evaluate the show you'll think to yourself "wow, they were awesome! Takka Takka rocked my world and I didn't even know until it was too late! why wasn't I dancing?!" Or maybe that's just unique to what happened to me, but I'm very happy I got to see them for a second time last night. This time I was ready for their late '70s/early '80s indie inspired stylings and wasn't disappointed. Now, can we earfarmers please get together and convince them that they totally should cover "Enola Gay"?! I suggest you check them out this fall on their big tour with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Architecture In Helsinki and yell "OMD, OMD!" until they finally give in. Listen - “They Built You Up Too Fast” (live)

As much as I already loved Takka Takka, it was my hometown's current hot band that I was most excited to see last night. Yes, members of Annuals hail from Raleigh, NC just like I do. Yes, I talked to them about this and the guitarist Kenny and I even bonded over having some of the same high school teachers but what does any of THAT matter? It doesn't. What matters is that I first heard of these guys a month and a half ago and they're already blowing up (in an indie sense, obv). I got their debut album from Ace Fu and was floored. I'm not joshing. When I picked myself up off the floor I got all super excited because I realized I was going to be DJing their show here...this one I'm writing about. I mean, with a sound that falls someplace between Arcade Fire and Animal Collective, who wouldn't be excited?! The immediate question was: yeah, but how do they sound live? Early reports I read were mixed. Some people trashed their appearance at SxSW. Stupid people. Wait, I take that back. I wasn't there so I don't know but...no, I don't take that back, those people are probably pretty stupid...but I'd imagine some nerves and inexperience could lead to a shaky performance or two. Plus, with so many members (six) it's probably tough sometimes to get everyone on the same page. Right? All of that is to say that I went into their set last night hoping for the best but kind of wary and ready for anything. Almost anything. Turns out I was NOT ready to be so thoroughly impressed by Annuals. From the very first song they erupted. (No no, not like Van Halen "Eruption"...sheesh, why's your mind all hair-metal today?) They burst into the room with their near-perfect song "Brother" and never looked back. All six members were perfectly tight, perfectly loose and perfectly together: Kenny on guitar, Mike on bass, Anna on keys, Nick and Zack on drums, Adam on keys/vocals/sometimes drums...any one of them on their own would surely stand up as a high quality musician but all together they sounded like they were leading a tribal indie-rock invocation of the god of sound. You can expect David Byrne to be checking out their live show rather soon. Me? I'ma go see them again tonight. Oh the drums! I just can't get enough! Listen - “Brother”

Unfortunately I couldn't get any pictures of my own last night (when I find some elsewhere online I'll link to them here) because I was "on the 1s and 0s" all night pretending to be a DJ. If you're interested you can check out my DJ set below and I'll see you guys tonight at the Annuals show at Northsix!

"You Got Your Bones To Make A Beat" - Cloud Cult
"Mute Witness" - Morrissey
"Fools Gold" - The Stone Roses vs. Grooveride
"Kansas" - The Wedding Present
"Not Fazed" - Ride
"Remember Me" - British Sea Power
"Wolf Like Me" - TV On The Radio
"Lenny Valentino" - The Auteurs
"Head On" - The Jesus & Mary Chain
"Visions Of The Concorde" - The Unsacred Hearts
"No New Tale To Tell" - Love and Rockets
"50's Parking" - Tapes 'n Tapes
"Very Ape" - Nirvana
"Globe Alone" - Blur
"Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken" - Camera Obscura
"Moi Je Joue" - Brigitte Bardot
"Hollywood Bowl" - Fleeing New York
"Baby" - Imperial Teen
"Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've Fallen in Love With)" - Buzzcocks
"The Blood" - The Cure
"Enola Gay" - Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
"But Not Tonight" - Depeche Mode
"Thank You For Sending Me An Angel" - Talking Heads
"People Taking Pictures Of Each Other" - The Kinks
"Blue Boy" - Orange Juice
"She's Not There" - Zombies
"Rock And Roll" - The Velvet Underground
"We Are The Sleepyheads" - Belle & Sebastian
"Flower" - Deerhoof
"The Only Place I Can Look Is Down" - The Bishops
"I Was Born (A Unicorn)" - Unicorns
"A.D.T." - Lo-Fi-Fnk
"Yours To Keep" (Annie Mix) - Teddybears


Anonymous said...

What does "sparks" mean?
Or, what do you mean by "sparks"?
What is/are "sparks"?

Sounds like a great night.
You played nice songs.

Matt said...


roger said...

dude didnt you post about annuals before everyone else? id have been there if i lived in ny sounds like it was fun.

Anonymous said...

Matt? Matt. Stop pretending to be "roger."

Matt said...

what a mess the comments to this thread are. I have no idea who posted "first" on Annuals but my first post about them was because I read about 'em on Crackers United.

now, let's go see Goes Cube at Cake Shop, shall we?

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