The xx @ Cain’s Ballroom – 02/15/2013

The xx in B&W

The xx in B&W

Grace and I took the drive up to Tulsa on Friday night to see The xx at Tulsa’s historic Cain’s Ballroom this last Friday evening. Since we both had to work on Friday, we already knew it was going to be a big rush to get there and then we ran into horrendous traffic on the way resulting from a crash between a car and a bus carrying prisoners. We were over an hour late and a little stressed out, but we really shouldn’t have been worried. The modern concert style of being at least an hour late for starting the show served us well.

The opening act was a group called Austra about which I had heard great things, but in person didn’t do much for me. Thankfully, the convenient layout of Cain’s with the bar next door gave us a place to sit and a chance to run into our friend Aaron and catch up.

The xx in Light

The xx in Rainbow Light

The xx put on a great show. Moody, atmospheric almost electronica music might not always work live, but with them it did. And even if it hadn’t, the amazing light show they put together would have made it worth while. They maintained a great emotional mood and sounded amazingly tight as a live group. While I haven’t enjoyed their second album, Coexist, much at their amazing self-titled début, but I really enjoyed both live.

My only complaint may just be an old-fogey moment, but I was astounded by the number of people who maintained ongoing, loud conversations throughout the show. Now, I must admit that this may not be a new thing, because in my youth I primarily listened to such loud bands that conversations wouldn’t have been audible under any circumstances. However, no matter how long this has been going on, it was more than a little irritating to hear an amazing din of conversation over the top of a live band.

See larger images here.

Aaron

Aaron

The xx

The xx

The xx in Blue

The xx in Blue

The xx

The xx

Dancing #1

Dancing #1

Dancing #2

Dancing #2


Strange Offerings

We’ve been experiencing a weird regular ritual at the old farm-house. Starting about 3 months ago, we’ve received small food offerings on our front sidewalk every month. The items are always fresh and unopened usually consisting of milk, candy, bags of chips and the like. Once was a little strange, but this is now the third time.

Originally I assumed that these were accidentally left by some school kids coming home from the elementary school up the street. But this last time, the offering arrived on a Saturday evening, and I’m still pretty sure kids don’t voluntarily run by school on the weekends.

So, now I’m starting to wonder if we have gotten a slightly wrong reputation in the neighborhood. I’m guessing that we are now known as a pair of malevolent spirits who must be appeased in order to assure peace and prosperity for those on the block. If that is the case, would it be wrong to write the following on the sidewalk? “The offerings are appreciated, but going forward we demand whiskey.”


New Reviews of Old Stuff

So, with the demise of my Project 365 experiment, I’ve been looking for some creative outlets for which I can use this blog. I’ve always been an avid collector of music but over the last decade or so, it’s gotten a little out of control. I’ve somehow ended up with a music collection of some 18,000 tracks across a few thousand artists and albums. However, the sad fact is that there is a huge swath of this music I have never actually heard. A lot of it has been picked up as daily deal albums or because it was highly reviewed on emusic and stuck in the music library where it sits awaiting the day where it shows up on the random playlist. Well, when your library gets this big, the chances of stuff showing up on the random playlist start getting pretty small.

Therefore, I’m going to start methodically going through the library and really sitting down and listening to whole albums. Like many people, I have been sucked into allure of the random playlist. This ever mutating set of artists, moods and styles feels like you’ve tapped into the best radio station on earth. However, I think something is lost when you only consume an artist’s work as discrete songs. There is something wonderful about the concept of an album; a collection of pieces that while separate in many ways also make up a piece of art together, whether intentionally or accidentally. I want to rediscover that part of music appreciation that I’ve been missing for a long time.

So, I’m going to start posting regular album reviews of both new stuff I acquire as well as my alphabetical run through my album collection.  I will also be posting movie reviews as well since I have a similar problem there, but not nearly as bad.  Hope you enjoy and let me know what you think.