MTV IGGY’s Best New Band Concert

After losing some life, and then sleeping it off in the 16-hours-of-dead-REM fashion (and a lot of real life distractions), I am back to blog!

This concert was insane. This post is also going to be long. I’d suggest making a nice ol’ cuppa tea and making yourself comfortable. That’s all I have to say in summation.

I actually didn’t intend to go to this concert originally because 1) I’m an old lady, and 2) I figure there was going to be a crowd, and 3) did I mention that I was an old lady?

My sister was rather excited to go, because her and thousands/tens of thousands/a million/billion of her peers are obsessed with the rising Kpop (Korean Pop) group 2NE1 (pronounced “two-ANY-one”, “21”?).  2NE1 apparently won some contest by popular votes for the Best New Band in the World (link opens up to the saved webstream that aired live Monday) award that MTV IGGY was hosting. I just ended up going and being her photographer/videographer with my little HTC Evo 4G. They said “no cameras” and I wasn’t going to haul my poor S5 to have it die after taking 3 pictures (note to self: purchase new rechargeable batteries). By the by, if any venue ever really says “no cameras” they usually mean no flash photography… because with the sea of cameras I encountered in my view, I’ll just leave it at that. Plus I wanted to test out the camcorder mode on the Cyanogenmod 7.1 rom and this was pretty much the event to do it (cut to me praying that it didn’t stutter and lag like it did with some other roms).

We got there around 10AM and waited on the line. At first when we got there we were surprised that the line was so short. Silly us! We were quickly informed by the people on the line that the rest of the line wrapped around the block on Broadway onto the next. Yes… this was looking to be great fun alright! Quickly hustling past the slow out-of-towners who hasn’t seen sky in New York City, we made it to the end of the line. Not too shabby, we weren’t that far away, and it didn’t look like a lot of people ahead of us… maybe a good 300? I don’t know, people in crowds usually seem much larger than they are individually. Fact. As we slowly started to freeze on the line, I started to subtly sidle up to the people ahead of me in line, trying to suckle off some body heat to stay alive until we move to the part 2 of the line. Yes at that moment I started to envision the entire line in levels. We were currently at level 3. Hell. Of course when the time passed by, and more people joined the line, our position didn’t seem quite so bad. Moving a few inches per 10 or 15 mins or so, in what I’d like to call then the deluge, we all bumrushed into… level 2 of the line. Level 2 was filled with sunlight, glimpses of the outer world, and sights of tourists gawking at us gawking back at them as they passed. It was close, we could taste the kpop in the air… or whatever funk lingered around Times Square (kind of a mix between car fumes and the occasional scent of horse poop). With great sunlight came great wind however. And the area since it wasn’t really contained to half the sidewalk, it was more opened and as a result, sidling up to strangers was a lot harder. To console myself and utilize my imagination, we all stared at the Aeropostale store at the clothes that were on sale at 50% off. How tempting! Winds be damned! We were just one level away and it wasn’t going to end me. That huge teddy bear at their front door display was rather nice though, we all envisioned ourselves disemboweling it and then wearing it like some twisted robe at some point. I did get some nice sightings, especially of the new Prevost express buses the MTA are using on the X1 route. They were so shiny and brand new. Oooh! In true foaming fashion, I was taking pictures to pass the time.

Coming from level 3 to level 2 was a blessing and a curse. We waited at level 2 for about 4 hours before we got to level 1 and subsequently inside the Best Buy Theater. It only took 5 hours in total line waiting to get inside for a what would be a 2 hour concert. Fun! I did feel for some who were waiting there since 12AM. I… enjoyed my warm bed a lot more. Plus we all ended up getting a pretty good spot anyway considering, not a bad deal to get some extra zzz’s and waiting. Inside we were pretty much on the floor of the stage just about (albeit maybe ~50 rows deep). I think I probably lost a year of my life being in the middle of the “flesh fest”. Again, I’m an old lady, you’ll have to forgive my curmudgeonly ways. After what seemed a bit of yakking up on the MTV studios (the interviews and whatnot drumming up 2NE1‘s arrival), we were treated to the other highlighted artists.

[Just wanted to apologize if I whacked anyone inadvertently while trying to get these videos… 5’1″ surrounded by people taller than me does not make a good video-making scenario. Below are some videos I made on my EVO 4G with Cyanogenmod 7.1. Just wanted to also test out the camcorder on this rom. It performed a lot better than I expected compared to Sense roms.]

La Vida Bohème. A group hailing from Venezuela, they got some great beats going on. I think I found my new favorite band.

Yuna was a very good singer as well. Coming from Malaysia, she had such a lithe and at the same time, sultry voice. I kind of almost fell asleep at one point before realizing that the body I was nuzzling against wasn’t someone I loved. Stranger Danger! (By theonlyrin)

Gyptian wasn’t quite new to me although some of this other chunes were. I think if you turned on the radio, you’d hear his music- that’s how popular he is.

I would’ve loved to hear this artist play live, however they only highlighted her: Ximena Sarinana. Her music sounded a little of Nellie McKay and Zooey Deschanel’s. I love it, it’s so upbeat and hearty at the same time. I guess that’ll be quite a few albums to keep an eye out for!

Last but not least, we had the artists of honor, 2NE1! I’m not a huge fan of them, but watching them perform, I’m inclined to give their album a listen to. If you thought people were crazy before in the crowds, when these ladies made their way from the street to the stage, the people went WILD. Yes, in CAPS. WILD. I mean, I’m surprised they didn’t have people in front of the barricades on the first row to keep these folks back. They lived up to their win though, they put up a very nice performance. It was minimal with just them dancing and at some point they had some backup dancers as well. Sometimes less is more and they pulled it off. They made a lot of Kpop fans very happy that night. I’m surprised the floor wasn’t wet with all the tearing some must’ve done seeing their idols.

After that, the magic was over. With a “cleavage” full of confetti from the canons that went off after they got crowned Best New Band, we made our way back home. Overall I really enjoyed myself. It was worth standing out in the cold just to experience these outstanding acts live.

[Sources:]
2NE1 Wikipedia Page 
MTV IGGY Best New Band concert stream
Ximena Sarinana’s Youtube Channel
theonlyrin’s Youtube Channel

The Pimps of Joytime (what a name!)

I’ve heard of Afrobeat, I’ve heard of Funk, as well as Reggae and Salsa, but never have I heard anything that is a compilation of said genres into one brand new one.

Surfing through channels one night, I happened to come across these people talking about a type of music they do. While I really didn’t pay much attention, the name that they said caught my ear. “Janxta music,” what the heck exactly is that? According to the interview with The Pimps of Joytime (on NYC Life, channel 25.x… my tv is really insane with the different channel numbers, check your local listings), Janxta is a mix of Afrobeats, Funk, Reggae, and Salsa. I listened to the song they played (which was Blues Wit You) and I think I’m in love.

First thing that came to mind? It sounded like Carlos Santana-lite. Listening to it made me feel as though time has slowed down enough for one to enjoy the smell of hypothetical roses. It was as if you shouldn’t have a care in the world while this track was playing while all the hecticness of life flowed by you.

Onwards and upwards, if you want to hear more of their music, check their My|Space| page!
Their latest album, Janxta Funk! is available on CD as well as iTunes.

Bell X1 @ The Highline Ballroom

Note: Some language in this post may seem a bit… off colored, distasteful, and mean. However, it was the way it happened, so deal with it. Don’t want to read and just skip to pictures? Go here. If not, proceed. Blarrrrr~

J and I went to the Highline Ballroom on the West Side to see Bell X1 Saturday night. We got there a good time before the doors opened, a good distance (~20ft) from the doors. Good thing we did, there was a bunch more other people who lined up after us, and next thing you know this fatty from the club was cordoning off behind the people behind us because the line was starting to block the Western Beef next door. Wow. Western Beef. I never saw one in Manhattan. Hello! See something new every day.

So anyway we then started to mosey on inside, oh so nervous was I, clutching those tickets in my pocket. They were like, take your hands out to get stamped. Stamped? Eh, what is this, Highline branding. I wasn’t very sure, but okay stamp away. It looked like some sort of barcode, a very cool potential tattoo location. On the right wrist too, I wonder how a bus would look there. A little smiley bus. Or a killer bus. With fangs and whatnot. Yes, on with it now.

Going inside, it was pretty dark with music that wasn’t the Bellies, and figured it was their opening act the Harlem Shakes after a bit of listening. People were mostly going to the tables and ordering food/drinks. We walked around looking and then meandered towards the restrooms.

Looky there! Who was it… that would cause me to break out in a cold sweat, none other than Paul Noonan the lead singer of the Bellies himself. Oh so nervous so nervous I was. He is abnormally tall, like I suppose that’s how tall Conan O’Brien would be, or maybe I was just abnormally short for an girl. Yes, so anyway J goes, why don’t you talk to him, and I did. Of course if anyone knows me the slightest bit, I am very very nervous around people, and even moreso around people I (would it be the right word to say admire… or more rather starstruck, like wow it’s him! Possibly the latter, I felt a bit like Sarah Palin, quite a knob). So yes, of course being me I so forgot everything that is good about the spoken word and managed to sputter some sort of meaningless words that created somewhat of a sentence converging into something akin to a conversation. I managed to kind of talk to him, something about it’s my first time to a concert, are you guys going to play some old music, and you are very very tall.

He probably think I was a frakking nutjob. I wouldn’t blame him, if I were talking to myself, I would’ve said that exact same thing. I did ask him to take a picture with me, and then afterwards he must’ve thought I stopped holding him hostage and fled the scene. Oh sad.

So anyway we gather our spots in front of the stage, oooh so many wires, amps, guitars, mics, and the whole shebang. The Harlem Shakes came on and made us all deaf. Seriously. I heard nothing except for the loud drumming (which I enjoyed), and a lot of bass (which I did not enjoy so much). Did not hear any singing from the lead singer, he was so washed out by the music that it was more like eh… he could’ve cursed us all on the mic and we wouldn’t hear it. After about what, a half hour, 45 mins of it, we were treated to silence as the Bellyboys came onto the stage and set up their gear.

In their defense, a few songs of the HS were beaty, but I could not hear one word he sang. Oh, and they drank way too much beer. Geez. Then I looked behind us and I saw a throng of people drinking. Oh right! I forget that sort of debauchery happened… oh was that the start of things alright.

Bell X1 came out, and we swear probably the whole population that takes the (L) train/lives in Williamsburg/any gentrified neighborhoods probably came out to this gig because 1)it was the hip thing to do on a Saturday night, get sloshed to some good ol’ rock and 2)because they had nothing better to do (i.e.: run out of weed or the episode of Gray’s Anatomy was already watched).

They played some good tunes that’s for sure, I wish I remembered the setlist in order, but unfortunately somehow that whole night just feels like a blur. They played a couple of my favorites such as Eve, the Apple of my Eye, The Great Defector, Next to You, Bad Skin Day, Flame, Rocky Took A Lover.

I enjoyed the gig a lot, and I made somewhat of an acquaintence, these two ladies who were next to us, one even offering me her spot at times to take even closer pictures of the band. I was more or less the huge shutterbug during the slower songs, or songs I really wasn’t too familiar with.

Oh yeah, the juicy stuff. I figure it was pretty much a big ol’ snorefest for you all, being brave souls and reading all this. Asides from the drinking, which wasn’t so bad really, because it was all tasteful drinks, vodka on the rocks and whatever until you smell the stench of beer and whore… and then it turns out that it’s right next to you. Yeah, that’s when you’re like… where’s my force field. The skank next to me was disgusting. I remember why I don’t attend concerts too much, because of the people singing. Don’t jump down my throat now, I like when there is a connection between the band and the audience, however(!) there should not be an unbalanced platform where the audience or parts of the audience will drown out the band with their offkey singing and wailing. That part grinds my gears, and drunkie next to me was off trilling her head after every so often shows and mentally trying to suck some band dick. Ah well. You get every sort of people, it’s just the way it is.

After the gig was really over with, and everyone started to disperse, we were contemplating whether or not we could wait and see if the band was going to come out from the rooms behind the stage, as the building didn’t seem to have a back entrance of sorts. We saw the HS standing across the room chatting with a bunch of groupies, so figures in that logical sense, the boys would come out that way as well. I wish I dressed more provacatively, maybe I would’ve gotten a better reception from people I asked questions to. It always seems the more whorish dressed women get the good undivided attention whereas I always seem to attract the wrong type of attention. /Rant [on that] over

We went outside after the ballroom fatty told us that we “seriously” had to get out, which was funny I hope he told that to the other 50 people standing around chatting. Walking up the street going back to the train, J noticed two of the band members sneaking a smoke by the projects (another reason I didn’t feel like staying too late around that part of town, shadowy overheads and that sort of environment you always see on Law & Order where some passerby the next day doing their own thing all of a sudden goes “dead body!”). Borrowing his pair of balls, I went over, introduced myself and we all ended up having somewhat of a conversation. Ah, my tongue came back this time and I was able to strike up a decent discourse. Nothing very inspiring, but at least I didn’t make much of a fool of myself. They were so nice, and I somewhat wished I got a picture with them, but I don’t think I wanted to overburden them or take too much of their time. It was getting rather nippy (to them), I guess I was used to the coldish weather so we just let them go on their way.

Afterwards, we checked out the West Side “Highline” which was pretty nice. It’s finally nice to see what the historic Highline was. It was used to carry freight from New York City to Albany. We also walked down to Chelsea Piers where we saw the golf course… it looked almost out of a scene for a Sci-Fi movie, as if it was a shipyard for building Battlestars. It was very a very awe inspiring sight.

So all in all, it was pretty fun. Even the ride back with all the General Orders (track work/station renovations) and train delays happening, it was pretty enjoyable. I hope that when they do tour in NYC again, we can enjoy it once more.

Ah… so you’re all still here, huh? Well I did take some pictures, such as this one (which also links to the rest of the pictures on Flickr). Take a breather, and enjoy. I know I sure did.

Tokio Hotel at Times Square




No clue who this band is, but apparently they have a following. Saw that during lunch… along with a line of people in front of the Virgin Megastore waiting for them I suppose after they finish their set. In any case, I think when I posted a picture asking what movie was being filmed now that I think about it, it may have been the remake of Pelham 1-2-3. They were filming on my block today, however no sighting of Denzel, just a bunch of hoity-toity people eating snackeroos from the cast table. Hmmmm. Perhaps another day.

U23D

So I finally went to see U23D last night with J. While I love, love, LOVE U2, the movie fell below my expectations (though it did have redeeming moments).

It started off charged with Vertigo, I have no idea if it’s okay to even say Bono killed Beautiful Day (sometimes you just want the song sung the way it was on the album, right? No straying emphasis on words and whatnot). From then after, they really caught me with their beats. Though they played more old stuff than material from HTDAAB (How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb), it wasn’t such a bad concert overall. I just wished that they’d have played COBL (City Of Blinding Lights).

And The Fly! Just when you thought they were done, after they played One, it seemed as if the movie was about to end, they come back with The Fly. The graphics that they did for it, was like a visual orgasmic delight. So much stuff flew at you, it was amazing. Any reserve I had for the slowness of the concert after Sunday Bloody Sunday just got recused when Bono came out dressed like the military man strumming his Gretsch Eagle in the most delicious way. Wow. Just wow. That alone, you’d have to watch the movie for. The Fly was hands down the best part of the movie visually (asides from when Bono drew with lights in LAPOE).

I also noticed when J pointed out to me that there were people sleeping. People, what the hell? You don’t pay ($16 ticket, $2 handling charge online) to go to an IMAX movie just to sleep through it. Although it may have been the best $16 nap ever, but you missed out on a really good experience.

Somehow this movie did not even rejuvenate my former lust for Bono, I was more enamored by the excellent guitar and drums of The Edge and Larry Mullen Jr. as well as the 3D effects instead.

All in all, I’d definitely come and watch it again. Maybe I can persuade a certain someone to come, though the chances of that would be akin to winning the lottery.

Overall rating? 8/10
Visual Effects: 8/10
Setlist: 7/10
Crowd Control: 9/10
([lack] amount of film coverage given to crowd in the movie)

Setlist:

Vertigo
Beautiful Day
New Years Day
Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own
Love And Peace (Or Else) [LAPOE]
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Bullet The Blue Sky
Miss Sarajevo
Pride (In the Name Of Love)
Where The Streets Have No Name
One
The Fly
With Or Without You
Yahweh