Saturday, September 10, 2005

Clams, Kills, and Kele...Down The Shore And Up To Roseland

I started my two-month sabbatical from work late last week, and as the first step in quest to figuring out how to relax again, we went to the Jersey Shore yesterday. Sandy Hook is the closest beach to North Jersey, so that was where we set up the blanket.

Although it was overcast, the temperature was just right and the beach was desolate. I spent most of my time standing in calf deep water hypnotized by the motion of the surf and some trancy rock on the iPod. The one-two punch of Catherine Wheel's "Black Metallic" and "Primitive Painters" by Felt totally broke whatever tension I had left in my body, and I spent the rest of my time down there floating.

On the way out of Sandy Hook we hit a clam shack called Moby's (not to be confused with Teany...) and had some killer fried fish & clam sandwiches on a pier overlooking the bay or whatever that water is called around there. I coulda stayed there all day, but I had to do the Garden State Parkway boogie because I had tickets to Bloc Party at Roseland.

The Kills opened the show with a set that surprisingly sounded great in such a big hall. Their "one-man-band plus sexy vocals" style gets a little tedious after a while, but their stage charisma kept the crowd interested. I got to watch them (and Bloc Party) from the side of the stage, and seeing them up close and totally immersed in their own groove was cool and spooky all at the same time.

Having seen Bloc Party climb their way up the NYC venue ladder since playing the Tribeca Grand, it's interesting to chart just how far they've come in less than a year, both in skill and popularity. They've been playing non-stop for many months now, and though they certainly did not suck on their first trips through the city, they are a much better live band. And unlike many bands who can't seem to progress out of the clubs, Bloc Party seems likely to flourish even more as they make their way to the next levels, which I guess will be Radio City and The Garden.

As usual, I totally enjoyed the set straight through. Two interesting things I noticed from my vantage point during the show were:

a) it's amazing how many people know the words to Bloc Party's new songs before they are even cut in the studio.

and b) the entire front three rows of fans in front of the stage were some of the prettiest girls I've ever seen in one place ever. If you ever needed a reason to figure whether to start a band or not, take a look at the front of a Bloc Party crowd. You'll start a band.

Check out Kinky Brat for her review and lots of great photos like this one:

More nice photos and a review of the show are also at A VC.

Finally, Murpf, the guy who runs the excellent False 45th, has an excellent but sad review of the Northampton Iron Horse date of The National/Clap Your Hands Say Yeah tour which started with a raucous set by the Clappers, and ended with cricket noises and a walkout by The National's singer.

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