La Bodega

Tales and pictures from our little corner of the world.


The Secret Machines - 10/12/06 - First Ave.

Will I ever get tired of seeing this band? I doubt it. It was another evening with the Secret Machines at First Ave with no opener. Much more preferrable than sitting through a set when all you want to do is see a great extended set by a great live band. These guys seem to get better and better every time I see them. Touring again on the strength of their latest release Ten Silver Drops, they were performing "In the Round," meaning the the stage was set up in the middle of the floor, with the audience crowded around on all sides. Call it pretentious if you will, but I was excited to see how this was going to enhance their already spectacular live experience.

As expected, the show was phenomenal. They started the set out with "What Used to be French" from their debut EP, much to the surprise of me as I'm sure as it was to the rest of the audience that is familiar with the band. Things sped up and jammed up as this lead into "Faded Lines" and "The Road Leads Where It's Lead." The light show was in full effect by now, as anyone that has seen a live show of theirs, which is just as much a part of the show as the music is. The set was mixed up real well with songs from the new album and previous release Now Here is Nowhere. The rest of the set included the tripy "Alone Jealous and Stoned" and "Pharoahs Daughter" and the steady and proggy "Daddy's in the Doldrums." The main set concluded with the title track to No Here is Nowhere, which is the extended and more jammy version of the single "Nowhere Again."

Throughout the show, the the applause grew louder and louder after each song, especially during the explosive finales of Dadddys in the Doldrums and Now Here is Nowhere, and when the band left the stage, this was no exception. The audience roared until they re-entered and lead off with the encore with another surprise, the steady and climactic "Macaroni's Radio" from their September 000 EP. This was surely a chance of pace with how the main set ended, but this was far from the end of the noise. "I Hate Pretending" was next. which meant a furocious drum solo from Josh Garza. They guy looked like Animal from the Muppets with 6 arms as he oblitered his drum kit. The encore continued with "Lightning Blue Eyes" and they ended on the only song they could have - "First Wave Intact." The whole crowd knew it was coming, like Albert Pujols knows what is coming on a 3-2 pitch in the bottom on the 9th in a tie game. And just like Albert would have, the band hit it out of the park. The climax of the song lifts you off your feet at the 6:45 mark and all hell breaks lose after that. I may lose my hearing to First Wave Intact somebody, but at least it won't be to some whiney Dashboard Confessional song. If you are on the fence about this band, SEE THEM LIVE!! I promise you that you will not be disappointed.

(Picture coutesy of


TV on the Radio - 10/8/06 - First Ave.

After seeing TVOTR's performance on Letterman, I was even more excited to see them perform after waiting for over two years and 2 fantastic albums and and EP. New Pitchfork hype band Grizzly Bear opened, though we missed most of their set aside from maybe 15 to 20 minutes. One song was really enjoyable, but I was too jacked up for TVOTR to really give them a just critique. So after watching 25 minutes of Run Lola Run during the set change, Tunde Adebimpe and company filled the stage and they opened with Tunde doing a little beatboxing leading into "Dirty Whirl" from their latest release, the oddly titled Return to Cookie Mountain. As any good band will with a solid catalog, they mixed things up a bit with old and new songs. Second on the bill was Dreams from their debut album Desperate Youth... This turned out to be one of the highlights of the night and would set the stage for the energy level of the show. Tunde jumped and danced around the stage while ryhthm guitarist David Sitek ripped through his guitar strings during the sonic explosions of the aforementioned "Dreams," Blues from Down Here," and surprise of the night "Satellite" from the Young Liars EP. My personal favorite of the night, as well as personal favotite TVOTR song was "Young Liars" from the EP as well.

Crowd favorites of the night included their current single and good old fashioned rocker "Wolf Like Me" and past single "Staring at the Sun." The night was capped off with Tunde screaming into a megaphone while members of Grizzly Bear danced on stage with tamborines and Sitek flying into the crowd to body surf (though it is not confirmed whether or not anyone actually caught him), all this during the album closer Wash Away the Day. Even the crowd participated by chanting in unision during the appropriate parts, lead off by Tunde. With the energy level TVOTR performed with, it crazy to think that these guys are doing this day in and day out. Who knows, maybe every show isn't this good. Which, in that case, would make the show that much better. Come back soon!