Better Than: Pretending like you don't have a small place in your heart for Fall Out Boy and their contemporaries, or that you don't majorly appreciate 2006's big musical comeback this year.
During the From Under the Cork Tree era, Fall Out Boy had been convinced that they had found the cure to growing older. It's even a lyric in "I Slept With Someone in Fall Out Boy...," the second song in a set last night at Terminal 5 that illustrated a career full of rich and precisely layered sounds, much more diverse than the band has ever been credited for. The song reflects a moment when FOB ruled a scene without much dispute and paved a path for vicious kids just like them to sing about hearts, lies, and friends.More »
Better Than: Practicing your '90's nostalgia with Mark McGrath's cruise-replacing tour.
Garbage had never played Terminal 5 before. "This feels like how a venue is supposed to feel," proclaimed lead singer Shirley Manson before a sold-out show at the Hell's Kitchen venue Friday night. With the way the band played and Manson prowled across the stage, it felt like a comfortable return rather than a first time. Then again, it's not like the band, comprised of music industry Renaissance men and woman, are nubile musicians on their first tour. With the release of last year's Not Your Kind of People, Garbage reaffirmed their presence in alternative music and capability to seamlessly intersect the streamlined rules of pop with the reckless playfulness of alternative.More »
Better Than: Being upset that your Thanksgiving break is already over.
Every time Taking Back Sunday lead singer Adam Lazzara swung the microphone cord around his neck or climbed the balconies of Terminal 5 Saturday, I felt a pang of anxiety shoot up my spine. Between his stage antics and the thrash-dance heavy mosh pits forming across the main floor, the recklessness served as a reminder of what their breakthrough album Tell All Your Friends meant to suburban kids who were angry for no reason, or every reason, upon its release 10 years ago.More »
Luke Bryan w/ Josh Thompson, Lee Brice, and Matt Mason
Friday, September 16
Better than: Having to go out to PNC Bank Arts Center, where these all-star country shows usually take place.
In a town where the "but country" that finishes the trusty declaration of openmindedness "I listen to everything" is almost implied, a New York Times feature is usually enough to shift, if not create entirely, the discourse around any Nashville artist. Which is probably why Luke Bryanthe center of a Labor Day weekend piece about country singers ditching the 10-gallon hat, and the hyper-masculine attitude that comes with ithas become, among the few people I know who knew his name, "the hat guy."
Okkervil River w/ Titus Andronicus, Future Islands
Tuesday, June 7
Better than: Being forced to go home any earlier, even with a book in each hand.
Halfway through Okkervil River's newest album I Am Very Far lies a song called "We Need a Myth." "We need a myth," Okkervil frontman Will Sheff sings, "a path through the mist." What that myth might be is never specified, and nor should it be. Instead of explanationor the knowingly clever linguistic exercises found on songs like The Stage Names's "Plus Ones"Sheff's songwriting on Very Far is more descriptive and abstract. The second line of "We Need a Myth," for instance, introduces the image of an "amethyst bridge"; the second verse presents a red ribbon "to reconnect/ The lady's head to her neck/ And to forget that her throat was ever slit."More »
LCD Soundsystem have finally succeeded at getting tickets into the hands of people other than scalpers. The group's four warm-up gigs at Terminal 5 went on sale this morning at 9 A.M. and, to the delight of many a James Murphy fan, took almost an hour to sell out completely. While this may seem like a ridiculously short amount of time, at least it didn't turn out like the Madison Square Garden thing. It appears that the band's scalper-deterrent measures worked, and many "true fans" took to Twitter to celebrate. Thankfully, no Libya jokes were made today, showing that people are much more respectful when they get their damn tickets:More »
Our long national LCD Soundsystem ticket-scarcity nightmare is almost over: Their four Terminal 5 shows, running March 28-31, are on sale this morning at 9 a.m., priced at a reasonable $40 a pop and with all sorts of scalper-frustrating measures built in, from a two-ticket-per-person limit to a ID-at-will-call-only structure that will largely cut Stubhub out of the picture, even if it'll also make the lines outside T5 fearsome indeed. Get there early, the band advises, and that's good advice. Liquid Liquid are opening the first two nights (plus MSG), with Shit Robot taking the last two. The band's full spiel on the subject is below; let's all move on now to what really matters: namely, what exactly constitutes "fancy stuff."
Don't forget your ID, either. Pic by Puja Patel.
James Blake has probably got Album Everyone Will Be Talking About This Week honors all sewn up for now, but roundabout next Tuesday a nation's fawning eyes will turn to PJ Harvey's fantastic Let England Shake, far from the screamiest entry in her 20-year catalog (!), but among the bleakest, hardest, angriest -- call it "pastoral punk," but not within her earshot, because she'll bury you herself. (No woman alive can make strumming an autoharp feel and sound like an act of unimaginable violence.) NPR is streaming the whole record right now -- "Words That Maketh Murder" and the minimalist/brutalist "England" are hitting hardest on first listen.
Good news for all you Foursquare enthusiasts who can't get enough of Terminal 5: On April 20th the cavernous Midtown spot will host none other than PJ Harvey, supporting her new record Let England Shake and possessed of a terrifying intensity perfect for making large places feel uncomfortably intimate: She played the Beacon Theater a few years back and it felt like she'd challenged us all to a fistfight in a phone booth. Tickets are on sale Friday at noon; below, please find the clip for England's "The Words That Maketh Murder," though be advised that if you try and "check in" during this song she will straight-up break an autoharp over your head: