so David Byrne is the worst public speaker in the world

Posted in neither, writing with tags , , , , on September 23, 2009 by MonsoonSeason

hey gaaaaang

I went to see David Byrne speak at barnes and nobles on 17th yesterday, 9-22-09, after a friend mentioned that he might be signing stuff. I went to other music, bought the ONLY David Byrne album they had (which was the relatively uneventful soundtrack to “young adam” entitled “lead us not into temptation”) and did a one-two step to the b&n 4th floor. unbeknownst to me, Byrne has just finished writing a book entitled “Bicycle Diaries,” which I guess is about his touring around the world with a bike, the best bike in the world. I guess that’s not a bad premise and there has been worse CNF, but it’s not exactly on the top of my reading list for two reasons:

1. they only had it in hardback for like 28 bucks, way too poor for that
2. David Byrne is a surprisingly bad speaker and didn’t motivate me to buy the book

it’s not entirely his fault though, considering that the event wasn’t so much for his book as it was a call-to-arms for people to continue biking. or that bumper car jetpacks are on the way. let me explain.

when my friend and I arrived, we sat down and waited a very, very long time for a speaker to step to the mic and remind the audience that david byrne was here to talk about bikes, and not about music. dang. but I mean whatever, the dude made the talking heads, let’s listen to his bike spiel, eh? so twenty more minutes whizz by like a lackadaisical zeppelin and then david comes to the mic. after some technical issues, he uhs and ums his way through an introduction, the product of which is a slideshow.

he proceeds to talk for about half an hour about the slides, not really using them to enhance his speech, but just sort of commenting. an example:

(a picture of grass underneath an elevated highway)
byrne: so this is a picture of… it’s… like there’s just no culture under here, and–but in seattle, they built a skatepark (Burnside) underneath one of these, but that’s the exception. you can’t really talk to people under–or, meet people, I mean–when you have these monoliths over top of you and… it’s just fucking surreal, right?

and this is supposed to be how biking will bring a city “back to its roots.” just fyi dudes, that’s the way to do it.

it seemed like every slide started the same. David would look at it, kind of surprised, and stumble his way through his thoughts on the matter. it was as if a mild acquaintance of his had interrupted his first sip of coffee in the morning to ask him his opinion on a very broad topic. like, “hey david, what do you think about punk rock?” I’d be pretty shaky too.

but I think the main issue here is, is pushing biking really going to improve everything? don’t get me wrong, I like bikes and green transportation movements, but the message I got is that if we all rode bikes, we would constantly be having interesting experiences and we’d make friends all day and the local economy would grow into a beautiful old elm tree, but that can’t be the case. and it shouldn’t be the case! I don’t want to know everybody, and I’m pretty sure not everyone wants to stop at every roadside stand or attraction simply “because it looks interesting.” we’ve things to do, mr. byrne!

his support was a totally wackjob… I don’t actually know what his title would be. he comes up with preposterous inventions that would never catch on, such as a jetpack encased in air bladders so that the user would never be hurt, and he presents them in I guess meetings like this. and he gets laughed at, by everybody, because he tries to make a house out of meat cells to make a bio-efficient house. it’s things like this that make me realize that I might not be as liberal and left as I once thought I was, but it doesn’t matter now because I’m apathetic. towards everything. STAUNCHLY.

the other two supporting folks were just political… wait for it… TALKING HEADS. OH YEAHHHHHHHHHHH

needless to say, I won’t be seeking out mr. byrne in a non-musical fashion any time soon, but I do hope that one guy’s jetpack idea gets off the ground somehow. I wants me a jetpack.


track of the week: sebastian tellier & mr. oizo – chivers as a female

Posted in music with tags , , , on July 14, 2009 by MonsoonSeason

of course I’d be late with the track of the week

anyhow, this is off of the STEAK soundtrack, which is a french film made by mr. oizo.  apparently the movie is not very good–some high school thing about two misfits trying to join a highly elite social group.  but whatevs, this track is some deft vocal dance-pop jamboree, made hard by oizo and sexy by tellier.  enjoy~

oh yeah and I’ll go to a concert or something eventually, I’ve just been really busy that’s all, get off my back

track of the week: felix da housecat – do not try this at home

Posted in music with tags , on July 4, 2009 by MonsoonSeason

hey y’all, new weekly feature.

every saturday from now on I’ll be posting the nox5 track of the week.  feel free to download it using the internet!

this week is “do not try this at home” from felix da housecat.  he’s got a new lp dropping in august and it’s kinda got an electroclash feel.  what’s the deal with all of these electroclash artists coming back?  peaches, fischerspooner, miss kittin & the hacker, chicks on speed… it’s getting out of control.  I mean, not that I mind, I think that the electroclash thing was cool, but it was before I was COOL AS FUCK, so I’m glad that I get to experience it in my twenties, but seriously.. what are the haps man

anyways this song isn’t like the rest of the album whatsoever, and it’s one of the better songs I’ve heard about killing yourself.  go get it here

I’m working on a concert post, and that’ll be up… eventually :/

Cool Sneaks

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2009 by grenademonger

This is my first time appearing on this blog … so hello readers!

sneaker pimps:  the cool kids, WALE, jadakiss, big boi @ terminal 5, june 26

This past weekend I made the trek to Terminal 5 in Manhattan for the Sneaker Pimps 2009 tour. This mishmash event included sneakers (of course), live art, videogames, clothing vendors, skateboarding demos, and last but certainly not least … live music. There were multiple dj’s spinning round and round as event goers piled into the massive three story Terminal 5. Doors opened around 8ish and the dj’s had a nice run until around 11 pm. A bit tiring considering WALE was waiting in the midst and The Cool Kids to follow (not to mention Jadakiss and Big Boi rounding out the event). Terminal 5 has a great soundsystem that is easily heard throughout all three levels of this warehouse turned music venue.

The wait was tiring and WALE wasn’t what I expected. The guy has rhymes but when he picks a fight with a member of the crowd (who paid 30+ to see him) is a little unprofessional. I mean the guy is barely known throughout the country and he picks fights with paying listeners/POTENTIAL fans. Not the smartest choice Mr. WALE.

On the bright side of my terminal experience, The Cool Kids. Not only was the show rocking completely but they were the only group out of this whole show to do an audience meet ‘n greet right of the stage. I, being the huge Cool Kids fan just had to meet Chuck Inglish and Mickey Rocks. Not only did I get autographs but they actually took time to pose for pictures and chat for a bit. The only depressing thing about it was there was no one around. I was in line with twenty people. Twenty people for a sold out show at Terminal 5. Come on. If you aren’t familiar with this duo please, please, please for the sake of hip-hop get familiarized. Their performance was one hip-hop show I will never forget. No posse, no girls dancing, and no chains flyin. This was two dudes and a dj. That’s it. With fresh beats and the lyrics to match. It was a perfect fit to the Zoo York skate demo getting after it on a mini ramp fenced in directly behind the performers.

I am liking the hip-hop and skate culture mix. It has been around but to see it happen live is an experience anyone who enjoys either should check out. Speaking of mixes…one thing that did throw me off were people in the crowds. The scene was an eclectic group of hipsters, frat boys, gang bangers, hippies, skaters, and everything else in between. This was not a bad thing…just something I wasn’t expecting to see, but hey its NYC anything goes. Right?

After The Cool Kids I had decided to call it a night. It was late and the SneakerPimps people weren’t running a tight ship. In fact Jadakiss was spotted waiting to come on while Mickey Rocks introduced the last song. Jada didn’t look thrilled and I could only imagine how Big Boi felt.

All in all Terminal 5 gets mad props from me for housing the SneakerPimps unorganized mess. I totally recommend the place…full bar (beer and mixes start at $7), usually cheap depending on the act, three levels of ample room to chill, chat, walk, or party (whichever you prefer). For the SneakerPimps, it was a good effort but I have seen better organization in 4th grade classrooms. So take that or leave it.


finally got a second to talk about my day jeez

Posted in music, neither with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 19, 2009 by MonsoonSeason

jeez nox5 readers it has been a good long week, what with birthday stuff and reestablishing city friendships and starting a new job, I’ve been meaning to talk about this all week


I’m posting a job!  the very first nox5 job posting!  my camera, which was kind of a shit point-and-shoot deal, just died on me, so instead of moping and looking at my feet, I will use this as a sign.  therefore, I’ve decided to hire someone with a nicer camera, like a DSLR deal, to take pictures at events for nox5.  the pay is your admission to events.  free shows, just to snap pictures!  wow!  if interested, send me an email at nmaloneyiii (at) gmail (dot) com.

ponytail, thank you @ studio b, june 14

I turned 23 on the 14th, so I decided to go to a show.  just like I did last year!  but first I went shopping:

The Mae Shi – HLLLYH
Suicide – First Album (dlx)
Sloan – Twice Removed
The Mountain Goats – Ghana
Belle & Sebastian – Jonathan David

Life of Pi by Yann Martell
The Assignment by Michael Myers


ponytail, thank you @ studio b, june 14

the only band out of those cds that I’ve actually seen perform was the mae shi a few years ago at the now defunct launching pad in muncie, in.  they were really awesome and noisy and they did costume changes.  I would have bought HLLLYH if it was out when they played, but they were still mastering, so I just bought the remixxx album by yea big, which was totally awesome.  a track from that album is after the post.

what really drew me to the mae shi is that they really worked a crowd and put everything into their live show.  as such, they developed a straight up dyi following just for rocking shows as hard as possible.  so for the b-day show, I decided to check out another band that has been touted as being insane live, philadelphia’s ponytail, during their appearance at brooklyn’s northside festival, nearly all of which I missed (lolz birthday stuff)

so, I showed up at 9:50, because cool dads were supposed to start at 9:30 according to the website, but I know how clubs work in new york, so I was technically on time.  or so it would seem!  doors actually opened that night at 10:30p or something like that, so I wandered around for a while, looked at all the closed polish restaurants and came back.  got in for freeeee

oh shit, I should mention that studio b has this policy that if you go and it’s your birthday you get free admission to the show AND a bottle of liquor, just for being there.  so I was really excited to get that free liquor, make some friends, but when I asked about it, the bartender was all “NO SORRY NOT DURING NORTHSIDE FESTIVAL.”  I was pretty put out about that, like “oh dang sorry my birthday was at an inconvenient time for your club.”  but studio b has a giant disco ball and a great soundsystem and I didn’t want to get blackout anyway, so it’s cool!  okay studio b?  we’re cool.

but you know who is not cool?  cool dads.  it’s essentially this guy (who apparently is the booking agent of ponytail) with a guitar and four loop pedals, and he sort of has guitar practice in front of you for twenty minutes.  I’m going to be honest guys, and I’m not trying to hate, but watching someone play on a stage with no discernable structure or sense of rhythm or anything for a while then huff into the mic “thanks” and exit is not my ideal music concert.

thank you was next, and while they all wore very tight fitting polo shirts and had a theremin, were not much better.  they had songs, sure, but nothing that was tremendously ear catching.  they did a sort of screamy-sing thing like the mae shi, but not as well.  just not very interesting, thank you!  I am sorry!

by now things were running really late, and I had to get up early for my internship, so I made the resolution that I would miss crystal stilts.  that’s something that I feel really bad about, because they were probably great, but I had no choice.  next time, crystal stilts.

what to say about ponytail?  they’re a bunch of teenage kids being really energetic and playing noisy rock music, so be your own pet; but they’re prone to experiment and change time signatures, so deerhoof; but then simultaneous there’s not really anything in the way of lyrics besides molly siegel’s “AWWWWWBLBLBLBLRRRRGBBBBB” punctuating the chaos, so… ?  I’m not entirely sure how to classify ponytail, but it’s very entertaining to watch and listen.

but that’s about it.  I mean, not to sound ungrateful, because they did play a great set (the highlight of which being ‘celebrate the body electric’ off of their new album ice cream spiritual), but I”m not sure what ponytail is getting at.  p4k will wax pretentious about “this band is youth eternal” and “they inspire colors not language,” it just sounds like a bunch of kids on a stage having fun and messing around.  and while they’re all talented (well, maybe not siegel ://), it’s just not something I would go out of my way to listen to.

anyhow, how’s your day?


ponytail myspace
thank you myspace

you’re not really sold out, are you?

Posted in music, neither with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 4, 2009 by MonsoonSeason

welp, back in new york, better start blogging again.  hello to all the readers who have left since I stopped updating because there’s nothing to do in indiana except drink and play risk

so, grand return to form, let’s start with show reviews!

actually wait first:  I’m posting a job!  the very first nox5 job posting!  my camera, which was kind of a shit point-and-shoot deal, just died on me, so instead of moping and looking at my feet, I will use this as a sign.  therefore, I’ve decided to hire someone with a nicer camera, like a DSLR deal, to take pictures at events for nox5.  the pay is your admission to events.  free shows, just to snap pictures!  wow!  if interested, send me an email at nmaloneyiii (at) gmail (dot) com.

okay plug over, look here:

art brut, demander, the picture @ mercury lounge, june 1

I have recently learned that if a website confirms that a show is indeed sold out, it is just not so.

I travelled to the mercury lounge to see if I could get a scalped ticket for day one of art brut’s 5 day residency.  I actually knew about the shows for a while–when I was doing some nyc show lusting back home in indiana, I saw they were doing this kind of ridiculous residency (only ridiculous because they’re a pretty popular bound and headline mostly, and those who do residencies are usually singer-songwriter types who mumble between songs and have a Local Following), so I was definitely on board.  I did not know, however, that merc lounge was selling 5-day passes for each day for $50, which I definitely would have snagged (single passes were $18, so that’s a savings of like $40).

so I arrive, looking all sheepish because there’s nobody standing outside, no shady characters wearing rain jackets even though it’s clear out.  so I walk up to the door, brazenly, BRAZENLY, and say “yes hello any more tickets available,” even though the sign right next to me reads “ART BRUT SOLD OUT” in bold, confrontational letters.  the guy looks at the sign, looks inside, and goes, “yeah we got tickets, hold up” and ducks inside to talk to the ticket girl.

see my thought is that when a sign says SOLD OUT, it means that a venue is stuffed to capacity and any more folks inside would be against fire code, but what it really means is “hey look how populaaaar this shoooow is~” and it’s just free advertising.  if you take nothing away from this review, just know that you can probably get into a “sold out” show regardless of its sold-outedness.

drink prices at the mercury lounge are still outrageous, with PBR @ $4 per plastic cup and whiskey drinks a respectable $6 per.  I got a whiskey soda (the classy concert-goer special) and headed to the show area, which was remarkably sparse considering hold sold out the show was.  

it took a while for the picture to get up the initiative to play, but eventually they did and it was alright.  they play that sort of unremarkable keyboard-driven pop rock thing that keane does, or travis, or the walkmen.  it’d sound alright shopping for clothes, but it’s not something I’d necessarily seek out.  they did have one or two awesome moments where the drummer (who was large, fuck yeah large drummers) would really just beat the hell out of his drums, but it was ruined when the  guitarist wryly added “ooh, loud drums.”  like, shut up, douchebag, you’re undercarding art brut, of course we like loud drums.

next up were demander, who were kind of cool, mostly the guitars.. you know, I hate to say this, but the singer was kind of like amy lee of evanescence, which was a turn off.  I think maybe that’s entirely a thing with me and girl singers–if they try to be really pretty when then sing, it sounds bizarre and unpalatable.  what I’m trying to say is that the girl from demander sings really well, if you like classical singing styles, you’d probably be down.  but it was okay!  I still had fun.  franz nicolay of the hold steady showed up and played with them, and his moustache is always pleasant to view.

and then:  art brut took the stage with the force of a harrier jet, launching into “alcoholics unanimous.”  it was awesome–the band was in top form, sounding exactly like frank black recorded them on their new LP “art brut vs. satan”, crisp and direct, like a hammer to the face.  eddie argos was in typical boozy fashion, vamping around the stage and muttering new lyrics halfway through a song.  I was waiting for a “such and such band, top of the pops!” montage that he usually does during “bad weekend”, but they never played it.  c’est la vie, though, since they ripped through a bunch of my favorite tracks:  modern art, good weekend, my little brother, direct hit.  and I shouted nearly all the words, got lost in the mosh pit, and pretty much had the best party ever.  I drank too much and didn’t feel sick afterwards.  on the way out, I thanked freddy in kind of an out-of-breath “you were brilliant I will try to make it to every show” way.

and I caught the F train as it was arriving in the station!  take THAT, chance.  art brut is now the concert to beat of the year.


alright didn’t do anything tuesday, moving to wednesday


wednesday I did some job hunting, because drinks and shows in this town don’t come cheap (unless they’re free, which they are infrequently).  I was trying to find a waiter gig, because I like tips and serving, but here’s the kicker:  if you don’t have bartender-like drink knowledge, you are not wanted as a server.  sample interview:

interviewer:  name three single malt scotches.
nox5:  oh um.. johnny walker…?  *rotates hands*
interviewer:  how is your wine knowledge?
nox5:  pretty basic, I can tell you what food goes with what color
interviewer:  what do you know about winemaking regions in france?
nox5:  dude come on

and so on.  so maybe I’ll get a job at a busboy or end up working fast food and that will give me “5 years nyc fine dining experience” or “extensive champagne knowledge”

anyhow, left that interview, walking on 7th outside the rockerfeller center, who should I stumble along but art brut!  walking around!  wow!  I was bummed out and when I saw them I got excited and shouted out as they passed “art brut!  top of the pops!”  they did a nervous little laugh and a wave and I was walking around like I had just hugged a kitten and then it hits me:  oh my god, that was very rude.  I mean they’re just guys (and one lady) walking around, taking in the city, not being a rock band.  maybe they don’t want to be hounded in public by fans in ties.  I felt like a total prick.

I resolved to go to the show once more to apologize!

art brut, tiny masters of today @ mercury lounge, june 3

oh noooo, the show is sold ouuuuuttt, what will I doooooo~

now positive I can get in, I ask the guy at the door “hey tickets aren’t sold out, are they?”

“yeah, sorry.”


devastation. I can see ian and jasper of art brut at their merch table, but I can’t reach them to apologize.  and no scalpers sitting around for me to buy a ticket.  I wait outside of the venue, hoping that someone will come along with extra tickets.  I miss the first band, sorry guys, couldn’t get in.  people keep entering with tickets.  I ask the doorman if, hey maybe people didn’t show up, right?  any chance I can get in?  he sort of looks around and points to a dude smoking.  “try that guy,” he says.

I try that guy, and he has a bunch of tickets.  I don’t understand why he just showed up, he must have been watching the show inside.  I buy a ticket for actual admission price (no scalping!?) and head inside.

okay, I’m in.  busy bar.  I buy a courage drink and nervously walk to the merch booth:

nox5:  so, hey
jasper:  hello!
nox5:  I, uh, I saw you guys today..
jasper:  ?
nox5:  outside the rockerfeller center on 7th and I shouted–
jasper:  oh, you’re the “art brut top of the pops guy!”
nox5:  yeah, I’m s–
jasper:  that was awesome!  we were talking about it all day!
nox5:  oh jeez really?  I felt badly about it, I thought it was rude..
jasper:  no, it was cool!  it had never happened before.
nox5:  what really?
jasper:  (turning) ian, it’s–
ian:  oh is that the “top of the pops” guy?
jasper:  yes!
ian:  oh that was awesome, thank you!
*we do a handshake*
nox5:  wow this is not what I expected whatsoever!  btw you guys did great on monday

so yeah, that pretty much made the night fr me, compounded on the fact that two excellent acts played after that.

tiny masters of today, that preteen brother-sister band from brooklyn had a bit of trouble setting up, lots of distortion, but I mean what are you going to do they’re 12 and 13, give ’em a break.  I don’t know what was the deal with the drummer but she seemed much much older, like 26, but whatevs.  they played a good mix of bang bang boom cake and the new skeletons, which I quite like.  tiny masters play an barebones show with absolutely no stage banter, primarily because I think that they haven’t developed those skills yet. at the end of the show, ivan said “okay that’s it” and stood there awkwardly.  that’s part of the charm, I guess–kids playing music because they like it, not because they want to be famous rock stars.  they decided to end the show with a cover of “youth against fascism” by sonic youth, which was actually pretty deftly handled.  atta boy and girl and babysitter, TMOT.

art brut came on stage and did a show much like monday, with high intensity and I had fun, but significantly less fun for two reasons:  1.)  I was stuffed in the back where nobody was having fun, and 2.) there were two hipster fucking douchebags standing behind me making fun of me jumping up and down and singing along.  I mean, fuck!  how often does art brut cross the pond and play?  last time was in 2007 supporting it’s a bit complicated.  eventually I turned around and said “hey you fucking hipster scum, why don’t you cross arms elsewhere,” but that only made it worse.  I tried to ignore them, but they definitely got in the way.

but you know what?  I can take them.  it’s me and art brut vs. pretension.  and this time, I think we won.

art brut’s myspace
tiny masters of today’s myspace
demander’s myspace
the picture’s myspace

and to close out january, coachella 2009 lineup announced

Posted in music with tags , , , on January 30, 2009 by MonsoonSeason

so coachella 2009 lineup:


I know right?  this is much, much bigger than coachellas as of late (yes I know prince whatevs), with three big adds that have been requested by concert-goers since, well, ever:  morrissey, leonard cohen (first US show in HOW long?), and my bloody valentine.  I’m not a fan of morrissey (this is information for a later post), but it’s still a big deal.

so, tentative must-sees:  paul mccartney, franz ferdinand (shut up new album is special), leonard cohen, conor oberst, beirut, the black keys, girl talk, the ting tings, ghostland observatory (where you been guys), crystal castles, we are scientists, n.a.s.a., the presets, the hold steady, peanut butter wolf, noah and the whale, the bug, steve aoki, people under the stairs (!), tv on the radio, fleet foxes, mstrkrft (I won’t miss them again!), atmosphere, crookers, hercules and love affair, superchunk, the bloody beetroots, surkin & para one, calexico, liars, bob mould band, glass candy, ariel pink’s haunted graffiti (it’s like the shaggs but with synthesizers), the cure, my blood valentine, yeah yeah yeahs, throbbing gristle, X (I mean come on, X!?), antony & the honsons, public enemy, okkervil river, clipse, sebastien tellier, late of the pier, junior boys, brian jonestown massacre (although the last time I saw them was a brian jonestown dissasacre), supermayer, no age, themselves, friendly fires, the knux, and the mexican institute of mother fuckin sound.

there it is.  52 bands that I am excited to see.  that is a ticket SALE.