Thirty Hertz Rumble

A bl-g about movies, music and nostalgia by James David Patrick

Tag: chvrches

CHVRCHES @ Stage AE – June 11, 2014

CHVRCHES @ Stage AE, June 11, 2014

 

CHVRCHES, Stage AE 1

Pittsburgh crowds rarely impress me for being *into* a show.

Last night, I was impressed — not just with CHVRCHES — but with the crowd. I want you to recognize how monumental that admission really is. If there’s any deterrent to me enjoying a show, it’s almost always the crowd. It’s like I seek out some reason to be intensely annoyed. On this occasion it was only the really odd girl who kept dancing at the bar when the opening act was playing.

Unprovoked rhythmic clapping and rampant fist pumping during bursts and rebirths of sound. I absorb and reflect and occasionally join the rhythmic clapping. But grand displays of enjoyment just ain’t my bag. Anything more than regular head nodding and I’ve probably had too much to drink and you might think to call me a cab. That’s just the way it goes, so it might seem strange to be “impressed” by a horde of Pavlovian concert-goers. Clap here. First pump here. Bounce here. And perhaps there’s the rub — none of it was choreographed by the band and none of it was premeditated. That’s what most impressed me, the rare spontaneity.

At the Fitz and the Tantrums show last year at Mr. Smalls, the band constantly called to the crowd for more energy. They’re a high energy band. They want a high energy crowd and they got what they wanted, but in order to get their wish they must have said “Pittsburgh” and cajoled us to great cacophony at least 27 times to get that sold-out crowd in the mood to party. Lauren Mayberry, frontwoman for the Glasgow synth-pop trio first spoke to the crowd after the third or fourth song. She admitted it was her first time in Pittsburgh. Cheers. Applause. And then admitted that all she knew about Pittsburgh came from the movie That Thing You Do when Jimmy dumps Fay and says “I shoulda dumped you in Pittsburgh!”

And that was pretty much it for the Pittsburgh talk or any talk in general. She popped back up to the podium once more to talk about how she’d also experienced her first Tornado Warning that day as well. (Happy to provide a memorable stay, Lauren, you beautiful little pixy!) But the radio silence wasn’t because she was awkward or uncomfortable speaking to the crowd. In fact, she had a warm, casual report. She just knew when to get back to the music.

CHVRCHES - Stage AE - Pittsburgh

If you’ve been read any of my year-end lists from the past two years you might remember CHVRCHES featuring prominently. (See here, here and here.) I’ve spun this record more than any record of the past dozen years and I’m pretty sure the folks that follow me on Twitter probably got tired of seeing this:

#nowplaying CHVRCHES, The Bones of What You Believe #vinyl

Some shows I just can’t understand. The empty show for Savages at Mr. Smalls, for example. I’m still stunned at the attendance. WHY WAS NOBODY THERE?!? The age of the crowd at Naked and Famous. WHY WERE YOU SO YOUNG?? And so on and so forth. Obviously CHVRCHES has struck a chord with me, but I hadn’t anticipated the widespread devotion of a sell out crowd at AE. All ages. All varieties of people. The gathering defied irresponsible generalization on my part.

CHVRCHES played a by-the-book show with tremendous energy. And though I was initially skeptical of the histrionic gyrations of Iain and Martin on their tandem synths/samples — they provided an entertaining contrast with Lauren’s general stoicism. And when Martin Doherty stole the mic for his first of two lead vocals (on “Under the Tide”), he commanded every inch of his available stage, wacking about as if on ice skates, finally unleashed from his stationary synths and samples. Of their catalog (and I believe they played all but one song) “Night Sky” was the live track that most stood out from its album counterpart. That B-Side track from Bones of What You Believe found new life and vigor. The fist pumping registered off the charts with every “oh oh oh,” the rise and fall of that track amplified ever greater by the acoustics and fiercely in-tune crowd.

A “Night Sky” sample from a recent show in Cambridge:

A night of preposterous bass (thank you, AE, for threatening me with the brown note during the encore) and killer synth and then out into the Pittsburgh night with enough time to hop over to PNC Park to catch the last of the rain-delayed Pirates game. Not that I did, mind you, because I’m an old, tired dad with two kids. I went home to turn the game on in bed… and catch up on some of the #Bond_age_ live tweeting of A VIEW TO A KILL that I’d missed out on that evening so I could finally catch CHVRCHES in the flesh… and they were well worth the wait and the sacrifice of missing out on the roast of one of the worst Bond films.

I’ll leave this post with some more CHVRCHES content because I can’t get enough.

NPR Tiny Desk

CHVRCHES covering Arctic Monkey’s “Do I Wanna Know?”

CHVRCHES covering Haim’s “Falling”

Record Store Day 2014 Wishlist by Jenn Corker

Most Wanted Record Store Day 2014 Releases

by Jenn Corker

(I first met Jenn on the now defunct tables at turntable.com. I can absolutely vouch for her impeccable taste when it comes to the sweet sounds of the 19-Alt-80’s and beyond.)

David Bowie – 1984 picture disc

David Bowie 1984 Picture Disc

Bowie is a bucket list kind of performer for me. Maybe one day I’ll get to see him in concert, if he ever deigns to return to the stage. I like the look of the disc, maybe it’ll tide me over until I can see the Thin White Duke live.

rsd14pad

Chvrches – Recover EP

CHVRCHES Recover LP

I’m a huge Sundays fan, so the lead singer of this band reminds me a lot of Harriet Wheeler. They have a very retro modern sound, and opened on a few dates for Depeche Mode on their last tour.

rsd14pad

Nirvana – Pennyroyal Tea

Nirvana Pennyroyal Tea

I’m just a Nirvana fan, regardless of what anyone thinks of them. It’s been 20 years since Kurt’s gone, and I can only imagine what would have come next. I would love to find this on RSD for sentimental reasons.

rsd14pad

Joy Division – An Ideal For Living

Joy Division An Ideal for Living

Super excited about this one. I’ve been an enormous Joy Division fan for as long as I can remember. This is the vinyl release of their debut EP.

30Hz Top 100 Songs of 2013

I’m only one dude. I essentially have four jobs. I have no idea when I find the time to listen to enough music to come up with 100 favorite tracks. My 2013 playlist contains more than 7 days worth of music. And that doesn’t even count all the stuff I check out on Spotify and dismiss. But even with all that listening, it’s blind, dumb, stupid luck when a certain song catches my fancy. On some occasions, a song is thrust in my face with the force of the 800 lb. mainstream music machine and those songs must endure hundreds of listens. Staying power, m’f’ers. See: Arcade Fire, Daft Punk. Other times I fall instantly in love with a record. The songs grab me immediately. Those are the easy ones. The bands and the songs I control. See: Frightened Rabbit, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, Polica. And then there’s that final category. Hearing a song, being in the right frame of mind to accept its advances. You might hear a song a dozen times before it catches you at just the right moment. See: half the songs on this list. For every great song on this list, there are hundreds of equally worthy songs that I just didn’t hear or didn’t hear at the right time in the right place. And to those songs, my apologies. Try harder next time. Everyone else, enjoy the list. Find some new music. Support great artists and music worth listening to and so on and so forth. And keep in mind that the ranking system is just for fun. Any of these songs could movie ten spots in either direction given my mood…

The 30Hz Top 100 Songs of 2013

30Hz Best Songs of 2013

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