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It's Still Rock N' Roll To Me

I used to work at a CD store in Minnesota. We would get *tons* of free promo stuff: CDs, posters, movies, t-shirts. But most of all, we would get free concert tickets. If sales weren't going well (or even if they were), promoters would peel off a few rows of seats or standing-room-only tickets and hend them out. I was a lonely colletge student trying to be straight, so I spent almost every night at First Avenue and 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis, a dirty little theater/bar that Prince made famous in "Purple Rain".

After college, I think I was burned out, and I stopped going to shows. But I also got tired of paying fifty bucks for a ticket, with a TicketBastard twenty dollar "handling charge" added on. And then when I got to the concert and paid for parking, waited in line for an hour to be patted down ineffectively and hassled about my belongings, I got to stand next to a cigarette or pot smoker, or worse, somebody on a cell phone who talked during the entire show. But who cares, since most bands play the songs exactly the way they sounded on the record anyway, because that's what the audience wants: no solos and no surprises.

I've been getting back into live music lately. Mostly because I enjoy the fellowship of seeing a show with a friends. And dancing my ass off with bears and getting sweaty. It can be a magical experience, particulary if you catch the right band at the right venue at the right moment in their career.

Here is a list of rock bands I'd like to see live.

* = very much

* Amanda Palmer (again)
* Andrew Bird
Animal Collective
Aphex Twin
* Arcade Fire
Arctic Monkeys
Art Brut
* Battles
Ben Folds/ Ben Folds Five (again)
Biffy Clyro
* Bloc Party
Bob Mould (again)
Calexico (again)
Chemical Brothers (again)
Cold War Kids
Daft Punk (pryamid tour)
* Damian Rice
* Death Cab For Cutie
Depeche Mode
DeVotchKa (again)
Dresden Dolls
Fatboy Slim (again)
Fleet Foxes (again)
Flight Of The Conchords
Flogging Molly
Fountains of Wayne
Girl Talk (again)
Gogol Bordello
Hercules And Love Affair
Hot Chip
Husker Du reunion
Jim Noir
Jose Gonzalez
Junkie XL
* Kaiser Chiefs
Kate Nash
Kings Of Leon
* Kraftwerk
Les Savy Fav
* Low
Man Man
Mark Ronson
* Mika
My Morning Jacket
Nine Inch Nails (again)
Of Montreal
Portishead (again)
Prince (again)
R.E.M. (again)
* Regina Spektor
* Richard Thompson (again)
Rilo Kiley
* Robyn Hitchcock
Soul Coughing reunion
Tears for Fears reunion
Tegan and Sara
The Apples In Stereo (again)
The Avalanches
The Bravery
* The Decemberists
The Fratellis
* The Futureheads
* The Hives
The Killers (again)
The New Pornographers
The Pipettes
The Polyphonic Spree
* The Raconteurs
The Raveonettes
* The Replacements reunion
* The Shins
* The Swell Season
The Thermals
The Vines
The White Stripes (again)
They Might Be Giants (again)
Tool (again)
TV On The Radio (again)
U2 (again)
Underworld (again)
XTC reunion

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What? No Billy Joel ?<grin>

I thought he died. Or was that just his career?

Nope. he's still concertizing. as far as I know. and IMHO, far more 'accessible' than a lot of the bands you listed!

I do have problems with aging rock "giants" who feel justified in charging $250 for a mediocre stadium show.

For that much money, I could buy their entire remastered catalog on whatever that decade's new media is -- or just all their past live shows and the iPod to listen to them on.

I know, but these "giants" are becoming *scarce* nowadays ;(



I love this post. :)

Gogol Bordello were amazing in concert. I saw them about 2-3 years ago at the Paradise Rock club. They were on a bill with Reverend Glasseye and some Californian band whose name I can't recall. Really high energy show and their violin player's hot ;-)

Hüsker Dü. To this day, I laugh my ass off. I saw them live at Great Woods, they opened for The Bangles on their "Different Light" tour. That must have been 1986 or 1987.

I keep missing The Raveonettes live. There were here like 3-4 months ago, but I didn't realize until it was too late :-(

Yes, I'm not fabulously wealthy and some groups are charging insane.

I really enjoyed the second-to-the-last time I saw Kraftwerk, but I wouldn't go again until that change their show.

I never heard of The Polyphonic Spree before, so I googled them. They're cool, kind of like a musical incarnation of ADD.

A friend of mine used to do the lighting for, "Death Cab for Cutie".

I don't know if they're still close, but if circumstances ever circumstood, I'd tell him to let you go backstage...

Mind you, he might tell me to get stuffed!

One of the things I like about ZZ Top and Jethro Tull is that they do occasionally go a little "free form" and play around during a concert. One of the advantages of being an "established act," I suppose. ZZ is especially prone to do so when they're playing a biker event, as opposed to being on tour for a particular album. (Dusty Hill's biker version of "The Ballad of Jed Clampett" is something you'll only ever hear at such a concert. ;)

Thumbs Up for Goldfrapp, Rilo Kiley & XTC

Would love to see all 3

Come see Arcade Fire here.

Barring the death of David Gahan, I'll be seeing Depeche Mode (for the first time) this spring here.

Is an XTC or a Tear-for-Fears reunion likely?

I'd love to see They Might Be Giants (and lots of other ones on your list).

It's so awesome that you've seen Portishead. Real jealous there, boy. When did you go? Was it their most recent album tour? (I love "Machine Gun" and imagine --based on Youtube videos-- that it's brilliant live)

Re: the Icky Billy Joel. One of my buddies from Jersey opened for him. You two should meet up if only to talk music.

Have you seen RIP!: A Remix Manifesto? I highly recommend it and I'd like your thoughts. It features Girl Talk prominently and has a brilliant deconstruction of the Rolling Stones/Verve case in a historical perspective.

Here's one of my new favourite Montréal bands, STARS.

I also recommend my friends' band, Trips and Falls, but the only videos for them we uploaded and aren't very high quality sound/video. The cublet recommends the CBC Radio Three website.

Battles are phenomenal live. Saw them a couple of years ago, just before everyone started going apeshit over them.

Biffy Clyro make me sick. And both times I've seen them they've been really really bland.

Flogging Molly are OK, not a big fan though.

Interpol live are phenomenal. So were Editors circa the first album (saw them in a sweaty shoebox venue, supported by Forward, Russia and The Cinematics. Still possibly the greatest gig of my life!)

NIN and TMBG were both mindblowing when I saw them, but I've seen Tool twice. The first time was great, but the second time was really really underwhelming. Possibly due to the venue.

And I've had tickets to see both Spoon (missed the train) and TV On The Radio (gig was moved to the DAY BEFORE IT SAID ON THE TICKET with no publicity whatsoever).

My biggest live music regrets? Not going to see the Pixies reunion, and missing Death From Above 1979 with Metric and Test Icicles supporting. That one still haunts me!

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