Editor in Chief
I spent this summer paying money to have my senses assaulted. I saw the loudest concert of my life after the last day of finals when I went to Cleveland to see the stoner metal/drone/garage rock/psychedelic band Boris. The Japanese trio is notoriously deafening, and they lived up to the hype when their drummer flipped a switch that sent feedback into the audience for a solid 10 minutes. It ruled.
In June I saw the experimental hip-hop group Death Grips, who recently have made headlines for not showing up to their own concerts. Although drummer Zach Hill was absent and they played less than an hour, their harsh electronic blasts coming from the stage convinced me to invest in earplugs. Those helped greatly when I saw the legendary Melvins in July, who played with two drummers on their 30th anniversary tour just to make things heavier.
Another time I experienced total sensory overload was when I saw the movie, “Pacific Rim,” which I highly recommend to anyone who was once an 11-year-old boy. Later in the summer I saw “The Conjuring,” which I highly recommend to anyone who hates sleeping.
If a new school year isn’t enough to make you feel old, this certainly will: it’s almost been a decade since the Ashlee Simpson “Saturday Night Live” lip synching fiasco. For a decade, Simpson’s foolhardy and buffoonish jig has been my go-to association with the lesser of the sibling pair. But, no more!
After seeing Simpson play the iconic jailbird Roxie Hart from Chicago this summer, I can once again associate her with a nice set of pipes and sparkling stage presence rather than an impromptu hoedown.
With a star-studded cast that included Simpson, Drew Carey, Stephen Moyer, Lucy Lawless and Samantha Barks, not to mention the show’s director, Brooke Shields, seeing “Chicago” at the Hollywood Bowl was worth it just for the celeb sightings.
Beyond that, the show was still spectacular. Moyer and Simpson’s rendition of the ventriloquist number, “We Both Reached for the Gun,” was especially memorable.
The view of the Hollywood sign from my seat in the outdoor theater was breathtaking. Plus, with the Bowl’s BYOB policy, I don’t think any theatergoer left the show unhappy. I sure didn’t.
Editor in Chief
I’m a recovering anime nerd. Not full-on otaku, but I would know my way around a con. And being a lover of any niche genre means that at some point, I have to prepare myself for the inevitable Hollywood film adaptation.
I’ve dealt with the whispers of a live action “Akira”, weathered the terrible “Dragon Ball Z”, adaptation, and am constantly prepared for “Cowboy Bebop” to be butchered. But then, something happened this summer. And it changed everything: “Pacific Rim” was released.
“Pacific Rim” was an independent, intellectual property- a rarity these days. It was about extra dimensional giant monsters invading from a hole in space-time located in the Pacific Ocean. It was about the giant robots we build to fight them.
But mostly, it was what it would be like if an eleven year old was given permission to write ascreenplay. It’s about how awesome it is to watch a rocket power fist hit Godzilla in the face. It’s about how fantastic it is to see a sword come out of a robot’s arm and then slice a monster in half, while the pilot screams “for my family!” in Japanese. Seeing it is like being young again and
dreaming about being awesome.
From a very young age I’ve admired Talking Heads for their unapologetic weirdness and ability to make the uncool look unbelievably cool.
For the first time this summer I had the privilege of seeing the leader of the group in person. To top it all off, I was fortunate enough to not have to pay a cent to see this magnificent artist. In return for working the Apple Theater Street Team in my communnity, I would periodically receive free tickets to local events.
I have never before witnessed such an elaborate display of musicianship and commitment to professionalism in an artist. Every little idiosyncratic movement on stage was choreographed and executed without flaw.
The music of David Byrne’s and Annie Clark’s “Love This Giant” evoked the old and changing tenants of intellectual indie-rock, blurring the the lines between convention and experimentation.
A David Byrne concert is more than just a concert, but rather an experience that poses a challenge to your musical taste and complacency.
Whether you enjoy the music of the duo or not, a David Byrne & St. Vincent concert is not to be missed.
(All photos courtesy AP).