aa.jpgApes & Androids Thrill...
When Apes & Androids announce a show, it is not just another concert. It's an event. Whereas most bands will settle for going on stage, playing the music and taking the audience's money -- A&A treat each show as a new frontier. A unique experience that everyone in attendance can look back on and specifically remember years from now. Last Friday night was just about as unforgettable as concerts get these days. For a local band with no real representation, just a die hard fan base and infinite imagination, this felt truly like a do-it-yourself epic. The amount of time and effort that must have gone into preparing for a show like this, from building the costumes and set pieces to recruiting the chorus who joined them on stage for the finale, is just staggering. And the final production, all coming together in front of a sold out Bowery Ballroom, was a truly remarkable feat. It's almost unfair to hold other bands to the standard Apes & Androids have set for what can be done at a live show, but they manage to make nearly everything else seem underwhelming. We highly recommend checking out Steph Goralnick's photos from the night.

...While M83 Lull...
M83 is the worst type of band to head back out to Bowery Ballroom for following Apes & Androids. While they undoubtedly make their own brand of excellent, engaging music, it's hard to really get into this kind of stuff while standing around in a rock club. While it makes for great Urban Outfitters ads, it's too sparse and removed when listening to it performed in person. There is too much detachment between the band and the audience. For one, they rely too heavily on prerecorded vocals, which should be avoided at all costs during a live performance. Too many ambient electronic acts try to pull this, and it takes the audience out of the show right away -- especially when there are both perfectly capable male and female singers on stage, it cheapens the whole production. The main purpose to see live music is to get something out of it that you can't through a recording, the very least of which is to have the lyrics sung to you. For M83, some tunes are better left in your stereo.

...And Cursive Wail
Doesn't it seem as if 4 out of every 5 local Cursive shows is some sort of special, secret or unannounced thing? This week, with a new album on the horizon, the most respected name in emo was in town and played a surprise set at Pianos Monday, followed a low key show at Mercury Lounge Tuesday. They played through a set of new material, which was mostly well received, followed by a short "greatest hits" segment to satisfy the old fans in attendance. Following Monday's show, however, the party didn't end there -- Tim Kasher was later spotted at the 2nd and 2nd Karaoke bar with some friends, singing Billy Idol's "Dancing With Myself" till the wee hours. There was a beautifully incriminating video up online earlier this week, but it appears to have been taken down. Frownies.