The Alpha Primitive

Film reviews, essays, commentary and sundry writings

Filtering by Category: Music

Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under

Yesterday, Amanda Palmer released her newest album, the full length Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under (with all requisite references and entendres entirely intended) as a digital download on her site. The standard variable price structure applies, but anyone can have it for the low low price of 69 cents (a number that is likely just as deliberate as the title and cover of the album). As such, considering the price, I encourage everyone to buy it. Pretty good deal, all things considered, getting an entire album of twelve songs for less than the price of one song on iTunes. Obviously, those with a particular affinity for Miss Palmer probably already have the thing, as there’s no real reason not to. The question, of course, for the critic in the room (or so I consider myself, lack of credentials and all), is whether it’s any good.

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Rammstein at Madison Square Garden

December 11, 2010 was an important day indeed for industrial music fans in America. Rammstein, arguably one of the most successful industrial metal bands of the past fifteen years, returned after nine years without playing a single concert on US soil for a one time only show at Madison Square Garden. It required a bit of creative transportation, but I made the trek down to New York City to take in the show that sold out blisteringly quickly. Seats were in the second level of the bowl, the 300 level halfway down the stage right side of the arena. The lighting rigs and speaker systems threatened to potentially obstruct viewing of parts of the stage, but it didn’t look like it would be too much of a problem. I sat down and got ready for the opening band.

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The Dresden Dolls Reunion at the Wilbur Theater: Night Two

It’s 6:12 pm and I’m once again standing outside the Wilbur Theatre, cold and alone in a line of like-minded people, slightly further away from the entrance compared to Tuesday. It’s funny watching the types of people that are attracted to go to a show for a band like the Dresden Dolls.Most of these folks are probably pretty similar personality-wise; it takes a certain something to be in tune with Brechtian punk cabaret, after all. What’s intriguing is the way we choose to dress and act, ranging widely from full on gothed out leather and makeup to a suit and tie coming straight from work, as well as basically the combination of the two, which is me (I’m wearing a black dress shirt and black pants with a blood red and black tie, black leather trenchcoat and black pork pie hat). I see it all in the line. It reminds me of singing along to Tuesday night’s set alongside 15 year old high school students and 40+ year old working professionals. Music does that to the world. It brings us together and unites us, regardless of backgrounds, personal bias, prejudice. Sometimes you just let it all wash away and enjoy the moment.

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The Dresden Dolls Reunion at the Wilbur Theater: Night One

It’s about ten after six on a cold night in Boston. I’m leaning against a wall on Tremont Street directly underneath the billboard outside the Wilbur Theatre. Every now and then, the billboard flips to a close-up of the faces of Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione in full make-up, with a simple tag line: THE DRESDEN DOLLS. TONIGHT.

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Heroes Week: Taking the Downtown Train with Tom Waits

Anyone who knows me should fully expect that this article was coming. My love for Tom Waits is pretty extreme. I consider his music to be of the highest quality of any music I’ve heard in my life. And yes, he’s one of the few I can put above The Beatles. Oddly enough, my first exposure to Tom Waits as such was not through his music. I first became aware of him from his role in Mystery Men. I had seen him in other films like The Fisher King and Bram Stoker’s Dracula prior to that, but I didn’t have an idea of who he was. I was exposed to his music thanks in part to Firewater’s cover of “Diamonds and Gold” from Songs We Should Have Written. I went on a three month Tom Waits binge that summer, buying nearly every album he released in his long career, and just fell in love with his gruff voice, his lyricism, his view of the world. Real Gone was released later that year, and I was fully hooked.

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