Good News for New Yorkers: Fucked Up to Play ‘David’ In Full, In the Round

fucked up david comes to life
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fucked up david comes to life

There’s a short list of releases that have captivated me thus far in 2011. And one of them is the inspiring 78-minute rock opera concept album David Comes to Life by Canadian hardcore punk band Fucked Up.

I first saw the band live at Pitchfork 2009 and since then I’ve been following their adventures over the last few years.

And the fist time I dove into David earlier this year, I was blown away on many levels. And I knew I had to see these guys perform live again, especially the songs from this album.

If the band’s name hasn’t already warned you, I’ll give you a double warning and say that Fucked Up isn’t a band that everyone will warm up to. For example, lead singer Damian Abraham gritty growl of a singing voice is harsh and I imaging most folks won’t be hip to it initially.

But it only takes a close listen to discover the beauty within the beast and realize that Abraham is a gifted lyricist who loves to use his seething and urgent growl to sing from the depth of his heart. And in this case, he expands his raw talent to tell David‘s story.

I won’t go into all the details, but I will tell you this.

I usually don’t like to read album reviews before I listen to the album so when I first listened to David Comes to Life, I wasn’t initially aware that it was a rock opera that, according to Pitchfork “tells the story of a lowly British light bulb factory worker put on trial for the accidental (or is it?) death of his activist girlfriend.”

What I did do, before I discovered the full massiveness of the back story, was get rocked and electrified to my core by the furiously rushing and rhythmic mix of punk and shoe-gazing guitars that paint the epic and ambitious sonic canvas of David.

I didn’t notice this at first but after several trips through the album, it’s absolutely mesmerizing to experience how the collective surging mass of all the instruments not only pushes the album’s story along, but the production also plays the part of the antagonist as it tries to swallow, carrying away or crush the vocals and voice of the lead character David.

But Abraham, as the album’s protagonist, howls and growls triumphantly himself throughout, while also being gorgeously complimented by the soft and sweet croon of female vocals which play the part of David’s girlfriend. This musical and highly emotive tug-of-war combination between the vocals and the layerous and lush production plays beautifully into the heart of the album. And all of this makes it really hard to believe that this is a hardcore punk album. But that it is. And it’s a VERY GOOD one.

So What’s Going On In New York?

Fucked Up came through Chicago in late September but unfortunately I wasn’t able to make the show. But I did have the pleasure of living vicariously through a review of the concert via On Warmer Music.

All this said, I’m stoked to share news for New York-area folks that Matador has announced that Fucked Up will play David Comes to Life in its entirety, in the round on November 14th at Le Poisson Rouge.

Matador also notes that this is the first time all 18 songs are played during one show, and the first time many of the songs have been played live at all. Titus Andronicus will also be on the bill so it’s bound to be a great show. Tickets are available here.

Buy David Comes to Life via iTunes.

How Have You Come To Life?

Were you at the Chicago show to witness Fucked Up at the Logan Square Auditorium or at Pitchfork 2008? Got thoughts about experiencing David live in concert? Let us know what you think and we’ll share your story and comments during a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

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100 Bands in 100 Days: Reconnecting With Live Music One Show At A Time

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In our SXSW preview, we told you about an intriguing fan-made movie called 100 Bands in 100 Days. I saw the film while we were in Austin during its world debut and it made me laugh, nearly moved me to tears and inspired me to look at live music in a new way.

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Bon Jovi Lets Fans Pick Concert Set List Via YouTube

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Continuing our series on virtual concert experiences, here’s news about Bon Jovi hosting the first ever live-streaming concert using YouTube’s new Moderator Tool, which will allow fans to help shape the set list for the band’s upcoming show.

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Why Did Fans Riot At Canceled Drake Concert In NYC?

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Concert fan behavior continues to fascinate me. And though yesterday’s riot after the canceled Drake concert in NYC is nothing to be proud of for any concert fan, it’s still yet other curious case of concert fans gone wild that we’re more than happy to examine.
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Eminem and Jay-Z Not Afraid To Rock Yankee Stadium, Comerica Park

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Ever since I posted about the Little Things and baseball, I’ve noticed just how connected live music is to the best game in the whole world. And since it’s that time of year, there’s a seasonal buzz going around about blending the two, with the most recent being a double concert this fall between Jay-Z and Eminem.
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The Benefit Of Using Humor To Promote Concerts

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Yesterday I received an email from hip hop/folk artist Tim Fite. It made me laugh like most of his quirky and oddly entertaining newsletter updates do.

But this one was special and I’d like to share it with you because of how he creatively promotes his upcoming New York show.

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Live Video Incision: Ariel Aparicio At Public Assembly

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I’m trying something new with this post.  

I received the above live concert video via email showcasing modern rocker Ariel Aparicio during a live performance of his song “The New World” at a recent show at Public Assembly in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

I enjoyed the video and I wanted to share a few important things that stood out about the video with you.

You’re now a part of a new Live Fix experiment–I hope you’ll enjoy it!

What Moves You: The Emotional Inertia of Live Concert Videos

Before we get to the details of Aparico’s video, I wanted to tell you something I’ve been meaing to share for a long time.

Live concert videos always amaze me because they can present the artist uniquely, that’s different than the average music video. And depending on how and where the video director decides to film it, the video can reveal something new about the artist that a regular music video can’t.

Usually when we’re watching a concert video, as fans, we’re in some sort of passive physical state like sitting down or lounging on the couch.   But on the inside, on some level, our emotions are going up and down and side to side.  It’s what I like to call emotional inertia. It’s similar to Newton’s Third law. But since it captures my idea perfectly,  I’m going to put the Law into an emotional context and use it to discuss the emotional and creative influence it has on the live concert film or video

Taking the Moment to the Next Level

When an artist decides to film a live concert video, it singles to me that they’re aiming to take their music to the next level.

Because when an artist records a live version of their song, they’re aiming to do one of the hardest things in all of musical performance:  which is capture both the song’s and the emotional intensity of the crowd’s response to that song forever.  In essence, what they’re also doing iscapturing the emotional interia  of the performance.  And in doing so, they’re making that live concert moment more significant and meanful for us by “moving” our hearts and minds (and maybe even our bodies) to a higher place. 

Sometimes the artist and the video director are triumphant in their quest to alter, influence or enhance the Laws of concert performance physics, or push our emotional inertia in a positive or uplifting direction.   

And others times they’re not.

If not, the emotional inertia remains unchanged, or even worse, it’s decreased  to a lower level than the actual live event they’re capturing. I know I’ve watched certain live concert videos where I’ve been a part of the live event, only to watch the video recording and feel like the two were completely unrelated.

What is a Live Video Incision?

So why bring physics in to live music?  Well, simply put: I love trying out new ways of exploring live music. It keeps things fresh. And it keeps live music from being just a thing we do to escape. Because it’s far more than that. 

Sure, it’s okay to be passive at concerts. But we should never forget that live music (good or bad show) is an event that changes us forever.  And we should always on some level be actively seeking out why it plays such a major role in our lives and culture.

So instead of just simply posting the Aparicio video, I decided to create Live Fix’s very first Live Video Incision (LVI), which is a quick way to cut into the video and find out more about the video’s emotional inertia and discuss it’s creative inspirations. Consider a LVI like doing an emotional and creative backstory biopsy on the video. Sort of like when they cut into my head a couple of weeks ago but without the sedation.

The New World’s Backstory Biopsy

After watching the video a few times, I sent a few follow up questions to Aparicio and his PR Crew because there were a few things about the video that I wanted to know more about.  And his PR crew referenced David Bowie and Julian Casablancas (The Strokes) to describe the musical style, live show performance and the sound of Aparicio’ s latest album All These Brilliant Things.  So, needless to say, my interest was peaked.

When I sent the  follow up questions for Ariel and his PR to answer, part of the LIV plan was to give them a chance to elaborate on the video background and explain a little bit more about why they chose to film  the video at the Public Assembly, and why they chose the editing and producing direction they did.  

Here’s what they had to say via a short email interview;  it’s  a combination of Aparicio’s and his PR Crew’s responses. 

What inspired to shoot the video  at the Public Assembly? 
 
Ariel wanted to add a “live” video to his catalogue and thought that Public Assembly in Brooklyn was the perfect venue to do so.
 
What inspires Ariel’s physical expressions during the performance?
 
Ariel is inspired by years of watching 100’s drag queens lip sync!  He said, “I’ve learned from the best!!!”
 
You used the words “energetic and fun” to describe his live show?
 
The way Ariel carries himself on stage exudes an energetic and fun demeanor, a feeling which reflects upon the audience’s experience at any Ariel Aparicio show. Ariel’s main focus with every live performance is to have fun, rock out, and get the crowd to do the same – so energetic and fun are just two of the many descriptive words that could be used to portray the experience that is an Ariel Aparicio show.

 

Was I Moved by The New World?

Was there any emotional inertia?

The video certainly captures the “fun and energetic” feel of  an Aparicio performance. And I especially liked their use of the word “energy” to describe his show.  Mainly because energy plays a pivotial role in inertia, especially emotional inertia.  And Aparicio does exude a large amount of emotional energy during the performance. 

So, needless to say, there was emotional inertia in this video.

It was filmed with a lot short, quick edits as Aparicio crooned, swooned and switched from singing to jamming on his guitar. I felt like I was in the front row as Aparicio flashed intimate glares directly in to the camera–and right at me! 

I’ve never been to Public Assembly, but I hope to visit there the next time I go to Brooklyn. Because when I took  brief tour of their website, it looks like a great place to see a show. It looks like a place specifically designed to enhance the emotional inertia of a performance.

But when I cut deeper into the video and looked around beneath the surface, the one thing not in the video that I would have liked to see are the fans.  Since there weren’t any fan interaction shots, I wondered if the video was shot during a live show, or without a crowd present. I wanted to know if Aparicio had altered, influenced, or enhanced the emotional inertia of any fans during the show.

That said, I was wondering if the video was made to entertain an audience of one. Or was it created so I could share the experience with other fans at the Public Assembly? 

Nonetheless, I really enjoyed receiving the Aparicio video, and it was great way to begin the new LVI feature on Live Fix.

So I’d like to also invite any other PR, or artists, to send me your live concert videos for review to chris@christophercatania.com.

Now,  I’ve started to wonder…

What are some of your favorite concert videos?

Have you ever been part of a live concert video?

Stay tuned for an upcoming post as I answer those questions and  explore the key elements to great live concert videos and films.

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Will Jay-Z, Live Nation Answer the Call on 9/11?

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Sometimes there are press conferences I wish I was at, so I could ask my own questions.

Like this one at Madison Square Garden during which Billboard reports Jay-Z announcing his plans for his “Answer The Call” charity concert set to take place at Madison Square Garden (MSG) on Sept. 11, with all tickets priced at $50, and 100% of the proceeds from ticket sales and concert merchandise going to Answer the Call, a New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund.

During the press conference Billboard also reports Jay-Z saying this about his inspiration for the concert:

“This all came about September 10, 2001. I was in Los Angeles shooting a video. The album was to come out the next day. On that day, I got a phone call and a friend of mine said, ‘turn the TV on.’ I turned the TV on and I saw the World Trade Center on fire,” Jay-Z said today before a room full of media at MSG.

“I turned the TV on September 12 and I saw footage of these heroic actions, people running to buildings and saving each other and I saw the strength of New York,” Jay-Z continued. “It made me proud. So, as I was embarking on putting out ‘Blueprint 3,’ it was only right that we revisit that day. This is my chance to do something to help out.”

 

Now, let me first say that Jay-Z is one of my favorite rappers and I’m excited to soak up the rest of his new album The Blue Print 3.  I also applaud him for his involvement in this concert event. Donating the all the proceeds from ticket sales and concert merchandise to the Answer The Call Fund is a commendable action of charity.

But there’s a follow up question I’d like to ask regarding Jay-Z’s recent 360 deal with Live Nation. 

I did some quick math on what the estimated donation might be.  At a flat $50 per ticket price and the MSG’s estimated 20,000 seating capacity, the ticket sales donation comes out to around $1 mil, plus merchandise sales. Now that’s a very healthy donation.

But here’s what I’d like to know.

Since the bulk of concert sales are usually made on concessions and Live Nation is known for tacking on service fees too, I’d like to know if the donations will also include concession sales and service fees.  If it does, my admiration and respect for Jay-Z would only increase. And I would start to think more highly of Live Nation because if they do donate concession sales and service fees then that tells me that they’re trying to do the right thing when it comes to using their immense amount of industry muscle for good, and not just trying to profit from the magical power of the live music experience in the name of a good cause.

If you have any additional facts or information that would help answer my question, please pass it along. And by all means, do join me in watching the concert on Fuse on Sept 11th.  It should be  fun and an emotional event.

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