Robots That Rock: The Creative Possibilities of Compressorhead

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Now, this post is probably one of the most mechanically interesting and robotically entertaining posts I’ve shared with you in quite awhile, and it’s also got me thinking about a few things.

 

The band is called Compressorhead and to be honest their live performance is a bit robotic.

But that’s a good thing because these dudes are creative bunch. Well, at least the guys who created the band are creative.

 

 

 

Watching this video reminds of going to showbiz pizza as a kid and watching the animatronic bears move and sing as I scarfed down pizza and soda.  But thinking of this sort of thing in a live music context really fascinates me, and it takes things to a whole new mental, physical and emotional level.

And, according to this link, Compressorhead has made a recent live appearance at the Big Day Out festival too. And they have a fan club called the meatbags.

I also wonder if this is what Daft Punk had in mind when they wrote the “Robot Rock.”  Wouldn’t it be cool to see Compressorhead and Daft Punk do a show together.

Speaking of creative shows, what about putting Compressorhead with Tupac to evolve our sci-fi gangsta rap exploration, or maybe invite Japanese artist Hatsume Miku to do vocals and add a bit of pulsing electro-pop to the mix?

And considering our exploration of heavy metal in the Middle East I wonder how Compressorhead would be welcomed in that part of the world? And could these guys cause a riot like Metallica?

And what if we did an experiment to compare the emotional response to a Compressorhead show versus a live human band? What would we discover? Would the emotional response be different? If so, how?

The possibilities and creative wonderings are endless, really.

Check out the video above and more videos here, and let me know if you would go see Compressorhead live and if you would like to see more of these types of bands. If you’ve seen them live, drop a comment and we’ll share your story on a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

This is just the beginning of our Compressorhead exploration and stay tuned for more!

 

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Watch Ra Ra Riot Debut New “Beta Love” Tunes Live On YouTube

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In case you missed it, last night Ra Ra Riot performed live at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn and the festivities where livestreamed on YouTube. The show celebrated the release of the band’s new album “Beta Love” and kicks of their upcoming tour.

 

 

Now you can watch the performance for a limited time here or via the player above.

While I was watching the show I was definately enjoying the synthy swaying of the new tunes and thinking about these previous Live Fix Ra Ra Riot explorations. The in-between song chatter of lead singer Wes Miles was funny and entertaining, and gave fans a peek inside his heart and mind as he shared how he was feeling as the concert unfurled.

And since the show featured a new lineup I was also thinking of how the band chemistry, dynamics and artist emotions were unfolding and evolving onstage for this first show.

I hope you enjoy the show too and let us know what you think of it in the comments below, and we’ll share your experience on a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

SETLIST
1. Too Too Too Fast
2. Shadowcasting
3. Binary Mind
4. Oh, La
5. Beta Love
6. Angel Please
7. Too Dramatic
8. St. Peter’s Day Festival
9. Is It Too Much
10. Dance With Me
11. Can You Tell
12. When I Dream
13. For Once
14. Two Hearts Beat As One
15. Run My Mouth
16. Ghost Under Rocks
17. Boy

(Encore)
18. Dying Is Fine
19. I Shut Off

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What Does Madonna’s Istanbul Nipple Flash Mean To Istanbul Fans?

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As we know, Madonna live always makes for a very interesting concert experiment especially when she does free Super Bowl shows to promote her latest album MDMA.

And now we have some more fleshy and controversial fodder to continue our exploration. (Note: the video above includes brief nudity just before the 3 minute mark, so it’s NSFW.)

As Idolator reports, the Material Girl had her own politically-charged and artistically premeditated wardrobe malfunction while on tour when she recently bared her breast during a concert in Istanbul.

I’m not all that shocked by the nipple-flashing because this kind of thing has always been a part of Madonna style and m.o. throughout her provocative career.

That said, Madonna has never been one to just do something without a purpose behind her actions.

There’s always a method to the Queen of Pop’s madness.

For example, according to reports from the Huffington Post:

So, by assertively flashing her nipple in Istanbul, Madonna was, in the cultural realm, doing something similar for the women of Turkey, perhaps helping to liberate them just a little bit. And what would she follow that up with? A few days later, last week in Rome, she flashed her butt to the crowd. I happened to be in Rome, and I got a chuckle when some in the Italian media actually took note that Madonna’s ass was facing the Vatican. Was she mooning the Pope?

and the Ironcross,

Islamic fundamentalism starts with the oppression of women at home. It starts with a so-called man who oppresses his closest companion, his wife, into a state of virtual slavery. The man decides what the wife will wear, who she will contact, and what she will do. The answers being a full covering of the hijab or burkha, she will have contact with no one, and she will not have a career. The next step comes with a morbid fear of female sexuality. See Mohammed Atta’s, the lead hijacker, last testament which rails against women far more forcibly than anything of a political bent. These people just can’t handle the fact that girls have a sex drive and devote their entire lives to trying to deny that fact. I do not buy into Sigmund Freud much but if he is correct it is in the world of Islam.

Which makes Madonna, a strange messenger to be sure, a perfect vessel to raise the proverbial middle finger to the oppression of women through a nipple in the face of islam. Perhaps she knows not what she does, nor may this be what I am reading into it, but I have to say the Material Girl has her moments.

From an artistic point of view it has great imagery as it shows Islam its greatest fear: a woman with a sex drive and who is proud of it. From a political standpoint: deliberate wardrobe malfunctions have been turned into political statements.

Was It Meant To Inspire, Provoke or Entertain?

I would say it little of bit of all of those. Which of course demostrates the brilliance of how Madonna goes about stirring the political and cultural pot for her worldwide following of fans.

But you still have to wonder…

If Madonna’s breast-barring was a political statement, was it intended to inspire liberation for the oppressed Islamic women in the crowd?

And if it was meant to inspire then does this kind of statement turn the female (and male) fans at the show into active participants or does it keep the audience stuck in neutral as passive entertainees, aka Looky-Loos?

And since Madonna is a woman performing such an action for a crowd of women, it brings back thoughts of how women experience live music in general and in other countries?

And does this type of action during a concert have any long-lasting impact on the lives of the female fans who witnessed it live?

Well, whether it’s Super Bowl shows or moments of political flesh-barring, Madonna sure is giving away a lot for free lately. Or was the nipple included in the cost of the ticket? And do Istanbul fans feel that they got what they paid for and so much more?

Were You At the Istanbul or Rome Show?

Have you seen Madonna live before? Post your thoughts and experiences below and we’ll share them on a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

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Happy Mother’s Day: Tupac and Kanye Celebrating Mom With Transcendent Rhymes

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Happy Mother’s Day!  One of my favorite songs about a son expressing his love and appreciation for his mom is Tupac’s “Dear Mama.”

I can’t say that I relate completely with all the lyrics, but the universal emotional sentiment that Tupac expresses is spot on. And that’s what makes the song transcendent and eternally awesome. And the emotion and realness with which Tupac performed this song is a big reason why his music still moves us and his hologram rocked our world.

And like Tupac, Kayne West continues the same tradition with “Hey Mama,” another classic tribute and a personal favorite. And I love this live version.

 

So go hug your mom and tell her that you love her today (and everyday too). And as Tupac points out, we remember those moms that have passed on.

Enjoy the videos and stay tuned as we continue our annual Mother’s Day tribute with an upcoming episode of Live Fix Radio to celebrate and remember how live music changed the lives of moms everywhere.

We’d love to hear about your favorite mom-centric live music stories. Post them below and we’ll include them in our Mother’s Day episode.

 

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Sci-Fi Gangsta Rap Gigs: I Want To See Tupac Perform In Space

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Yes, it’s amazing what our imaginations can dream up before technology can make it happen.

I say this because when I let my imagination run wild during my Adventures of Johnny Rawkwriter experiment I wrote about the first concert in space where the venue would allow you to re-experience or venture back to shows you didn’t experience via holograms that were so lifelike that you could feel, see, taste and hear everything,  as if it were right there in front you.

After watching the video of Tupac performing at Coachella as a hologram, I’m thinking that we’re closer to the first concert-in-space experience than we might realize.

That said, I’m going to re-visit my story and write a second chapter about a secret location on Earth where we were testing the technology before we headed in to space to unveil it.

However, that second chapter turns out, I know that I would add Tupac to the concert-in-space bill while considering a few things…

Besides the futuristic sci-fi possibilites, I also thought about the emotional elements that made this Tupac hologram so alluring and intriguing to explore.

Why Did Fans Love This?

We know what happens to our emotions during concerts and one of the biggest drivers to that emotionally-charged experience is nostalgia, awe and mystery. Three things that have been at the heart of this Tupac hologram story.

Fans who saw Tupac when he was alive likely got a big shot of nostalgia as memories of his live show and love for his music came rushing back. I imagine those fans wanted to re-experience those moments and this hologram gig allow them to do so, if only for five minutes.

And I’m surprised some fans didn’t rush the stage to try and give Tupac a welcome back hug.

Then there are the fans that never got the chance to see Tupac live and this Coachella gig was a chance for them to do so, even if it wasn’t really him, it was the next best thing.

What Was Snoop Dogg Feeling?

From the artist perspective, I watched the video wondering what it must of been like for Snoop Dogg to be on stage performing with the virtual Tupac.

Was he freaked out, happy, or excited? Probably a mix of both.

And I imagine he probably felt a mixed rush of grief and mourning rise up in him as he had the chance to perform again with a friend.

Tupac vs. Hatsume Miku vs. Biggie

The next thing I thought about was our recent exploration of the Japanese virtue artist Hatsume Miku who performed via satellite for the first time to American audiences.

It was amazing to explore how concert fans respond to a completely virtual artist. We figured Hatsume Miku wouldn’t be last time we’d see something like this, and after the Tupac gig, that’s pretty much been confirmed.

So will we eventually see Tupac perform live with Miku? Or as some fans commented on the YouTube video, will we see a holographic battle rap between Biggie and Tupac?

Who Would You Want To See?

Was the Tupac hologram more creepy or innovative?

Would you pay to see your favorite dead artist re-born as hologram live in concert?

What artist would you want to see perform as hologram?

How does this change the live concert experience? What does this reveal to us about what goes on in our minds and hearts during concerts?

During concerts, how much are our emotions driven by powerful subconscious associations to nostalgia, longing, happiness and grief?

Share your concert experiences and thoughts in the comments below, on Twitter @livefixmedia, on Facebook, Google Plus, or call the concert fan hotline at 773-609-4341, and we’ll include them in a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

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Are These Kids Superstitious About Live Music and Life?

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It’s Friday the 13th and we know all about the strange and superstitious fears of live music.

But what about the development of our fears?

I ask this because I’ve noticed that many fears and superstitions  we have when we’re younger no longer have the same power over us as they once did.

And, as we get older, we develop and learn new fears that we didn’t have when we were younger.

That said, I’ve been pondering the possibility of whether or not these young and rockin’ concert fans (at the 4:10 minute mark) on the set of Sesame Street grew up to be superstitious about live music or life. How did  this intimate VIP set with Mr. Wonder impact their thoughts and beliefs about being afraid or being lucky?

And speaking of kids, you gotta wonder how superstitious these kids are too.

How ‘Bout You?

What are your most superstitious concert experiences? What’s your luckiest or unluckiest live music moment?

Share your fears and superstitions in the comments below, on Twitter @livefixmedia, on Facebook , Google Plus, or call the concert fan hotline at 773-609-4341, and we’ll include them in a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

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Why Do We Act Like This At Concerts?

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Got a fun video for ya.

Besides being highly entertaining, I love this video because it takes us deeper into our Looky-Loo and other emotional experiments to explore one of our favorite live concert behavioral topics.

Kudos to Brandi for sharing her story and getting us to think more about how we do, or don’t, respond physically to the music during a show.

But after watching the video I started to wonder…

What type of behavior is more beneficial and rewarding for us: physically rocking out and drenching ourselves in sweat, like Brandi suggests? Or can we experience the same amount of pleasure by not getting physical and simply enjoying a more internal and cerebral rush?

I think it’s a mix of both. But if that’s the case, we must ask ourselves more questions because we might be selling ourselves short during our favorite shows.

Could We Be Selling Ourselves Short?

If we are selling ourselves short, should we push ourselves to rock out more externally if we tend to opt for the more internal pleasure route?

After talking with the Dancing Guy about his experience, it’s possibly that those fans who let loose and dance/mosh/crowdsurf at shows tend to have more fun than those who just stand around with their arms folded.

But on the flipside,  during some of my recent favorite shows where the music didn’t make me want to dance or get physical, the music still set off a whole bunch of pleasurable emotional fireworks in my mind helping me to feel and process grief, joy and other concert emotions.

Are We Missing Out?

I know that having balance in general is good for us as a species, so I wonder about the negative effects if we do too much of either.

And if we’re unbalanced and rock out to much internally or externally, are we missing out on something? Are we keeping ourselves from having an amazing concert experience?

Brandi also got me thinking about our recent Bon Iver fan moment, where one fan was so moved that he wanted to inspire other fans to rock out but those Chicago fans didn’t want to rock out, they wanted to sit back, relax and chill out.

That said, one of my favorite parts of her video is at the 2:00 mark where Brandi shares her thoughts on watching a girl at a show who was holding back her desire to rock out for fear of being rejected by her friends.  Should we add the “fear of being rejected at a concert” to our list?

How About You?

Have you ever given into the peer pressure when on the inside you wanted to let your inner fan rock out and not care what other people thought? What made you hold back? And if you overcame the pressure, how’d you do it?

Speaking of peer pressure, why do we care so much about what people think at show? We paid money and if we’re not annoying people or hurting anyone, then we shouldn’t care what anyone else thinks, right?

But we all know that doesn’t happen. Because peer pressure is strong and rarely do we rise above our society’s pressure or our own inhibitions at concert without the help of drugs or alcohol.

Overall, the video is great fodder to explore and I’d love to know what you think of it and the other points Brandi makes.

I’ll be thinking about this stuff during my next concert and I invite you to post your comments below and we’ll share them on a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

Thanks again to Brandi for post the video and we welcome you to the Live Fix community!

 

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Concert Preview: Gotye Wants To Paint His Way Into Your Heart

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I found some more fodder for our recent experiment with love and live music.

It’s the video for the song “Someone That I Used To Know” by Austrialin musician Wally De Backer (aka Gotye) who will be touring the US for the first time this spring.

As one of the most creative music videos I’ve seen in awhile, it’s no surprise that it’s has racked up over 70 million views on YouTube. The song alone is mysterious and alluring, and the seductive visual storytelling just makes the experience even more provocative and engaging.

After watching just the first minute I immediately began to wonder…

How will Gotye transfer such a palpable and sensual video experience to his live show?

What will the shows teach us about what triggers our emotions during concerts?

What type of emotions will bubble up in the hearts of fans as Gotye’s performance unfurls on stage?

Will it lead fans to find and feel love at the show?

How will fans react to watching the video online versus experiencing the song live in concert?

Hey, Where’s The Body Paint?

After watching Gotye’s debut US performance on Jimmy Kimmel this past week, Kimbra was there to sing her part, but it doesn’t look like there’s any body paint being used to connect the video with the live show.

But again, just because the video isn’t being duplicated on stage doesn’t mean that it won’t be on constant rotation in fans’ minds during the show. As concert fans, our emotions usually kick in automatically, especially when we’re enticed by the memory of such a captivating video.

A Different Kind of Tour Primer

Yes, many bands have videos that precede their tours. But I think Gotye’s video is different because it is so visually stunning, sonically sensual and psychologically triggering. It has the power to conjure all sorts of strong emotions for fans subconsciously in ways other haven’t. And that’s what Gotye has going for him as he tours across the US and hopefully into journeys deep into the hearts of American fans.

What About The Emotional Fallout?

But there could be a downside to such a successful video.

What if fans come to the show expecting to have the same experience during the concert as they had while watching the video, and Gotye doesn’t deliver on those expectations?

We’ve all had moments where we watch a great video online only to be completely let down at the show. So could the same creative backfire happen to Gotye? Possibly. But I think something else will happen. And we’ll have to wait and see.

Whatever happens, I’m looking forward to hearing what you experience during the show so we can continue our exciting Gotye live experiment.

What’s Your Gotye story

Have you seen Gotye live? What did you feel during the concert? What other videos have created similar pre-concert emotional experiences for you?

Tell us what you think and share your concert experiences and thoughts about in the comments below, on Twitter @livefixmedia, on Facebook , Google Plus, or call the concert fan hotline at 773-609-4341, and we’ll include them in a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

Check out Goyte’s tour schedule and other tunes here, and watch his interview below via “Off Duty,” a new series from the Wall Street Journal.

Jimmy Kimmel US live debut

 

WSJ interview

 

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What They Do Before The Show: Wilco, Mavis Staples, Nick Lowe Jam Backstage

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I’ve always wondered what artists do backstage to warm up and get in the mood before a show. And my chats with Saul Williams, Ant of Atmosphere and Secret Machines all gave me a fantastic look in to the psychological, behavioral and emotional baselines of an artist before they perform.

And because of those experiences I began to experiment with the concept of a BAAD show. And see how Broken Social Scene does this too.

All this said, I love the above backstage video via Paste of Wilco, Mavis Staples and Nick Lowe, warming up backstage before their recent December show in Chicago at the Civic Opera House.

Watching the clip I thought about our amazing experience seeing Mavis Staples at the Hideout Block Party and the fact that Wilco is still one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen.

How ’bout you?

What do you think of this backstage clip? Were you at the Civic Opera House or any of the other Wilco shows in December? Does watching this video change or enhance your concert experience?

Share your concert experiences and thoughts in the comments below, on Twitter @livefixmedia, on Facebook or call the concert fan hotline at 773-609-4341, and we’ll include them in a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

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DMX Fan Tries To Give Rapper “Welcome Back” Hug During Show

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I don’t know about you, but I think most concert fans don’t have evil intentions.

Most of us just want to spread love, escape and have a good time during a concert.

But sometimes what happens is that we get so worked up and emotional at a show that we just can’t contain ourselves.

And believe me, I know the live concert experience can make us do a wide range of crazy things, even when there’s no “external substances” flowing through our bodies.

In response to the natural emotional surge that live music generates within us we’ve been known to …

riot,

rush the stage,

cause earthquakes,

fight each other,

flash someone else’s police badge,

cut ourselves,

get creative,

do Harry Potter chants,

tweet what we love/hate,

grieve and mourn,

return Rolex watches,

try to sneak drugs in and get caught,

get married,

make documentary films,

create complaint choirs,

get really scared,

start dancing swarms,

and celebrate our weirdness.

Those are just a few of the things that concerts can make us do. And when I read this TMZ DMX story, initially, like most of us, I thought the worst too.

But then I thought… what if the fan was simply so overjoyed to see DMX back on stage that he just wanted to give DMX a big “welcome back” hug and not a harmful headlock?

Of course, there’s always several complex perspectives to this kind of fan behavior. And as of today, we really don’t know much about this DMX fan or why he jumped up on stage.

So why do we automatically assume he had malicious intentions?

We just never know until we actually talk with the fan to get his side of the story.

This DMX situation also makes me wonder if it was a crafty pre-meditated publicity plot to generate some DMX concert buzz.

I say that because the fan just easily popped up on stage, did his attempted headlock/hug and then security grabbed him and DMX went right on with the show as if he knew it was coming.

Anything is possible and the psychological subplots to the live music experience are so fascinating to uncover, which is why we love exploring and experimenting with this stuff.

How ‘Bout You?

Were you at this DMX show? What’s the funniest, weirdest, craziest fan behavior you’ve seen? What do you think of concert fan behavior?

Share your concert experiences and thoughts in the comments below, on Twitter @livefixmedia, on Facebook or call the concert fan hotline at 773-609-4341, and we’ll include your stories in a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

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Remembering Weezer: How Does Our Brain Process, Recall Concert Memories?

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Ah, memories. It’s one of the reasons why we love going to concerts.

And during our recent Weezer concert adventures I recorded the video above, and ever since that night I’ve been wondering about and exploring how our brains and concert fan emotions have been processing that unforgettable moment.

For starters, I found this interesting Science Daily article that explains how recent research has made it “… possible to “read” a person’s memories just by looking at brain activity..”

And here’s how they’re doing it:

Demis Hassabis and Professor Eleanor Maguire at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at UCL (University College London) have previously studied the role of a small area of the brain known as the hippocampus which is crucial for navigation, memory recall and imagining future events. Now, the researchers have shown how the hippocampus records memory.

When we move around, nerve cells (neurons) known as “place cells”, which are located in the hippocampus, activate to tell us where we are. Hassabis, Maguire and colleagues used an fMRI scanner, which measures changes in blood flow within the brain, to examine the activity of these places cells as a volunteer navigated around a virtual reality environment. The data were then analysed by a computer algorithm developed by Demis Hassabis.

“We asked whether we could see any interesting patterns in the neural activity that could tell us what the participants were thinking, or in this case where they were,” explains Professor Maguire, a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow. “Surprisingly, just by looking at the brain data we could predict exactly where they were in the virtual reality environment. In other words, we could ‘read’ their spatial memories.”

That’s pretty amazing stuff!

And It’s Got Me Thinking…

What if I was able to hook up my brain to an fMRI scanner before, during and a several weeks after this Weezer show?

What would I learn about my own experience?

What would I discover about how my brain stores and recalls the memories of my favorite concerts?

What would I learn about how those memories help me navigate other moments in my life like when I’m coping with loss or grief?

What If We Could Compare?

Since that Weezer show, I’ve also been thinking about how I had the pleasure of chatting with other Weezer fans before the show and how I would love to see their rMRi scan results too.

I would love to compare our scans and see how different or similar our Weezer concert experiences were.

How Would Your Brain Navigate?

The Science Daily article goes on to explain how other studies have been done to see how taxi drivers remember city streets and how our brain’s neurological makeup places a vital role in that process.

That said, I would love to explore how our concert fan brain navigates the emotionally complex environment of a live show.

What would our amazing emotional journey during a concert look like represented on a fMRI scan?

Speaking of Memories…

Were you at this Weezer show? Have you ever wondered about how your brain recalls and navigates concert memories?

Thanks for following along and let us know what you think about about this topic in the comments below, and we’ll share your stories on future episode of Live Fix Radio.

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Dexter Characters Plan To See Avett Brothers Live, Murder Gets In the Way

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Continuing our exploration of the primal connection between one of my favorite TV shows and live music, I’d like to share a moment that happened during tonight’s season six episode of Dexter.

Two characters, Dexter’s nanny Sonya and her gamer boyfriend Louis, were supposed to go see the Avett Brothers live for a date night. But the plot took a murderous twist and they didn’t end up going to the show.

So, in the spirit of Dexter’s serial-killer-loose-in-Miami theme, I thought I’d pass along a most appropriate live version of the Avett Brothers’ “Murder in the City” from their show at Stubbs earlier this fall.

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Backdrop Experiment: The Antlers at SXSW 2011 – I Don’t Want Love

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As we explored before with St. Vincent, our eyes are just as important as our ears when it comes to enjoying our favorite concerts.

Working in perfect tandem, our eyes soak up the visual stimulation, while our ears absorb the sonic pleasure of the hypnotic rock and flowing melodies pouring forth from the speakers.

And when I think back to our adventures at SXSW 2011, I’m reminded how much I loved the performance by The Antlers as they took fans through their lead track “I Don’t Want Love” from their new album Burst Apart, one of my favorite albums of 2011 (so far).

And besides the dreamy tunes that engulfed me instantly, I was also captivated by the amazing mural that loomed behind the band as they played at the Stage on Sixth Street.

As you see in the video above, the mural beautifully blends in with the band and adds a magical and majestic aesthetic  to the show as legendary performers of the past look down on the band almost challenging them and cheering them on with a mighty, stoic glare of inspiration.

And as certain points during the show it’s almost as if the mural and The Antlers became one, and I couldn’t tell where the live band begun and where the mural ended!

As set rolled on, I couldn’t help but think what those classic performers on the mural would of thought of The Antler’s set. And I also wondered what the Antlers would of thought of a show by  Johnny Cash, Janis Joplin and Willie Nelson.

And I also wonder what Darlingside, winners of the Seinheiser Hear.IAm contest, thought of the mural while they played earlier that night.  I bet they fed off the inspiring vibe too.

How ‘Bout You?

Were you at the show too? What did you think of the mural?

Have you been at a show and been so captivated by the background visuals? What are some of your favorite concert backdrops you’ve experiences during your live music adventures?

Download and Rock On

Download Burst Apart via iTunes, or listen to the album on MOG via their 14-day free trial. And if you’re new to MOG, you can read about why we love sharing info about this very cool and highly addictive music subscription service in our review.

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Do You Like It When A Band Experiments With Your Favorite Songs During The Show?

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The live music experience is full of mythological stories. And one of my favorite tales is the infamous show where Bob Dylan “plugged in” for the first time at the Newport Folk Festival.

As we’ve explored before with one fan’s Dylan experience, the story has been told — and portrayed in movies like I’m Not There — that Dylan was booed and fights broke out backstage because he played electric and only played a few songs with the Hawks during their 1965 show at the Newport Folk Festival.

Well, after listening to this Sound Opinions interview with musician and Dylan bandmate Al Kooper, I had the pleasure of learning about a different side of the controversial 1965 story.

Artists Love It, But Do The Fans?

And besides getting clued in to what really happened at Newport, I also had the chance to revisit the idea that the song is never finished, a concept which Kooper says fueled Dylan’s approach to live music.

And if you’ve ever seen Dylan in concert before (I have twice), you understand what Kooper is saying because rarely will you ever hear any of Dylan songs that same as they are on record.

Dylan always changes the songs to the point of completely redoing the melody and all the other core elements of the songs. And the result is that he creates, more times than not, an entirely new track live right there on stage before your very ears. Some fans enjoy this about Dylan while other fans find it very annoying about him.

That said, witnessing the real-time evolution of a song live in concert is something Frank Orrall of Poi Dog pondering talked about too when we asked him to explore his take on the topic. And I was intrigued by his response.

And this concept is also at the core of what Keys N Krates do superbly with their live show.

As an example, here’s a video from Keys N Krates live show when we saw them at SXSW 2011. Take a look at the video below and let me know what you think.

Can I Get More Vocals In My Monitor Please?

I’d also like to hear what you think about Dylan concept that the song is never finished.

And while you’re at it, tell me if you agree that the live show is THE place to experiment with new versions of fan favorite songs, or should the live show be a place to hear the exact same version heard on the album.

Do you think this live show experimentation upsets fans who want to hear the original album version. Do you think it has an impact on how we  feel during a show?

 

 

Photo by Colleen Catania

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