I found out about Jukebox the Ghost when they opened for Ben Folds. They made a great first impression on everyone I talked to after the show and I loved their debut album from the very first listen. I am a huge fan of happy piano music, and that is precisely what they make, so I was really excited when I saw they were coming to town as headliners.

We got to Crowbar a little late and completely missed the first opener, The Sun Society, who we were told was excellent, and who also apparently included two cute/hot girls, depending on who you ask. Next up was Drink Up Buttercup out of Philly. The first thing that stood out to me was their psychedelic keyboards, which were half The Doors and half the circus, but there was more to them than that. They had a stage full of other vocalists/musicians, including a guy who played a mean Big Ass Trashcan, all tied together by lead singer James Harvey’s impressively strident and strong voice. They put on a fun, high energy show interspersed with hilarious monologues. Go look at the pix to see some of their apparently hand-drawn tour t-shirts and then just try and resist giving them a listen, I bet the intrigue gets to you.

Finally headliners Jukebox the Ghost (also from Philly) took the stage with little ado and went right to work. Jukebox is a three man band comprised of Ben Thornewill on piano/vocals, Tommy Siegel on guitar/vocals and Jesse Kristin on the drums. They got their big chance when the opened for Ben Folds on his last tour, and the people I talked to all seemed to have found out about them either when the opened on that tour, or from friends who found out about them that way and just had to share their music. Watching Ben T. on the keyboard is a lot like watching Ben F. on his piano, lots of funny faces and torso twisting, and just generally bringing the audience into the show. There were three girls from Pensacola behind us who had traveled just to see Jukebox, and more specifically to see Ben, and they swooned and giggled so loudly through so much of the show it made it a little hard to hear sometimes. Still, having been that girl before, and sometimes still being that girl, I could only smile about it. Hell, it’s hard not to fall for a quirky dude with a sense of humor who rocks on the piano. The other vocalist, Tommy, introduced us to a few new songs from the upcoming release that’s due out in September, and if they crowd’s reaction is any indicator they should see sales from a lot of this crowd, myself included.

There were a few standout moments during the show. First was when they played one of my faves, “Victoria”, a classic lovesong that includes lines like, “I couldn’t tell if you were a bitch or totally bitchin'”, which was just as fun live as I’d hoped. Another highlight was when the whole band broke down in laughter during “Good Day” and were eventually brought back on track by Jesse, but not before an audience member tried to help out by feeding Ben the lyrics. They also played a couple (well technically, a few) covers, including one that wins my award for most random ass cover ever, Donna Lewis’ 1996 hit “I Love You Always Forever”. The other covers were a surprise that came at encore, a medley from the end of The Beatles’ Abbey Road, “Golden Slumber”, “Carry That Weight” and “The End”. If you haven’t heard these guys yet, you still have plenty of time to learn all the lyrics, and all the places where you clap along, for when they (hopefully) come back to support the next album.

Jukebox the Ghost- Victoria
Jukebox the Ghost- Good Day

You can see plenty of pictures from the show here.


High Places is a two person team coming out of Brooklyn, NY, with Mary Pearson on vocals and Rob Barber making the sounds she both floats over, and at the same time peers out from under. For some reason I’ve always been really picky about female vocalists, but Mary Pearson evokes some of my favorites, especially Lou Rhodes (Lamb) and Olga Bell (Bell). However, this is something different, with the vocals not being sung over the instrumentation, but very much with it, and sometimes even seeming to humbly support the music instead. This is something chill to marinate your brain in, with Mary’s sweet and lilting vocals, but also music that makes you perk up and pay attention, with Rob’s echoey cacophony and creative percussion.

I love this album more with every listen, but there are a couple of highlights for me. First would be “From Stardust”, which just about made my eyes roll back in my head the first time I heard it. I hate to keep throwing out comparisons, but I can’t not tell you how much this subtly reminded me of another fave of mine, Everything But The Girl, especially the beat. The main difference is that this is done with a much more gentle hand, all coming across very delicately. Another standout track for me is “The Tree With the Lights in it”, with its slow beat and steel drum sounds. I challenge you to keep from bobbing your head to this album.

High Places- From Stardust
High Places- The Tree With the Lights in it
High Places- The Storm

High Places on MySpace
High Places on Facebook
High Places on Twitter


When we asked the guy at the hotel how to get to Jack Rabbits, he made a point of telling us it was a hole in the wall, and he seemed pretty serious about it. He warned us that it was a tiny place with bottled beer and wine only, but that got me even more excited about the show. I’ll take a show in a rat hole over an arena any day of the week.

After almost walking by the windowless bar, I gave my name to the guy at the podium out front who crossed me off the will call list and ushered us in. As soon as we stepped through the door my boyfriend and I exchanged glances and a chuckle at just how right the guy at the hotel had been. There was a small side room with the bar, a pool table and walls plastered with stickers and then there was the “main” area with a small stage and a floor that looked like it could hold a max 200 people. This was going to be a great venue for The Big Pink’s brand of exploding feedback rock. However, we’d gotten there super early and there were two openers yet to go and we had a bottle of vodka two blocks away at the hotel. So, we killed some time while killing drinks then headed back. We’d missed one opener and caught the last half of Juicy Pony’s set. As we worked our way towards the stage Chris noticed that the drummer was singing even though he didn’t have a microphone. The next thing I know, I’m singing along. To a song by a band I’ve never heard before. They’re pretty damned catchy. After their set they mentioned they’re putting an album together and I’m definitely going to be checking it out.

Almost as soon as the opener left it, the stage that was already surrounded by a halo of speakers was quickly covered with more pedals than the Tour de France and it was finally time to see the band we’d driven four hours on Easter to see. With the fog machines pumping out fog as thick as Brigadoon, The Big Pink took to the stage to Cypress Hill’s “Wanna Get High” and went right into “Too Young to Love”. The Big Pink is a two man band, comprised of Robbie Furze on lead vocals and guitar and Milo Cordell on programming, keyboards, synth and vocals. Robbie held court stage front and center, flinging sweat from his mohawk, bare arms (save for a few tattoos) gleaming. Meanwhile, the be-hoodied Milo remained in one place with his head down, tending to his electronics. Supporting them on tour they also had hair tossing, headbanging bassist Leopold Ross and drummer Akiko Matsuura, who paused behind her drums a few songs in to remove her shorts, shoes and socks, finishing the evening in black tights and an oversized Public Enemy t-shirt.

The whole thing was amazingness, but there were definitely a couple highlights. The first one happened during “Crystal Visions”, when Robbie and Leopold went into an extended guitar duel that ended with Robbie stomping on the aforementioned pedals, releasing a massive reverb mushroom cloud that just about leveled the place. The other happened near the end of the night when they played a ridiculously sexy and completely perfect cover of Otis Redding’s “These Arms of Mine”. It was slowed down even more than the original and stretched almost beyond recognition, with the instruments quieted down and Robbie’s plaintive vocals completely selling that he really was, “yearning, yearning from wanting you”. I wished I couldn’t see the setlist so I wouldn’t know the end was nigh, but after 10 glorious songs the band left the stage to screams from a small but grateful crowd. After a quick step outside, they all came back in and gave autographs and posed for pictures, with Milo heading over to the merch booth to help hawk their merch. After I told him how worthwhile they’d made our drive he threw a pair of sunglasses in with my t-shirt.

Their tour is still going, with most of their stops being supported by A Place to Bury Strangers, so go see these gracious, hard working kids. Hopefully you can catch them in a hole in the wall, too.

See the rest of the pictures here.

The Big Pink- Dominos
The Big Pink- Sweet Dreams (Beyonce Cover)

The Big Pink Official Site, The Big Pink on Facebook


My first thought on stepping out onto the balcony at The Ritz Friday night was was “Holy shit, this place is packed and nearly everyone in here is facing the stage…for an opener.” Kinda made me wish I could have gotten here early enough to catch more of Sleepy Sun’s performance, but it turns out I only caught the last half of the last song. What I did get to see was a stage full of people, with a guy at the forefront sing-screaming into the mic with a look and a sound that reminded me of The Doors. Soon thereafter, the song ended and they left the stage to a roaring crowd. Oh well, guess it was a good time to get a drink.

A few minutes later, drinks in hand, we headed back up to the balcony and soon thereafter the Arctic Moneys took to the stage. I thought it an odd choice to start the show with “Fire and the Thud”, which didn’t come across with much fire at all, lacking some of the fuzzy atmosphere of the recorded version, but I knew better than to be worried. They proved me right, following that with “Brianstorm”, which had the sold out crowd jumping and shouting “Well see you later innovator!” Some of the other highlights for me were an incredibly fun rendition of their first single “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor” that caused the the crowd to erupt in random crowd surfing, and the ballad “Cornerstone”, one of my favorite songs about someone’s sister letting a man call her by her sister’s name, or anything he’d like, at the end of an apparent pub crawl. Sure, there were moments when I lost interest, like during a sleepy performance of “Secret Door”, but those moments were few, and for most of the show there was much jumping and arm waving, even the occasional lighter in the air. A few times during the show, frontman Alex Turner stopped to check in, making sure everyone was enjoying themselves. I think it was pretty obvious when they came out for their two song encore, “Flourescent Adolescent” and “505”, that everyone had had a great time.

Throughout the 19 songs, Alex worked the stage in his skinny black jeans, flopping his mop top, crooning to the audience, and basically just showing us all why the Arctic Monkeys deserved to beat out other Brit darlings like Muse and Kasabian to win Best Live Band last month at the Shockwave NME Awards. And as a bonus, later that night his surprising unpretentiousness was reinforced when we walked back by The Ritz and found Alex out front greeting fans, giving autographs and posing for pictures. Great show from a great band, and a damn cool way to wrap it all up.

Check out some more pix from the show here.

Arctic Monkeys- I Bet You Look Good On the Dancefloor

Arctic Monkeys- Brianstorm


Greymarket is Mike Gargiulo (drums) and L. Cave McCoy (guitar, vocals) and they’re based out of our little home town of Tampa. I’ve never been good at knowing what genres to stuff bands into, so the best way I can describe them is to say that their sound is loud, modern electronic/guitar rock, with a nod to classic rock bands like Led Zeppelin. In other words, this shit is right up my alley.

I’ve seen Greymarket a number of times and just got a copy of the album a month ago. Yes, I am a slacker. I already knew I loved them as a live act, which actually caused me to be a little worried about whether their charisma was going to carry over to recorded media. I don’t think it even took a whole song for me to realize that my worries were entirely unfounded in reality.

Completely unconsciously, I’ve thought of these guys as a “local band” for so long that upon hearing this album it totally hit me that that’s not what they are at all. I realized, instead, that they are in fact a “real band” that just happens to live in my home town. How very lucky for me.

Some Orbits Will Never Decay is polished and smooth and lush and layered. Live, they’re definitely larger than the sum of their two parts, and on the album it’s even better. A couple of the highlights for me are “Hey, Mr. Spaceman”, which was one of the first tracks I found myself singing along to, and “Cascade (Down the Rabbit Hole)”, which I resisted at first because the Alice in Wonderland thing has been done before, but eventually had to succumb to because of its sheer catchiness. “Full of Stars” is probably my favorite track, with its gentle beginning full of acoustic strings and soothing vocals that bridges into big ass layers of electric guitars and crashing percussion, but the NASA samples in the middle are a little garbled and go on a touch too long for me. I can see and appreciate what they were going for with them, though, and it’s one hell of a song and a good way to wrap up a hell of an album.

I can’t think of much I don’t completely love about this album. I’m super proud of these guys and they have potential to get some airtime with a lot of these songs. They just kicked off a tour last weekend (check out the dates here) so check out the songs below and go show some love if they hit your home town.

Greymarket – Full of Stars

Greymarket – Hey, Mr. Spaceman

Greymarket’s Official Site, Greymarket on MySpace, Buy Some Orbits Will Never Decay


I’ve hemmed and hawed about whether to write this up for 9b.  I know this isn’t your usual fare here, but you all surprised me on the Matt and Kim and Ben Folds fronts, so here goes nothing.  I figure what can it hurt, at the worst you just won’t read it, but for those of you who do check out the stuff I post here (thanks, Mom!), I had to take the chance that someone else may love this band like I do.

I’ve seen Muse twice before, both times at smaller venues (House of Blues Orlando and Tabernacle Atlanta), so when I found out that on this tour they were playing stadiums I was kinda bummed.  There’s always that paradox, on the one hand I want to see my favorite bands in tiny little clubs with 100 people that are totally into the show. But on the other hand I want the bands I like to succeed.  So it was with Muse this time around, and I actually didn’t even get tickets until a month or so before the show when I decided to suck it up and go ahead and see them. Shit, it’s not like the Bucs are doing anything in Raymond James Stadium this season.

Finally the day of the concert arrived and after fighting rush hour traffic to wait in line in the midday sun, the general admission herd was released onto the field.  People abandoned the tents they’d been camped out in (some since midnight the night before) and the coolers (long since emptied while languishing in the 90 degree heat) and hauled ass towards “The Claw“, U2’s stage contraption.  Finally it was show time.  The sun had set, the breezes started to blow, and Muse took to the stage.  I’m a chick, so you know I’m no good at math, but the fraction of people there for Muse vs U2 had to have been relatively small.  There were definitely some other Muse die-hards like myself, and a handful of others who at least knew their current single, “Uprising”, but most were there for U2 which made it somewhat easy to get up to the stage.  Muse made the call to start the set with their current single, “Uprising”, which kind of seemed like blowing their wad at first, but it made people around me perk up and realize they actually did know this band, so I guess it was a good idea after all. Going back to the whole being torn thing, while I was sad not to be seeing Muse in a little club, I knew that their brand of live show was going to do better than most other opening bands’ would in a gifuckinmongous stadium.  They were big and loud and brilliant and I couldn’t believe I almost didn’t go.  From the throbbing beat of “Hysteria” to the subtly R&B-tinged sexiness of “Undisclosed Desires”, they had my attention the whole time and I totally forgot how many other people were behind me watching.  When they ended the mere 9 song set with one of my favorite songs of theirs, “Time is Running Out”, I couldn’t have been happier.  Sure, I would have loved to hear “Knights of Cydonia” and “United States of Eurasia”, but maybe next time.  They’re supposed to come back and do a headlining tour of the US next Spring and I’ve already warned the boyfriend that I’m dragging him to 2 or 3 of the closest shows, whatever funds and work schedules will allow.

Now I don’t know how long it was until U2 took the stage, as I was still in afterglow, but when they did it was to a gigantic roar from the crowd as Bono popped out of his hyperbaric carbon neutral windmill powered pod and went right into “Breathe”.  Then he sang another song from an album I didn’t really care for.  Then The Edge walked around the outer circle thingy.  Then they played one from an album that was ok.  Then Bono walked across a moving bridge thingy.  Then they played “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and briefly went into a cover of “Stand By Me”.  Now you’re talking.  Then another song from the new album. Meh.  I’m pretty sure I lost my hard-on completely when Bono quipped something about how we should love the stage contraption since we paid for it.  In all fairness, though, the vast majority of people were really into the show, and I think that if I hadn’t just seen one of my favorite bands kill it I could have been more into it.  But I wasn’t, so we headed out for a location where we could get 3 vodka drinks for the price of one horrible stadium beer.

If you haven’t heard Muse, check them out in all their 70’s rock-influenced goodness.  You can also see some pictures from the show here but I didn’t have the good camera, so hopefully they’ll be better from the next show!

Muse- Time is Running Out
Muse- Uprising


I have been a huge Elbow fan for years but had never been able to get to one of their shows, so when I saw that they would be opening for Coldplay I thought 2 things: hooray for finally getting to see this band that I love, and boo for having to see them as an opener for Coldplay.  Then they announced that they were going to do a small handful of headlining shows in the US, the closest one to me being in Atlanta, and I was ecstatic.  I bought my $20 tickets, booked a hotel room and started counting the days until the show.

Suddenly 4 months had passed and we were driving past the venue looking for a parking space, eyeballing at the line of people leading from the doors of the Center Stage theater as it stretched down the street to the corner and starting to make a right angle down the block.  We were there 30 minutes before doors and there had to already be 50+ people there ahead of us, so I resigned myself right there to the fact that I was never going to get anywhere near the stage.  When the doors finally opened and we got inside the venue, I was amazed that there was hardly anyone down on the floor in front of the stage, instead people had gone the seats.  Their laziness was my gain and I took my place up at the front.  Killing time (and vodka) before the show, I chatted with the people around me.  Turns out I was not only not the only one to have traveled to the show, I had not even remotely traveled the farthest as I ended up striking up a conversation with someone from Portland who had seen them all over the country.  “See?” I told my boyfriend, “I’m not crazy.”  He simply countered that I was just not the craziEST.  Fair enough.

Right on time Guy Garvey, Elbow’s frontman, came out to introduce their opener, Jesca Hoop.  He joked that she doesn’t have a band because they weren’t going to pay for one then out came an unassuming chick with a guitar.  She reminded me of Regina Spektor with a touch more white chick soul.  Not Janis soul, maybe more like Joni- or Judy-type soul.

Finally it was time for the main act and they opened the show with a bang, or rather a blare.  Five band members with trumpets lined the front of stage and kicked off “Starlings” to a cheering crowd that had finally gotten out of their seats and filled up the floor.  The small stage in this intimate 1100 capacity venue was also full, with the 5 members of Elbow with their guitars, drums, keyboards, horns, etc, plus 2 (rather well-endowed) violinists.  Guy worked the crowd like a carnival barker, joking around and even giving props to a girl who held up a sign taking credit for a thread on their message board that praised keyboardist Craig Potter.  And there were singalongs.  Lots of them.  And I love that shit.  I love being a part of a chorus of thousands (or in this case hundreds), especially when it’s to music from a band I adore.

As we all sang along to the chorus of “On A Day Like This”, I knew that this moment in time is why we drove 7 1/2 hours for 3 1/2 hours of Elbow, and it was soooo well worth it.  Yep, this show was pretty much perfect, I even got a setlist.  Oh yes, I went full teenage fangirl for this show and I’m proud of it.  I’ve already warned the boyfriend that I fully intend to travel as far as needed to see them should they come back across the pond, and they’re so good I’d even consider still seeing them as an opener if they come back when Coldplay reschedules their Tampa show.  Maybe.

We didn’t know Elbow had a relaxed camera policy so we’d left the SLR at the hotel, so forgive the uber graininess but you can see more pix from the show here.

Elbow – On A Day Like This
Elbow – Starlings


Considering I drive from St Pete to Sarasota and back every day for work, there are very few things that will get my happy ass back down there, but finally seeing The Pack AD is definitely one of those things.  I’ve had to listen long enough to Autopsy brag about seeing them at Deep Blues last year, now was my turn to catch their show for myself.

The show was scheduled to start at 8 and we got there around 10, figuring that the two openers would be done and we’d be right on time to see the main act.  However, as we walked up to the venue we saw Becky and Maya (aka, The Pack A.D.) chilling out front and they advised us nobody had played yet, but that they were going on second instead of third now.  Eh, fair enough, more drinking time.  We caught a little of the opener, Mumpsy, a 4-piece who reminded me of Dr. Dog with maybe a dash of TMBG, headed to the back with our drinks for a bit, and then it was time for The Pack to take the stage.

Hot damn, these women fucking rock, plain and simple.  On stage Maya seems to be the ambassador, joking around between songs and interacting with the audience.  When she’s working those drums, though, she’s lost in the songs.  Meanwhile, Becky plays the ever living hell out of her guitar while channeling Janis Joplin with that great, big gravelly voice.  When they first took the stage I seriously thought to myself, how the hell is the voice I’ve heard on their CD’s going to come out of her?  Well it did.  All of it.  Wow.  When Maya announced that they were playing their last song for the evening I didn’t want to believe it was almost over, but that was it.  Rock and roll, cut and dry, with no pretense and apparently no encore.  If you’re lucky enough to have their tour coming your way as they head back North towards Canada, you definitely need to catch this show.

Check out The Pack AD’s website for the rest of their tour dates here
See the rest of the pix from the show here

The Pack A.D. – All Day Long
The Pack A.D. – Making Gestures
The Pack A.D. – Wolves & Werewolves

SoAngelicate's Indie Corner: Heavy Ghost by DM Stith

It’s been a little bit since something has come out that moved me so much I interrupted the usual workings of 9b to share it, but in the last month or so there has been a plethora of great new music and the album that has probably stood out the most for me is this offering from Buffalo native David Stith.  According to his label, Asthmatic Kitty Records, his father is a college wind ensemble director and former church choir director, his grandfather is professor emeritus in the music department at Cornell University, and his mother and sisters play piano and sing opera.  No real surprise then that he eventually seemed to have had enough of the whole music thing and went more towards the visual arts.  Good thing that he ran into Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond and helped produce her first album, which seemed to bring him back to writing his own music.

Stith has garnered comparisons to Jeff Buckley, an analogy which I can definitely hear as his aching alto-verging-on-falsetto voice guides the songs.  And for all the years that he took a break from the music he was raised on, there is no doubting the influence that his classically trained upbringing had on Heavy Ghost.  The songs on the album are gorgeous, haunting and transcendent, blending into each other seamlessly like the movements of a symphony.

If you are a fan of Buckley, Sufjan Stevens or Antony Hegarty, you should listen to this.  If you like lush layers of acoustic instruments, you should listen to this.  And if you want to hear something that is ultimately greater than the sum of its comparisons, you should listen to this.

DM Stith- Fire of Birds
DM Stith- Braid of Voices

DM Stith’s Official Site , DM Stith on myspace , Buy Heavy Ghost


In the interest of full disclosure, I am an utter and complete Ben Folds fangirl, so this is not objective reporting.  I love pretty much everything he’s done, both solo and with The Ben Folds Five.  I was so excited for this show I could hardly stand having to go to work on Friday instead of getting in line outside the venue so I could be at the front of the crowd for the general admission show.

Well, we all know what happens with the best laid plans of mice and fangirls…we not only didn’t get there early, we completely missed the opening band.  I usually try to catch the openers for my faves since I like hearing the music that they believe works well with their own sound, so I was pretty bummed.  Then I became even more bummed as I heard over and over from people I spoke to that Jukebox’s set was awesome.  And then I checked out their myspace page and it became clear that I missed something good.  Hopefully they come back around on their own so I can redeem myself by catching them next time.  I’m definitely planning to at least get a hold of their cd, Let Live and Let Ghosts, so I can hear more.

By the time we got in and worked our way down to the floor, the crowd was 10 people thick from the stage before you hit the passive aggressive layer.  You know, the ‘accidental’ elbow and the ‘omg, so sorry’ beer spill, when you’re just trying to move into an open area in the crowd?  I try hard to avoid that layer because I don’t have much passive in me and I was in way too good a mood to fight, so we chilled on the perimeter and waited patiently.  Ben hit the stage at 9, a half an hour early according to LiveNations’s site, and after a brief howdy to the crowd he sat at the piano and got to work.  While I was expecting him to focus mainly on Way to Normal, I was ecstatic that he went all over his back catalogue during the two hour concert, even playing stuff from The Five.  He even played a couple “fake” tracks from the self-leaked fake version of the current album.

The absolute hands-down pinnacle of my night was getting to be a part of “Not The Same”.  I’ve heard so many live versions of this song, and finally I was one of the people being led by Ben in 3-part harmony.  I love the vibe of being at a concert where everyone knows the words and is so into the moment.  Well, by this time we had moved up to the balcony and from my perch I could hear the whole room swell with sound as we started, stopped and started again, with Ben conducting the crowd from the front of the stage.  He wrapped up the night with “Army”, which also has parts for crowd participation, and thank goodness he saved it for the last song because I was about to pass out from dehydration from all the singing and dancing…and also from being too enraptured to go back to the bar (yes, he’s THAT good).  Oh, and while we didn’t get a personalized version of “Rock This Bitch”, we did get an impromptu song about his day in Tampa, including going “to a diner that wasn’t a diner named something-Mouth” and then going to have sushi, even though he didn’t like sushi so he just had a California roll.  Awesomness.

This is the first show I’ve seen at the newly renovated Ritz theater (formerly The Masquerade, which was formerly The Ritz) and I was totally impressed.  The main room is definitely better suited for concerts IMO, with a larger main floor and a nice bar set into the wall on the right (where the lovely Brittany took great care of us), while the two side rooms offer a nice place for bands to set up merch and for smokers to go have a quick cig break, since apparently the main room is smoke free.  I’m already looking forward to seeing my next show there, whatever it may be.

Check out Jukebox the Ghost on myspace.  You can also hear what I’m talking about with “Not The Same”, on an only slightly grander scale, below.

Ben Folds Live With The Western Australia Symphony Orchestra- Not the Same

See more pix from the show here.