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I’ve been meaning to post a review of the opening night of the New York Dolls “‘Cause I Sez So” tour, with The Cliks opening for them, from last Wednesday night (5/20/09) at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, CA, but haven’t gotten around to it. Short review: GO SEE THIS SHOW!!! Especially if you’re on the west coast and get the great opportunity to see The Cliks (“Snakehouse” and “Dirty King”) open for the New York Dolls!!!! I figured if I don’t at least post these videos now, I might not ever get around to it. 😉 (Laziness ensues…) I’ll try to write more later, especially on the main reason I went to the show, the incredibly talented The Cliks, whose new CD “Dirty King” is fantastic, and available at the show, as well as various online options such as iTunes for $11.99, “Snakehouse” for $9.90. Read the rest of this entry »
While I wholeheartedly support the WGA strike (see related videos in VodPod player to the left), I do have to selfishly admit that at least one good thing is coming out of it: A rerun of the night we were at the taping of The Cliks on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson! Mind you, if you’d read my previous entry about our fun with The Cliks back in August you’d already have seen the video clip of them on the show, but it’s still fun to see it in context even though it was taped out of sequence on show night. (How confusing was that sentence? ;)) Anyway, if you aren’t going to be up for the 12:35 AM airing of the show tonight (well, technically tomorrow! ;)), then set your VCR/TIVO or whatever you need to. Or you could just click here to watch it. Enjoy!
Although the headlines have continued to frustrate the living daylights out of me (hugging being banned in school/Iraq war costs skyrocketing to over 1.6 TRILLION dollars /1 in 4 homeless are veterans/Chinese manufactured toys continue to endanger our children), I haven’t really had the desire/energy to do any blogging lately since my life’s been a bit too full of uncertainty and limbo. In times like these, instead of doing what I should (like packing), I tend to turn to my drug of choice: MUSIC! (Yes, I have done some packing while listening to music, but…)
My all-time “turn that mood around” artist is, without a doubt, Bob Marley (especially “Three Little Birds“), closely followed by local Southern California bands Common Sense (LOVE “Say the Word“), B-Side Players, and Ozomatli, along with a heaping helping of Blues Traveler. Then to go a bit old school I’ve just got to throw in some Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson, and The Kinks. And since blues music is right next to reggae at my soul’s core, there’s got to be some John Lee Hooker (regret having not seen him before he passed), B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Shemekia Copeland, and Candye Kane. Topping it all off are more recent faves The Cliks, Placebo, and The Cat Empire.
Yup, a bit on the eclectic side when it comes to music, so thank goodness for iTunes party shuffle to keep me happy with a constant rotation of my favorite artists and music. Seriously, if you put ANY of the above mentioned artists on the CD player my mood would instantly change…for the better! Come to think of it, I’ve seen all but four of them live, so I’m sure the great memories of their concerts and the fun times we had must have something to do with their music’s ability to change my mood. Don’t you all have music that can do the same thing for you? I hope so because it would be such a shame if you didn’t–if music didn’t affect your life the way it does mine. Then again, maybe it’s just me!
Sadly I missed the return concert the other day of B-Side Players to San Diego after their recent tour. I am really enjoying their new album “Fire in the Youth“, although truth be told I’m still a sucker for their older stuff (again, possibly due to having seen them in concert so many times). I thought I’d introduce those of you unfamiliar with this high-energy, positive message, deeply talented band, with the following video of them talking about their band, their music, and their latest release. I’ll also see what other B-Side Players videos I can round up to really help you enjoy their music, but the truth is that no video could EVER come close to capturing the energy of a live B-Side Players concert. Take one in when you can!
The Cliks are everything they are billed to be and more! I have seen some high energy acts in my day, but what The Cliks put forth in their show at The Knitting Factory (8/22/07) is incomparable (especially considering the miserably hot and humid conditions in the venue), and to have been witness the next day to seeing them taking the small, quiet Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson studio (before Craig had even come out) and INSTANTLY turn it into the most rocking, electrified space you could inhabit in a matter of merely one or two hits on the drum by Morgan Doctor, and the first lyrics by Lucas Silveira–well, it was nothing short of miraculous and memorable. I certainly hope you all got to catch their fantastic Late Late Show performance, but I’ll keep my eyes open for a replay for those who didn’t. (Craig is on hiatus for two weeks and they have a tendency to repeat the most recent shows, so maybe, just maybe it will air again soon!)
My best buddy Sheryl (who interestingly enough is also my ex-sister-in-law ;)), and I headed off for our 1 1/2 hour drive to Hollywood last Wednesday, with The Cliks blasting on the sound system and excitement brewing for seeing not only them, but also another band I’d just discovered that morning, Tanner Horn and the Astronauts Before Breakfast. Sadly the infamous Los Angeles traffic kept us from arriving at the venue until the last minute or so of Tanner and crew’s final song “Hole in My Soul” (sigh), but the 60 seconds that we did see made me realize we had missed out on one heck of a unique, exhilarating (and sweaty! ;)) performance. (For any of you in the LA area, Tanner Horn and the Astronauts Before Breakfast will be having their CD release party at 14 Below in Santa Monica, this Friday (8/30/07), with their CD being included in your $10 cover charge. You can also get their 6-song EP on iTunes for $5.94!)
Can I just say again how unbelievably freaking-sticky-hot the Knitting Factory was?! I mean what the heck was the deal with folks having to feel like they were stuck in the middle of “Humidity Hell”? If we were sweating buckets, I can only imagine how the band felt, and that was actually pointed out by Lucas when he mentioned a couple times during the show that he had sweat in his eyes. The stickiness really left a bad taste in my mouth for driving all the way out to that venue again. Thankfully Sheryl and I did find what appeared to be the ONLY fan in the place (hence, the “heavy breathing” sound on the videos I taped…wasn’t me, was the fan :)), and camped out in front of it for the better part of the night. The only time we moved from it was to get some really good drinks from the bar (only $5 AND the cup was overflowing–woo-hoo!), or to head into the humid swamp known as the restroom…ick. Thankfully The Cliks were so amazingly powerful in their performances that you were almost able to forget about the beads of sweat finding their way down your body.
To say Lucas, Jen (Benton), Nina (Martinez), and Morgan had the crowd wrapped around their collective little finger would be an understatement. I think Lucas could have asked the crowd to do more than sing along to “Oh Yeah” (not that anyone needed any enticements to sing along–just came naturally) and everyone would have done whatever the request, without batting an eyelash. This concert was truly one of those times where the musicians, the crowd, the music, and the energy all organically combine into one incredible force that just can’t be put into words—something you had to be there to experience for yourself. I’m so thankful Sheryl and I were there to share in it, and hope that all of you reading this and viewing the videos, get even an inkling of what a Cliks concert has in store for you.
Here’s one of the videos I took, but unfortunately the sound at the venue wasn’t very good, and the lighting was horrific. That being said, it’s the freaking Cliks, folks, so deal with it! 🙂
I also taped the encore of “Nobody Else Will”, but kept getting my shot blocked by the dancing head in front of me, and for some reason the middle part was really blurry (think I tried to zoom in too much under poor lighting conditions), so I opted to remix the 3 shorter videos into one using YouTube’s remixer. Unfortunately, despite SEVERAL attempts over the past 3 days, the YouTube remixer will allow me to create the video, preview it, then publish it–but no video ever shows up! ARGH! Went over to Photobucket and used their remixer (basically the same one YouTube has by Adobe) and it worked. Sadly WordPress doesn’t allow for Photobucket videos to be embedded, and the Adobe remixer doesn’t allow you to save the final product to your hard drive, so if you’d like to see the video you’ll need to click here for “Nobody Else Will” on my Photobucket account. Again, it’s not the best image quality, but Lucas’ vocals are absolutely out of this world. The lyrics are as heartfelt as they get in the first place, but add Lucas’ intense, raw, sexy vocals and hot damn, one heck of a good performance.
Jen, Nina, Morgan, and Lucas were so accommodating and kind with their fans after the show, as was Rosie from Tommy Boy/Silver Label records who jumped right in and took a couple pictures for us when the camera was acting up. As a matter of fact, Rosie snapped an overhead shot of herself while she was waiting for the band, my friend, and myself to pose. Wish it would have turned out better because it was pretty funny when she did it.
As if seeing The Cliks at the Knitting Factory wasn’t enough, Sheryl and I also had tickets to their taping for the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson the next day. So back into the car we went (diabetic dog at home, so couldn’t stay in LA for the night…the things we do for our poochies :)), facing even ickier Los Angeles traffic on Thursday since we were traveling during the day. We did finally make it to the studio, and were pleasantly surprised to land a spot in the CBS studios parking lot–usually not an easy task! We made sure to get in line more than an hour early since there was no way we were taking any chances that we wouldn’t get in, especially after driving so far. Thankfully there were no worries on that front, and when we did finally get into the studio, we were only about 4 rows back on the aisle (hey, a gal with long legs just HAS to have an aisle seat…plus I wanted a better view of the band!), but of course we wished we were even closer. For those of you who have never been to a taping of the Late Late Show, it’s in a fairly small studio with an audience that Craig doesn’t want to exceed some odd number like 113. We were told the reason he likes to keep it so small is because he likes the feel of a comedy club atmosphere, and the connection he can have with a smaller audience such as ours. I went to a taping of his show last October and the intimacy of the studio does lend itself to having you feel like you really are an important part of the entire show. “Audience Enhancers” is what Chucky B. (the warm-up guy) calls the studio audience.
So we finally get into the studio, everyone is seated, Chucky B. is cracking jokes, videos of some previous musical guests are playing on the monitors scattered over the seating area, Craig’s desk is pushed off to the side, and the band equipment is set up already. (Sorry to burst the bubble of anyone who didn’t know this, but segments for the show are not taped in sequence, and quite often are taped for airing on subsequent days, hence Craig hadn’t even been on stage until long after The Cliks were…his loss!) Then a few minutes later, out of nowhere and without much ado, Jen, Morgan, Nina, and Lucas walk over to their equipment and start testing it all out. It was really quiet in the studio, so Chucky B. starts whispering, saying “This is what bands do, they tune up their equipment. I think I see them checking me out. Apparently they don’t see this.” (He then flashes his wedding ring to everyone.) Um, apparently Chucky B. knows diddley-squat about The Cliks since wedding ring or not, chances are slim-to-none any of them would be interested. 😉 So the other Cliks fans that were there (probably about 15 or so of us throughout the audience), Sheryl and I, are all on the edge of our seats, just waiting for something…anything. Then BAM, out of the blue, and with a not-very-enthusiastic introduction of, “The Cliks”, the band jumps right into “Oh Yeah”. Well, despite the apparent lackluster enthusiasm on the part of the Late Late Show‘s folks, there was no way in hell I was going to not show my excitement, so I was rocking out the whole time, as were the other Cliks fans, clapping, shaking our asses in our seats, hollering out, and hoping we were letting the band know just how much we enjoy and adore them.
(***Video below ADDED 9/6/07: Thanks to Silver Label for making this video available!***)
I have to say it all seems like a blur, totally surreal, and WAY too short of a time to have the band play, but the short time they did was absolutely the most energized four minutes or so you could ever ask for. From the overhead lights to the microphones near our feet, and from the phony Los Angeles cityscape backdrop on stage to the bustling real-life LA streets outside the studio, there was NO WAY anyone within earshot could help but feel the energy and enthusiasm the band was putting out. When it came to the last notes on the guitars and Morgan’s last drum hit, the sudden silence was incredibly deafening and made your realize how much The Cliks had filled up that short time and space with most intense rhythm, vocals, and music possible. Talk about living in the moment! WOW!
I really do believe that those in the audience who had no clue who The Cliks were before their performance (unfortunately that would seem to also include the majority of the Late Late Show staff), were definitely impressed with them afterward. A CBS page made sure to tell us (Sheryl and I were both wearing our The Cliks black t-shirts, so it was pretty obvious who we were there for ;)) how hard The Cliks rocked and that they were off the hook (or something like that), so we know they made at least one new fan–especially since we saw him a bit later at Barnes & Noble in the “C” section of the CD area, obviously looking for The Cliks “Snakehouse”.
Side note…Morgan’s parents were in the audience and were so cute! After the band was done and they’d left the stage (after some seriously long and loud applause and hooting and hollering from the audience!) an older couple started walking down the stairs toward the stage, Chucky B. made some comment, then someone on staff said they were the parents of “the drummer”, so Chucky B. made nice, and we all clapped for them. When Morgan’s parents hit the stage, right before slipping behind the wall to find the band, they faced everyone and waved, and boy could you tell they were Morgan’s folks–especially her mom, who she really looks like.
Alas, the good times had to eventually come to an end…sigh. It goes without saying that I am beyond anxious to see The Cliks again and am going through some serious withdrawals in the meantime. There is just something so pleasing about finding a band that is so vested in not only their music, but also in their fans. Jen, Nina, Morgan, and Lucas, could NOT have been any nicer to everyone during and after their shows, and I think that speaks volumes about the kind of people they must be–very sincere and caring. This was especially evident when I explained to Lucas after the Knitting Factory show, that one of my best buds, who had actually met them a couple of times in Vegas and at True Colors, was unable to make it back to LA for the show. Lucas was kind enough to tape a short, sincere message to Jackson–something I will never forget. How unbelievably cool of Lucas to do that!
Thank you SO MUCH to The Cliks, for all you give to your fans, personally and musically. Now get your asses back to SoCal ASAP! 😉
- 9-7-07: Added The Cliks uncut version of their new video for “Complicated” to my VodPod player in the left-hand column…enjoy!
- 8-22-07: MUST SEE: The Cliks at The Knitting Factory in Hollywood TONIGHT(8/22/07) AND on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on CBS TOMORROW(8/23/07)
- 4-29-07: MUST LISTEN: The Cliks “Snakehouse”
Am so excited about FINALLY getting to see The Cliks live tonight! My buddy Jackson got me hooked on them a few months ago when “Snakehouse” just came out and I’ve been dying to see them since then. Guess I’ll be going from one extreme to another because I’ll not only be seeing them tonight at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood, but also at a taping of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson tomorrow. I believe there are still tickets available for tonight’s KF gig, but alas the tickets for the talk show taping are gone. You can catch The Cliks on this Thursday’s (technically early Friday AM) showing of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson in most markets at 12:37 AM on CBS. Definitely check your local listings (and set you VCR or DVR!) since times do vary in some areas of the country.
Only thing that could make these two days perfect would be if Jackson were able to join us as planned, but sometimes life throws you a curve ball just to keep you on your toes. (Doesn’t life know staying on your toes gets tiring? ;)) You already know you’ll be missed like crazy, my dear friend, and that it mostly definitely won’t be the same without you, but in your honor I will dance my ass off and make lots of noise–as usual, on both counts. LYB
- The Cliks
- Maxitit (The Knitting Factory calendar has them listed as opening for The Cliks)
- Tanner Horn and the Astronauts Before Breakfast (Their web site states they are opening for The Cliks even though the KF site doesn’t say so. I hope they are performing since I’m now hooked on them after discovering their music yesterday morning! Get their 6-song EP on iTunes for only $5.94!)
First off, Marc Broussard is one act you do NOT want to miss if he’s in your area. Second, WTF San Diego concert-goers?!?! Let me just get my rant out of the way before I rave.
While I love San Diego county like crazy and have spent the better part of my life there, I find myself becoming more and more disenchanted with the downright rude behavior I seem to run across at local concerts. Can someone PLEASE explain to me why anyone would pay for a ticket to a show, then stand around and talk–LOUDLY?! In my opinion it’s beyond disrespectful to practically drown out the performance of someone on stage who is giving it their heart and soul, but it’s also stupid to spend your money on something you obviously aren’t there to enjoy. If you’re there just to pick up on someone, save your money and just hit up a bar or go online–sheesh! There ARE those of us who must obviously be somewhat demented because we assume that folks who come to a show actually want to enjoy the show. Mind you, there was a healthy dose of attentive fans in attendance last night (despite the surprisingly small crowd), but it was embarrassing to hear so much talking when Toby Lightman and/or Marc were singing something without heavy band back-up and you could hear all the morons blabbing away. Sigh. (And yes, I eventually did tell a few to shut the **** up. 😉)
That being said, oh my gosh what FUN last night’s House of Blues-San Diego show was (rude idiots aside), and what energy and enthusiasm Marc brought to each song. For those of you not aware of Marc Broussard, you are totally missing out on what many are calling this generation’s “King of Blue-Eyed Soul”, and they are so on the mark with that one. The first time I heard of Marc was a couple of years back when his chart-climbing “Home” off his first major label album, Carencro (an homage to his hometown of Carencro, Louisiana), caught my attention upon first hearing it on the radio, in much the same way Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car”, or The Cliks’ “Oh Yeah” song and video made me stand up and take notice. I love it when a musician and his/her music is something so different from the rest that your ears alert your brain to something magical. Have to admit that when I tracked down more info on “Home” I was shocked to discover this Bayou Soul voice and energy came from such a young man, let alone a white one at that! That point is played upon in the first 35 seconds of the “Home” video where you are led to believe the soulful humming is coming from the African-American man on the bus, then POOF, the young white boy sitting behind him pulls out his guitar and starts wailing away. Love it!
Marc’s latest CD, S.O.S.: Save Our Soul, is full of classic soul tune covers except for one great original song, “Come In from the Cold”, penned by Marc. Several reviewers have wondered what the point was to doing a CD of covers but I say why not? Marc’s voice is perfect for these songs and it has reawakened in me the appreciation of old-school soul music. And heck, they’re fun! Plus it’s a bit of a “filler” while he’s working on his next CD.
This current tour is called the “Soul Revue” tour and with the soul that Marc, the band, and featured guest Toby Lightman (subbing for Shannon McNally) put forth, the show most definitely lived up to its moniker. Unfortunately we missed the first twenty minutes or so, so only caught the last two Toby songs. We were very disappointed to walk in and discover that Toby was taking Shannon’s place because we’d seen Toby open for Carbon Leaf a few months back and she was incredible. I’m sure Shannon is great too, but missing out on songs from Toby was a bummer. What was great, though, is that she came out and joined Marc and the band for several songs throughout the night.
What was also surprising and great, was that for the encore it was just Marc, sans band. He was giving it his all and having a fabulous time with the crowd, as we all were with him. (Especially when we all helped him remember the words to his memorable performance of “Lonely Night in Georgia”.) Who he wasn’t so thrilled with (and boy did he let his feelings be known, capped off with a flipping of the fingers under the chin directed at HOB ;)) was the fact that HOB apparently is pretty strict with getting their performers off-stage at a particular hour–enjoyment of performer and crowd be damned. Marc was in a bit of a “f**k you, I’m playing for my fans as long as I want” mood (pretty much the words he used. ;)) and continued his encore for about thirty fantastic minutes more. He did apologize at the end to the employees of HOB for making them have to work late. 😉
All in all, and despite the rude talkers in the crowd, it was a VERY enjoyable night (even more so than when I saw him there a couple years back and got to do a meet and greet with him–THAT was a great experience!) and one I would highly recommend you take in for yourself as soon as Marc and his “Soul Revue” hit your town. Now if they’d only all worn some classic soul garb like crushed velvet jackets and some shiny pants . . .
Thanks to a VERY generous and spontaneous friend (Thanks, Jackson ;)), I’ll be hitting the True Colors Tour 2007 when it makes its final stop in Los Angeles at the Greek Theatre on June 30th. Totally something to look forward to, for so many reasons (especially after finding out just today that The Cliks are rearranging their own tour schedule in order to add the last three True Colors gigs–woo-hoo!), but especially since it will be a incredibly memorable time spent with fabulous friends.
Btw, the LA stop is SOLD OUT (Not sure if more tickets have been released or what the deal is, but TicketMaster is no longer showing the LA show as sold out), so I would highly recommend jumping on tickets for the other remaining shows NOW!
I’ll let the following Cyndi Lauper interview on The View fill you in on what the True Colors Tour 2007 is all about, and I’ll include links to the MySpace pages of several of the scheduled performers. I do have to say, though, that I continue to shake my head in disgust, dismay, and ultimately sadness, over the fact that so many people continue to harbor such hatred toward others just due to one’s sexual orientation. Sigh. Life is far too short, folks. Appreciate the incredible diversity around you (who on earth wants to be just like everyone else?), embrace it, and for crying out loud just get out there and enjoy the heck out of life!
- Human Rights Campaign
- True Colors Tour 2007
- Cyndi Lauper
- Margaret Cho
- Debbie Harry
- The Dresden Dolls (Seriously obsessed with this fascinating duo over the past 24 hours!)
- The Gossip (What a powerful voice their lead singer has!)
- The Misshapes
- The Cliks (just added to the San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angeles shows)
- Jeffree Star
True Colors lyrics
You with the sad eyes
Don’t be discouraged
Oh I realize
It’s hard to take courage
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
And the darkness inside you
Can make you feel so small
But I see your true colors
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful,
Like a rainbow
Show me a smile then,
Don’t be unhappy, can’t remember
When I last saw you laughing
If this world makes you crazy
And you’ve taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I’ll be there
And I’ll see your true colors
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful,
Like a rainbow
(***UPDATE:MUST SEE: The Cliks at The Knitting Factory in Hollywood TONIGHT(8/22/07) AND on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on CBS TOMORROW(8/23/07), also MUST SEE: Our “The Cliks” Adventures at The Knitting Factory and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Videos, Pics)***)
“I think there’s something really sexy about feeling comfortable in your own skin.” ~Lucas Silveira
Time for us all to take a wee break from the never-ending pet food catastrophe, wouldn’t you say? Mind you, I’ll still be doing my best to keep folks updated while I’m back to full-time student teaching (one week down, seven to go…LOVE being back with the kids! ;)), but I figured an upbeat, fun post was in order, don’t you? And to help me with that, I’ve enlisted some help from my dear buddy Jackson, who is not only the man responsible for turning me onto the band we’d like to introduce you to, but also quite a musician himself. I knew he’d do a much better job using his musical background and writing prowess to get you hooked on the band than I would, so here’s what he has to say:
There’s a certain band that’s up until now kept rather quiet and under the radar of the mainstream music industry. With the release of the astonishing album, “Snakehouse,” hitting stores on April 24, the little-known foursome are captivating new fans of all types. And why should they not? This band has it all.
The pace is kept at a steady rate for the majority of “Snakehouse,” allowing a multitude of infectious melodies to seep into your mind and will remain there on some level until your next listen. The music is kept simple and is very much the definition of rock ‘n’ roll, timeless pieces nearing the style of Joan Jett but driven more so by the enthralling and powerful voice of Lucas Silveira. Fan favorites such as “Oh Yeah” and “Complicated” are just a fraction of the excellence to be heard. You might find yourself thinking you know how the specific tune over the speakers might develop, only to be amazed by a melody that’s not only completely different but instantly pleasing to the senses and intoxicating in its severity. Never once does Lucas shy from the microphone and never once does the album seem slow, despite the gentle ninth track, “Nobody Else Will,” which breathes an intense beauty in our ears before charming and impressing us one last time with the closer, “Back in Style.”
The band is The Cliks. Give them a try.
Thanks, Jackson! And I totally agree with giving them a try. After some arm-twisting from him, I hit their MySpace Page, liked what I heard, then headed over to iTunes and bought “Snakehouse” for $9.90. Have to say I have been listening to it for most of the day and still can’t get enough! “Oh Yeah” and “Nobody Else Will” are instant favorites of mine, but honestly there isn’t one song on the CD that didn’t grab me. The energy and intensity put out by the band, the incredible strength of Lucas’ vocals, and the honesty and raw emotion of the lyrics just has me entranced. I LOVE it when I run across music that affects me in that way.
Here is The Cliks web site, some short clips on YouTube, their management page, and a really good read about the winding path that has brought Lucas Silveira to where he is at now. Also got the okay from Kelly Davidson (Etched on Film) to link to her blog page, where you’ll find a link to a gallery of some incredible pictures she took of The Cliks on April 26, 2007. The only video out so far is “Oh Yeah”, which I’m including below. I dare you to not play it over and over again! Enjoy the music, everyone. And mark my words (okay, they were Jackson’s words first), this band will be HUGE in no time at all.