Thursday, July 10, 2008

Albert Hammy, Jr.

Thanks to Mr. Tostado, who in gentlemanly form offered up his would-be-unused ticket, I was treated to Spin Mag and MLB 2K8's jointly sponsored Albert Hammond, Jr. show last night at the Hiro Ballroom. Only caught 5 songs due to the tardiness of an unnamed group of ML-readers, but the band was certainly on, and I enjoyed myself through and through. They sounded tight and well-rehearsed, and given the kinda intimate nature of the event, we all had great sight-lines and room to breathe. In addition to some of the songs (I'll assume he played all of them) off of his latest release, ¿Cómo Te Llama?, he also treated us to an inspiring rendition of "In Transit," a single off of his debut. As far as the venue was concerned, I dug the Hiro Ballroom...hadn't ever been. With plenty of space to rock out on the DF, and plenty of elevated space for more rigorous contemplation, I see the spot as a surefire good time...that is to say that Sebastien Tellier should be nothing short of a divine experience.

So, while I'd give the tunes an A and I'd give the venue an A, I was disappointed by how lame the crowd was. In short, nobody was that into it. As I surveyed the crowd from my perch near the bar, I spotted only a handful of bodies moving to the music. I wouldn't necessarily describe Albert Hammond, Jr.'s tunes as irresistibly dance-inducing, but I at least expected a good amount of head bobbing and applause/fanfare after songs (which there was notably little of)...Of course, as it behooves them to do so, the reviewers over at Spin touted the show/crowd as raucous and involved...Not too surprisingly, (speaking now in retrospect--at the time I was fairly taken aback), Hammond, Jr. did not play an encore. Whether that was a strategically played "cool-move" on his behalf, or whether he sensed the general ennui in the building will forever be left a mystery. But, in the end, who the hell cares? Had a sweet time anyway.

Here are a few of the 5 tracks I was graced with hearing:

Very different. Kinda has a freak-show reggae feel too it, with staggered tempos and ununsual percussion sounds. Retains a very recognizable pop sensibility nonetheless. Perhaps my favorite track off of the new one.

"Victory At Monterey"
They rocked this one out. Studio version is a bit boring, but the chorus is killer. Bass line reminds me a bit of that one Breeder's tune that got big.

"Feed Me Jack Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Peter Sellers"
Not sure I get the Strangelove big deal though. They closed with this one. Very mellow until the end when it breaks into a Weezer-style power chord barrage.

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