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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Concert Review: Ludo @ The Knitting Factory NYC 10/20/2008

      I guess “My Addiction” is rocking out at concerts. Tonight was the seventh installment of the “Jay Porks Never ending Concert Series”, the place; The Knitting Factory NYC. The headlining act was the one and only Ludo who if you haven’t heard, are pretty good. The under card consisted of “Kids of Survival”, “House of Heroes” and “This Providence”, all bands I have not heard of. So let me run you down on them: This Providence is an “emo pop/ rock act from Seattle” so says All Music Guide. If someone can just explain to me what Emo is exactly, please do so because I’m more confused the more I look into it. House of Heroes is listed as a “Christian Rock” band on all the credible musical sites, they’re from Ohio, and to tell you the truth I didn’t hear them mention god at all so I’m not going to put that label on them. But lets start it off with the first act, Kids of Survival.

    Kids of Survival are from Queens, so we got some New York representation in the rock industry. I was sitting in a chair upstairs leaning on the balcony for them. There was this older guy standing next to me, I showed him where to get a chair. Before they start he turns to be and says in a sort of raspy older dude type voice “My son is the drummer in this band, so I want you to tell me what you think. Seriously.” I was like “defiantly “. They have a Myspace page and they’re listed as “Power Pop/Indie/Rock. Power pop sounds a little gay, but I like that sort of stuff. They didn’t sound power pop to me. Weezer and Fountains of Wayne are Power pop. These guys weren’t that, they had more elements of, I want to say emo because a lot of lost my girlfriend stuff was in there but they’re not that according to they’re myspace. They had some rocking songs though, and the drummer (who’s father I’m sitting next to”) hits it with strong conviction I noted to myself as they were playing. Probably the best song they played was a song called “My Addiction”, I’ll probably get it from iTunes later. They had thanked House of Heroes for letting them borrow some gear at the end of their set, which answered my personal question of “How does a band I never heard of afford Marshall amps?”.  

    After they went off I went downstairs to hit the bar, and then I finally found the spot where they were selling all the “merch”. Merchandise, is referred to as “Merch” at rock concerts, that’s like a rule. They had each band’s stuff set up in different parts of the room. I usually get a tee shirt but I was in a drinking sort of mood and with 6 dollar beers I wanted to conserve money, but I needed a Kazoo. In Ludo’s song “Love me Dead” there is a Kazoo crowd play along part at the end and I neew they had to be selling them. So I see a girl sitting down with one, and I start walking over and just when she’s about to say something I’m like “kazoo, where can get one?” and she replies with “oh, Ludo stuff is over there you should check out some of the Kids of Survival stuff.” So I’m like “what’s free?” and she says the sticker and I asked where do I put it and either her or one of the other Kids of Survival clerks said “Put it on your head”, And I was like “Hell yea, that’s a great idea” and proceeded to put it on my head. It was great, everyone loved it. this girl who obviously works with the band had a camera and was taking like a video of me with the thing on my head. She says “okay, do you know what band is on your head?” I stopped and remembered it and she was like okay and started recording and ask me who I just saw and she asked “did they rock?” and I said “ Absolutely, are you kidding me?” and she ended it there and was like “that’s great”. Another girl said to me “The band saw you, they thought it was great”. So I’ll probably be on they’re myspace page or something acting a fool with a sticker on my head. Great stuff. Then I turn to this other girl who’s standing by herself she heard me looking for kazoos and she asked “ Who you here for Ludo?” and I said “ Yea, you?” after she agreed I asked if she heard of any of the other band on the card she said “not the slightest”. So we were on the same page. I asked her if she came by herself and she said yea and I said me too and right there was the person I was hanging with all night. Her name is Amanda, and she recently moved here from Wisconsin(where she had seen Ludo 6 times already) and she was cool and showed me how to play the kazoo which I had purchased for, get this, ONE DOLLAR. Imagine? Something actually under priced because that’s not like a one time use kazoo, I will be carrying it around playing songs all day. So me and my new friend walked back towards the show floor. Now I’m on the floor level as oppose to upstairs, which did provide a great view but not a rock out effect I wanted to experience, and now I have someone to rock out with.

    House of Heroes, like I said I didn’t hear them mention god or anything so I’m ignoring the fact that they’re listed as a “Christian” rock band. They were very good, powerful hard sounding guitars. They had to be good because Amanda bought their CD after the show. I need to check out they’re catalogue; I can’t name a song they played because I can’t find they’re set list online anywhere. They’re from Ohio, so I guess Christian rock is different in Columbus. Played for about 45 minutes, they thanked the bands for having them and then the wait began for This Providence, which to my surprise had a lot of fans there.

     The wait was annoying, the previous bands were in and out and these guys where tuning up for what seemed to be hours. Amanda asked if I knew anything whatsoever about them I told her that I read that they were Emo. Now I’m an open minded guy, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a band live and said to myself “wow, this is horrible”. But let me tell you something: wow that was horrible!! These guys looked straight off the “worst band ever” train. So now I know what Emo is, it’s garbage music. They had a drum machine/ kick drum sort of thing going on, adding the techno element to their music which in return made bad songs worse. The lead singer was wearing a scarf, a FREAKING SCARF! With a white tee shirt. Then, later in the set he tied the scarf to the mic stand ala Steven Tyler, which isn’t cool considering he’s belting out ballads of weak, wimpy stories in his lyrics. I swear one of the lines I heard was “I’m a coward, not a fighter!”. What losers. What a bunch of pansy emo kids. I’m sorry, but that’s unacceptable. Amanda turned to me after their set and said “yea, too bad. That’s pretty much what I expected”. Me and her we literally leaning on the wall the whole time, and the worst part about it is after they went off I saw all these kids leaving. Like, a lot of people were there to see this band? I feel sorry for them. so we moved up a little bit.

    On to the main event, LUDO!!! An alternative rock band from St. Louis, Missouri. They came out and did not disappoint. Their lead singer Andrew Volpe is a hilarious guy, just all around humorous and so into it. He and Tom Convy who plays moog (yes, it’s a instrument) had a lot of funny banter back and forth throughout the set. They played two songs off they’re new album to kick it off. One of them was “Dunken Lamont” which is a really good song. They have two previous albums so some other songs I couldn’t sing along to but they all kicked ass, every single one of them. Their second album is a concept album/rock opera about how this chick dies in 1989 and he travels back in time to try and stop it, from what I hear (and heard) it’s a good piece of music. That song was called “Broken Bride”, which is also the name of that record which came out in 2005. They also played ‘Topeka’, Lake Pontchartrain, Such As It Ends all are off the latest record “You’re Awful, I love you”. Halfway through about, they play their new single “Go Getter Greg” which I currently have as my Myspace song. So catchy, so hard, and so witty and funny all at the same time; this is the point in the show when I realize that this band could be really big one day with songs like this. “Ima go getter guy with a gun on my hip/just searching for that someone to be firing it”, I love those lyrics. Another thing, I love the jumping up and down to the songs. That is cool, that is official rock out status, and that’s what the atmosphere was like, especially during go getter greg. Then the band went off stage to leave Andrew up there to do a song called “The Horror of our love” solo which is a good song, would have been a better song had a fight not broken out about ten-fifteen feet from me to the right. I couldn’t see much, just a pile with event staff breaking something up. This guy Andrew Volpe didn’t miss a beat, kept his composure and didn’t do something dumb like stop the show or whatever. He had to have seen it because as he put it “I’m glad we sold out this place, all 84 of you bought tickets.”. He also made sure to thank the record company in between one of the songs saying “Yea, we’re not one of those bands that’s hates our label, we love the man! So we’re not cool because we like our record company”. The way he says things he could be a stand up comic. Anyway, that fight got cleaned up before that song even ended so didn’t really distract anything, just something worth noting. Then after an utterly brilliant performance they get into they’re big hit “Love me Dead” which is all over any good radio station right now. That’s the song where the Kazoo comes into play. And that was kick ass, I was freaking livid jumping up and screaming the words along with everyone else in there, that place was rocking hard. Tom (the moog player) made all of us in the crowd squeeze in for a picture he took form stage, he said it came out good and that they’ve only done that in Japan and Brazil. Hope they put that on the website. But wait a minute, Love me Dead isn’t their last song? What song is more rocking then that? well, I’ll tell you what song is. Andrew gets into a story saying that the next song is about something that happened in NYC in 1986 and nothing was ever the same and a whole bunch of funny non sense like that, then I hear a pretty familiar riff. Then I’m singing the words, “When there’s something strange/in the neighborhood/who you gonna call?” and we all screamed “GHOSTBUSTERS!!!”. That’s freaking amazing, you encore with the Ghostbusters theme song, and it rocked don’t get it twisted it was not corny or anything it kicked friggin tush. Then I ripped one of the Ludo posters off the wall when after we chanted “one more song” for like 10 minutes. 

    What a show, Ludo is such a great band live. They’re so into it, so good at it. They grab the crowd and put you in this like complete ‘rockin’ zone you can’t control. It was absolutely amazing. Take me a few weeks to decipher where it stands on my best shows list but its top three at least. So all in all I suggest checking out that band Kids of Survival, they’re were pretty good. And defiantly support Ludo, they’re on the rise, I have a knack for these things.

    Next up on the Jay Porks never ending Concert Series: Local H at Webster Hall in NYC! November 22nd they're opening for a band called Electric Six.  It should be good times. Thats followed up by the Meat Puppets(yes, again) at the Music hall of Williamsburg. I don’t think I’ve been to Brooklyn in like 5 years, it ought to be amazing, December 13th that goes down. I guess I’ll check you people then.