Face-off Tired Pony vs. Snow Patrol…Ramble

Tired Pony is a new “supergroup” from Gary Lightbody (lead singer of Snow Patrol) and Peter Buck (of R.E.M.). My friend took me to see Tired Pony’s first U.S. concert in America at Irving Plaza.

SOUND:

Tired Pony: In short, it’s Snow Patrol “Unplugged.”

Snow Patrol: Big, lush, beautiful sounds and of course some dance-rock too:

Winner: Snow Patrol

GUEST STARS:

Tired Pony: As if they didn’t have enough amazing members in the group,  a lovely little guest star appearence from one Michael Stipe as well as oscar winner (of the movie ‘Once’ and band Swell Season) Marketa Irglova in place of Zooey Deschanel.

Snow Patrol: I’ve seen them several times with Martha Wainwright singing their duet “Who Set Fire To The Third Bar.”

Winner: Tired Pony

LEAD SINGER:

Tired Pony: Gary Lightbody wearing a jacket over his normal t-shirt and spouting self-deprecating banter. Add in Iain Archer (who not only co-wrote songs with Snow Patrol, but was also in Lightbody’s other supergroup The Reindeer Section– the drummer was also in RS) singing “I Am A Landslide,” the one song that sounds nothing like Snow Patrol.

Giving People in their 30's & 40's a reason to get a babysitter

Snow Patrol: Gary Lightbody earnest, distinct voice, great banter and dances and grips the microphone as he closes his eyes and dances around like a man possessed.

Winner: You might think it’s an even draw, yet the winner is Snow Patrol. Gary is a great frontman no matter what and can win naysayers over with his Irish charm. Tired Pony had too many cooks in the kitchen like so many other supergroups. It’s enjoyable but there’s something so much more earnest and freeing about Snow Patrol.

LOGO:

TP… for my bung-holio– yes, it’s a Beavis and Butthead reference but that’s what I thought as soon as just the initials TP me up on the screen.

Snow Patrol: Bold type face. Simple. Clean. Done.

Winner: Snow Patrol

BUT WHY?

My companion found the music so similiar to Snow Patrol she asked why even bother creating Tired Pony?

1. It gives Gary new inspiration and a chance to change things up.

2. Fans of R.E.M. get a night out on the town and exposed to Gary Lightbody!

Winner: Snow Patrol and diehard fans of anyone in the group. BTW, the freebie “I Finally Love This Town” on the website is not on the album and it’s a catchy little tune. Lyrically Tired Pony has some really strong moments. Their 2nd & “final” show is in LA tonight. Apparently some tickets are still available.

Snow Patrol Hearts New York…Ramble

We Heart You Too!

We Heart You Too!


As I mentioned in my Chicago post, there’s a band from Ireland that makes my heart beat rapidly and my body move up and down, fists swaying without control to their happy rhythms, known as Snow Patrol. This summer I tried to take my sister to see them twice. We were going to meet up in Indiana to see them open for Coldplay, yet the timing was craptastic. Then we were excited to see them open for U2 at Soldier Field in Chitown, and uh, yeah we missed them due to mixing up the show times.

Luckily for me, time number eight happened yesterday (yes once I saw them 4 times in 2 cities in one week) in the greatest city on earth. My poor sister, who’s birthday it is today- Happy Birthday Shauna!, was already back in Chicago after a weekend in NY. Yeah, our timing is not so great so I shall pull a Gary Lightbody move and dedicate the show to Shauna.

If you guessed the 1st song was 'Take Back The City' you win a gold star!

If you guessed the 1st song was 'Take Back The City' you win a gold star!

Gary was happy enough to give NY it’s props saying it is the city they have played in & drank the most in the US. He went on to thank NY for being one step ahead of the curve on everything. Why Thank you Mr. Lightbody. His voice was in fine form so folks worried about the pollops from the last tour, let’s cross fingers he keeps that way.

It was bang hit hit hit after hit, a great mix of ‘Final Straw’, ‘Eyes Open’ and ‘A Hundred Million Suns’- to which I have to “Just Say Yes.”

The third song in was the song made me fall in love with Snow Patrol while I was on a boat in Malta, ‘Chocolate.’ What was I doing in Malta? Well, back then Jen and Brad were still Jen and Brad. “Troy” had been filmed partially on Malta so they had a little fun getaway there. While in Malta with the aforementioned birthday girl and her fellow birthday girl, my friend whom Shauna stole, Jackie, all thought we’d enjoy their nightlife. Jackie had decided being Hawaiian wasn’t for some reason, exotic enough and decided she was going to say she was a Malaysian Princess. Holla! We walked down a long street on the main island of St. Julian’s in the Pacevilla area as instructed, packed with nightclubs, neon flashing invitingly to our dance feet, people streaming in and music pumping out a good time. We got to the bottom of the hill and made it to this remote club we were told by several different islanders would be right for us. It was packed with all the non-English people & it was a total freak show even Britney Spears would’ve gone running in the other direction…..end flashback. (New readers, it’s called a ramble for a reason.)

Cutting back to last night, I was brimming over with love to correct the once, twice send out the fool alert, Snow Patrol ‘Take Back The Cities‘ tour.

Paul Wilson got a 'hot'cut

Paul Wilson got a 'hot'cut

Cascading melodies are always fun and who doesn’t freaking love that Gary is chatty? He’s a frontman who loves his bandmates, maybe just a little too much, although I dig it, there are some haters. Seriously? How can you hate his amiable personality? This being my 8th!! time seeing them over the past 3 albums, I can say Gary’s personality hasn’t changed from being a self-deprecating jokester who fancies dedicating songs to other bands and random fans.

Too close for comfort? It's just a bit of fun for the lads!

Too close for comfort? It's just a bit of fun for the lads!

I really did enjoy ‘Golden Floor’ (hmm segway to Mika’s “We Are Golden“, ah no too many distractions already!) off ‘A Hundred Million Suns.’ A lot of people tossed it in the trash since ‘Eyes Open’ was just jampacked with instant radio-friendliness, but on a second listen, the band continues the themes of eyes, carrying the weight of a relationship, and time. This time round it’s evolved to a place where they are not afraid of anything, even time. I personally like it when a band experiments and finding their new nuances. It’s keeps the creativity flowing. Someone might want to tie haters to a rocket or put out a 911 for the cuckolds of their cold, cold hearts to give it another shot.

You are getting sleepy....nah you are rocking out! Hands up!

You are getting sleepy....nah you are rocking out! Hands up!


Are you seeing stars? Like A Hundred Million of them?

Are you seeing stars? Like A Hundred Million of them?

Now that I have you where I want you, you should be rejoicing that Snow Patrol have a new single and you really should “Just Say Yes.” I’m digging it’s dance feel after seeing the fellas spin in Chicago. The good news is….there’s another album coming out with a 3 hr DVD of live footage. Meow, wrap it up, send it to me for Christmas, I’m done.

Oh man, some old school 'Final Straw' goodness. Bless ya Gary!

Oh man, some old school 'Final Straw' goodness. Bless ya Gary!

Reasons I love Seeing Snow Patrol Live:
1) They SMILE and look like they enjoy playing their music, not bored like some other wankers, hello Weezer.
2) Nathan…..mmm, you are so adorable when you sing along to the parts you don’t have to sing back up too.
3) Did I mention they admit their flaws? During the acoustic part of ‘Run’ Gary was just knocking it out of the park, then the rest of the band came back on to take it up a notch, it went all haywire with the equipment. They promised to play it again. They were forgiven instantly with a rousing sing-a-long of ‘Shut Your Eyes.’
4) ‘Chasing Cars’ makes me melt, then ‘Hands Open‘ catapults me into spastic dance moves. I am also at one with the lyrics ‘you’re cinematic razor sharp, a welcome arrow through the heart. Give me a chance to hold on’– if you insist! It reminds me of when the international fellow music programmers of Yahoo! (Canada, Australia, England) came to LA & we went to see Snow Patrol at The Wiltern (show #7 I’ve seen.) Oh, how the only male, Andy was so tormented by us. The head of the UK, Traci (so gorgeous) like, totally, OMG, pointed to me during those lyrics. Good times, good times yeah.
5) Richard of Belle & Sebastian, a band Snow Patrol is heavily influenced by is on the road with them playing drums.
6) There is a sexually charged makeout/snog/pesh vibe to their shows. Sadly I have never made out at one of their shows because I’m too busy enjoying the music but oh man, can I dig it.
7) True to their word, Snow Patrol added ‘Run’ fully plugged in to their encore.
8) Gary once looked at my red shoes.

What a fabulous couple we'd make!

What a fabulous couple we'd make!

Chicago Has It Going On…Ramble

Spontaneous getaways can be the ideal pick me up! I decided last Wednesday to come to Chicago for the weekend. There was so much going on in New York- Fashion Week, The US Open, San Genaro Festival (yes we forgot all about it until we ran into folks with powdered sugar on their faces didn’t we?), and those MTV VMA’s which added to the frenzy. When it was suggested to get a change of scene in Chicago, I said why not?

Our weekend got off to a whimsical start with dinner in Andersonville at Hamburger Mary’s.

The shoe may not be 'this season' but it is a fun way to serve a bill.

The shoe may not be 'this season' but it is a fun way to serve a bill.

A friend of mine hooked me up, putting me on invite list to see the men of Snow Patrol spin on Friday night at Underground in Chicago from 12-4 A.M. There’s a restaurant in my hometown which has the slogan ‘where mountain men and debutantes meet.’ The slogan for Underground should be ‘where business man and dirty, dirty ho’s exchange bodily fluids.’ The club is poorly laid out with two bars on one side, VIP tables to the left and down the center (so basically all seating) It was seriously a disgusting display of boney hoochie mamas unabashedly thrusting their way in all directions.

Honey, this is why I’m not a fan of clubs so I haven’t been in one in ages but when did club fashion include blazers? Half the men were wearing blazers and one was suede. It was 78 degrees outside! One of the folks from the record label who is a local, was horrified. She put up a disclaimer of responsibility for the club choice. When conversation turned to some poser trying to claim he owned the bar, she was happy to confirm it is owned by a corporation.

Underground certainly did know how to treat the clients trying to charge guestlisters $20 a head. Seriously? The best part is their website claims every guest is a VIP. Right. We decided to have a little fun with the fiasco that we were in, all for the love of Snow Patrol!

Me: You co-own this with Oprah don’t you?
Coolchick: I am Oprah. That’s just a costume I wear on the show.
Me: That’s such a great plan. You can check up on your investments without anyone harassing you.
Coolchick: It ….

She was then abducted by a guy wearing a suit. Of course! He had the ‘Men In Black’ uniform on complete with sunglasses and a neon green string to give people something to talk about other then the drunkards playing bumper cars with the clientele.

Snow Patrol need liquid courage to deal with Underground's patrons.

Snow Patrol need liquid courage to deal with Underground's patrons.

My favorite club-goer kept trying to get Gary Lightbody from Snow Patrol to high-five him from the DJ booth every time he was spinning. Gary was a good sport as is his nature, yet you can see for yourself, the fellas needed some drinks to get through the night.

We set out Saturday morning in search of a recovery breakfast to clear away all remanents of underground from our head.

My sunglasses protect me from the sun & you from my bags!

My sunglasses protect me from the sun & you from my bags!

My sister is a champion who knows how to get things done!

What's my style? FABULOUS!

What's my style? FABULOUS!

Shopping in Wicker Park (no, not inspired by the Josh Harnett film, as if!) to check out one of my favorite shoe stores, John Fluevog was first on the agenda. Hello! This store was full, as usual, of attractive salesman ready to service, um, serve us a helping of funky footwear. Unfortunately we missed the annual sale by a week but they always have items on their website.

Post a fierce white fall hat purchase at Niche, we headed to
Beta Boutique where *everyday is a sample sale. The * part refers to them only being open Thursday- Sunday. Either way, my sister and I both scored gorgeous tops and got the approval of the beta fish (Waffles and Janice) in the dressing rooms. I was happy to nab a copy of CS magazine at the entrance with Eric Bana on the cover in a suit. Bantastic!

We continued the afternoon indulging in High Tea Service at The Drake Hotel. For $29 a piece, it is a worthwhile retreat from the every day hub bub of life.

Why yes that is a cream puff in the form of a SWAN!

Why yes that is a cream puff in the form of a SWAN!

It was so stunning in the tea room with a harpist playing and the enormous fountain, with flowers at the center, we quickly turned our tea into a mini photo shoot.

cq's 2009 chitown visit 015

A night with Chicago friends means someone is cooking. And trust me, folks do not mess around. They use strainers to puree rasberries to cover your dessert. Foodie heaven.

Mmm, wanna be my personal chef?

Mmm, wanna be my personal chef?

We enjoyed a roof deck and a bottle of Le Volte wine ‘with a hint of diesel’ thus proving it to be concocted by he who shall not be named, Lord Voldemort.

Sunday is saved for the Church right? Art museums are where my prayers get answered and in this case The Art Institute of Chicago. My favorite modern artist is Cy Twombly. His exhibition Cy Twombly: The Natural World, Selected Pieces 2000-2007 which closed today, not in October as the Art Institute’s website proclaimed and it was reason enough to hop on a plane. Was it worth it? Are you kidding me?

This is how I pray in the summer (to steal a line from Robbie Williams) and actually, every other time I’m in a museum. I seek out modern art hoping to catch some time with Mr. T (wombly.) Lucky me, eight of his sculptures are on display in New York beginning this week at the Gagosian Gallery!

Peony Blossom Painting

Peony based on Japanese Hiku

I felt so refreshed in joy after seeing the exhibit I had to go back by myself for a few minutes to take in the different themes, drinking it all. Chicago, just like Barcelona, is a city which truly supports art and music, dedicating so many spaces for the public to be exposed to it. The Target sponsored free hours are Thursday 5-8. I almost went bankrupt in the gift shop since I’ve never before found any books on Mr. Twombly and they were in abundance.

Sunday night we left for the preacher, BONO. These seats were made possible by some really amazing peeps. I have to admit, I was extremely excited to be able to take my sister to see Snow Patrol. I introduced her to their music and have seen them seven times. I can’t believe she has never seen them.

We got to Soldier Field very excited. It holds 61,500 people! The sensation of seeing it packed out and then the field covered with standing fans, filled us with awe. At 8:23 I even commented that I had never seen this many people arrive for the opening band. Snow Patrol was going to kill!

Me and Gary Lightbody from Snow Patrol last time they toured. Sigh!

Me and Gary Lightbody from Snow Patrol last time they toured. Sigh!

A few minutes later the lights went down, flashing of digital numbers commenced and Larry Mullen walks out much to our surprize. Um, he’s not in Snow Patrol! A look at the tickets revealed a 7 P.M. start time, not 8….oh no. We laughed and then enjoyed the incredible show that had begun.

Best Seats in Soldier Field!

Best Seats in Soldier Field!

Yeah, as in U2‘s lead singer. He’s quite the little showman if you get to see it. Jumping up and down to : Beautiful Day, Elevation, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For….the list goes on and on, was an incredible lift to my spirit. One of the highlights was when Bono leaned over a railing and scooped up a child in attendence. We could only imagine the parental units:
Mother: Bono stole my child!
Dad: Well, it’s worth it, it’s Bono!!!!

Stranger Danger?

Stranger Danger?

Hi, my name is Bono

Hi, my name is Bono

Let us live life in the City of Blinding Lights! Dancing commenced. The U2 spaceship provided a pathway to musical heaven!

U2 dreams big landing their 360 spaceship at our feet

U2 dreams big landing their 360 spaceship at our feet

Ah, lest we not forget the rest of the fellas! In fact, The Edge is my favorite member of U2. Larry and Adam you guys rock too.

Musical Church is in session!

Musical Church is in session!

The recipe for a perfect weekend? Sun, good company, art & music. Thank you Chicago, you are an absolutely charming destination!

Oh you look so beautiful tonight, why thank you U2!

Oh you look so beautiful tonight, why thank you U2!

Additional Random Items on Chicago:
1) The metro is $2.25 a ride, $2 for the bus
2) Don’t swim the beach water has some parasite in it left over from slaughterhouse days, go sailing instead!
3) There are sculptures everywhere so look out when you are walking around, you may miss a Picasso.
4) When we got to Damen station in Wicker Park, I made the SNL Da Bears joke as in Daaaa men. Don’t do that if asking for directions. It’s just a joke folks.

Two great brunch places:
Wishbone which has 3 locations. Brunch is delicious and they do believe in fantastic cocktails like the Mr. Funky. Open air seating with a really tremendous sense of fun.

Eleven City Diner an old school diner with subway tile decor. They serve up Junior’s Cheesecake (yeah Brooklyn!) and a fantastic cup of joe. It’s crazy on the weekends so save it for a weekday.