Sometimes you have days where all the songs you listen to sound as flat as a cherry cola left out in the sun all afternoon. Then, you get hit with a retro blues, foot-tapping track like “Let the Good Times Roll” by JD McPherson. About the title, McPherson said, “It’s like a Pavlovian reaction to hear that phrase and feel like you’re supposed to have a good time.” His new album comes out February 10th.
Venue: Terminal 5
If you want to sing like a madman and dance like one too, I recommend you see Future Islands at their next tour stop. Front man Samuel T. Herring doesn’t hold back, flying across the stage in wild sometimes violent, sometimes carnal, and often poetic movements. And while his performance was melodramatic to say the least, I believe he never stopped being genuine. He had complete control of the audience, almost conducting us to the musical roller-coaster that is Future Islands. It’s a quite a feat to combine the highs of positivity and celebration with the depths of nostalgia and sadness, but he pulls it off by switching from deep growls to whispering coos to soaring choruses. In “A Song For Our Grandfathers,” he sings about the importance of our lineage and the mistakes of our past:
“Save for the smoke, that danced when I took a drag
It made me think about the way it all came to be…”
My main critique was that the other band members took too much of a backseat, their faces expressionless and their body language, languid. Maybe, that’s a product of playing the same songs every night, but I would have liked a little more collaboration. Overall, four stars for a show that couldn’t keep me still. As Future Islands describes on its twitter account, “too loud for new wave, too pussy for punk.”
Here is a performance On Letterman: