Friday, February 16, 2007

Albert Hammond Jr. at the Troubadour

Love was in the air on Valentine's day at the Troubadour.The love fest was started by Har Mar Superstar. When I say Har Mar performed a stripped down set, I mean it literally and figuratively. Armed with just a DAT(Digital Audio Tape) machine, Har Mar danced around on stage with his R-rated Justin Timberlake, Maroon 5 and Mickey Avalon hybrid rap/dance/disco/funk songs. Har Mar worked the audience well and had time to go to down into the crowd to order a Patron shot of tequila from the bar mid song. When I saw Morrissey and he lost his shirt there was a large cheer from the audience. Har Mar received more cat calls then cheers and I tend to think they were on the sarcastic side. I have to say I liked his band the Sean Na Na's better. Did you know that both Har Mar Superstar and Albert Hammond Jr. have opened for Incubus? Albert Hammond Jr. was up next and delivered the goods. I have heard the new album over on NME and was impressed, but I have admit his live show was even more convincing. I usually worry about a guitarist stepping out for a solo album but Albert definitely has the skills. His backing band also featured the guitar work of Steve Schiltz who fronts the band Longwave. Steve was rocking a sweet Fender Jazzmaster thru his Hiwatt stack. Albert Hammond Jr. was rocking his trademark Olympian white Fender Stratocaster with two Jekyll and Hyde Overdrive pedals. The Jekyll and Hyde pedal has two channels with one channel modeled after the classic Ibanez Tubescreamer 808 and the other an all out distortion channel. Apparently the Artic Monkeys use the same pedals. Stand out tracks from the set include "101", "In Transit" and the smoking closer of Hard to Live(In the City). The set was really quick (approx 45mins) and I could see Matt Lazano (drums) tell Albert in between songs that the song they had just played was really fast. If Albert Hammond Jr. decides to go solo, it would change the Strokes and signal the death knell of Longwave. Hopefully all bands will remain intact. Check out his album Yours to Keep on March 6th. You can also boost your indie rock credentials if you can identify the cover songs on the setlist.(one hint: not white).

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