Entries tagged with: Neil Finn

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photos by P Squared Photography

Neil Finn / with Liam Finn @ Town Hall, 4/8/2014
Neil FinnNeil Finn

When he sat down at the grand piano, Mr. Finn realized that part of the audience couldn't see him. When he moved to guitar, his elaborate pedal board failed and had to be carried backstage for repairs. For a while, Mr. Finn couldn't use his detailed guitar effects, playing directly through his amplifier; he joked about how much he missed his pedals until he got them back mid-set. To stay visible, Mr. Finn played his biggest hit, "Don't Dream It's Over" from Crowded House, on guitar rather than piano. When he did return to the piano, band members helped rotate it to a better angle. "It's one of those nights, ladies and gentlemen, when we have to abandon the script," Mr. Finn announced.

In a way, the dishevelment tied into the songs. Mr. Finn's narrators are often buffeted by their circumstances: insecure about life, entangled in iffy romances, longing for love but braced for disappointment. Yet his music tells different, more confident stories. Mr. Finn writes pop songs that expertly stretch the possibilities of verse-chorus-bridge; they use convoluted chord progressions, toy with meter and are full of twists and turns, even as the choruses stay catchy. - [New York Times]

Neil Finn just released a new album, Dizzy Heights, and was in NYC on Tuesday (4/8) at Town Hall, as part of his current tour. Despite some technical glitches early on (as detailed in the quoted Times review above), Neil carried on like the class act he is, playing for around two-and-half hours, including two encores. His set included plenty of Dizzy Heights, plus songs from throughout his nearly 40-year career, including Spit Enz and Crowded House classics. Setlist and pictures are in this post.

Neil's band includes his wife, Sharon, on bass and during the encore it became a real family affair, bringing out sons Liam and Elroy (on drums), and they hooked up a computer with Skype so that their grandmother could watch the Finn's play. They did Liam's song "Fire in Your Belly" (not from his new album) and covered Bowie's "Moonage Daydream." Liam pulled a Hendrix and played guitar with his teeth and cut his face in the process. Careful, Liam! You can catch Liam (with Elroy on drums) in NYC at Union Pool next week.

Opening the show were Midlake who are in acoustic mode on this tour. Pictures of their opening set and more from Neil Finn, below...

Continue reading "Neil Finn made it a family affair at Town Hall show with Midlake (pics, setlist)"

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As mentioned, onetime Spit Enz/Crowded House singer Neil Finn's new album Dizzy Heights is out next week (2/11). Produced by Dave Fridmann, the new album -- his third solo platter -- goes in new, dreamy atmospheric directions, though anchored as always with Finn's gifted melodic skills. You can stream the whole album via Pandora and watch the video for "Divebomber" and stream "Flying in the Face of Love" below.

Neil Finn will tour North America this spring and is bringing Midlake, who will be playing acoustic, along for the ride. That includes a stop in NYC at Town Hall on April 8. Tickets for that show are on sale. All tour dates are listed below.

Continue reading "Neil Finn streaming new solo LP, touring with Midlake (dates)"

Neil Finn

Crowded House frontman Neil Finn, who just finished up a live webcast from his home in New Zealand, has a new solo album on the way. The 12-track "Dizzy Heights" LP will be on February 7th, but if you pre-order it now you get access to the song "Dive Bomber" immediately. You can also listen to that song via its video which makes its premiere here. Watch below...

Continue reading "Neil Finn releasing new LP "Dizzy Heights", listen to 'Dive Bomber' now, watch its video "

The Hobbit

Like all nerds and pretty much everyone, we're excited for Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The movie doesn't hit theaters until December 13. but you can listen to the soundtrack to the film, which comes out on December 10, now. It's streaming in full below.

Like The Lord If The Rings trilogy, The Hobbit was scored by Howard Shore who is also working on the next two Hobbit films in this trilogy. It also features a track by Crowded House's Neil Finn with his sons Elroy and Liam, "Song of the Lonely Mountain," which you can listen to over at Rolling Stone, that will play in the end credits. The movies are filmed in New Zealand where the Finns are from, so that's a nice touch.

Meanwhile, speaking of Liam Finn, you can catch him in NYC this week at the previously discussed Glasslands show on Friday (11/16) with Reuben and the Dark. Tickets for that show are still available.

Soundtrack stream and tracklist below...

Continue reading "'The Hobbit' is coming, Howard Shore's soundtrack is streaming now (Neil Finn is on there too)"

Kanye West & Big Sean @ Irving Plaza Tuesday (Joshua Laboy)
Kanye Sean

Maybe it was all the excitement of summer finally arriving, but for whatever reason, NYC shows have been pretty heavy on the special guests lately. Here's a few we know about.

Reggie Watts was the secret guest that joined Glenn Kotche and Buke & Gass during 'Wilco weekend' at NYU for the Jab Abumrad's Radiolab Concert on Saturday (6/18). Reggie was a secret because of the two Summerstage shows he's playing this week including the one in Red Hook Park TONIGHT (6/24).

Reptar was a secret guest at the Thee Oh Sees Brooklyn Bowl show on Saturday (Reptar played Governors Ball earlier that day). And as predicted, Thee Oh Sees themselves were the secret headliner at Death by Audio the previous night (6/17).

Reptar, who also opened for Art Brut at Music Hall last night, will open for Foster the People at Terminal 5 on September 27th. The only mystery here is how Foster the People are big enough to headline Terminal 5 already! Tickets are on sale.

Ted Leo showed up as a special guest at the Eleanor Friedberger show at Europa during Northside. Bradford Cox was in the Audience. Catch Ted again at the free South Street Seaport kickoff party for the 4Knots Festival that Eleanor plays at the South Street Seaport a week later. It was just announced that Eleanor will also open for Deerhunter at their Webster Hall shows in August. (Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox must have really liked her set) Tickets for both Deerhunter shows are still available.

As also recently mentioned both Clams Casino and Neon Indian (DJ) were added as last minute surprises guests to the Northside show at Cameo on Sunday (6/19). The show was one day after Neon Indian played Governors Ball. Monday night Cameo hosted semi-secret DJ sets by YACHT, The Miracles Club & Midnight Magic, all who played MHOW on Sunday.

Kanye West showed up at Big Sean's Irving Plaza show on Tuesday (6/21), the same night Big Sean appeared on the Bon Iver episode of Fallon. Despite two of Kanye's friends being on Fallon on the same night however, Kanye did not make an appearance on the show (not even backstage). Videos from Irving Plaza below.

Justin Vernon did not show up at the S. Carey/David Bazan show at Bowery Ballroom on Wednesday (6/22), as we hoped he would. S. Carey is a member of Bon Iver's band and played with Justin the two days previous on both Fallon and Colbert.

Speaking of Fallon, Bob Mould (who DJs his Blowoff party at Highline Ballroom tonight) showed up and surprised people by playing a Sugar song backed by the Roots on the show. Mould recently performed live with the Foo Fighters during their set at Sasquatch. Video of that special guest appearance is below.

Lenny Kravtiz's daughter Zoƫ Kravitz and her band Elevator Fight played Southpaw with J*Davey on Tuesday (6/21). Lenny showed up to watch his daughter, but he wasn't the only crowd member blowing up Twitter. Drake was also in the audience to catch the show. FADER grabbed him outside the Park Slope venue for a quick video interview which you can watch below.

Flying Lotus & Just Blaze @ Music Hall (via the Comedian)

Flying Lotus headlined two Brainfeeder showcases (his label) this week. The first was at Bowery Ballroom on Monday (6/20) and the second at MHOW on Wednesday (6/22). Apparently trippy instrumentals aren't the only thing FlyLo digs when it comes to hip hop producers, because Just Blaze (Jay-Z, T.I.) showed up to play with him at the MHOW show. Flying Lotus also surprised NYC by playing a free late show at Le Poisson Rouge too.

Following in FlyLo's footsteps, Ivan & Alyosha gave NYC a gift in the form of a last-minute free late show at Mercury Lounge.

Crowded House frontman Neil Finn played with Eddie Vedder at Beacon Theatre on his tour with Glen Hansard.

And while opener Glen Hansard (Swell Season, the Frames) helped Vedder recreate "Sleepless Nights," the tender duet the pair shared on "Ukulele Songs," and the crowd found their voices and their feet for several of he night's tunes -- "Porch," "Unthought Known" -- the biggest roar erupted when Vedder invited Crowded House/Split Enz frontman Neil Finn to the stage for an impromptu collaboration Vedder jokingly called an "unrehearsed collision." With longtime friend Finn on organ, the twosome blended delicate harmonies on Hunters And Collectors' "Throw Your Arms Around Me." Finn took up a guitar and sat down next to Vedder to trade verses on Finn's Split Enz hit "I Got You," which found Finn playfully calling out chords to Vedder during the bridge. "It turns out we play that song differently," Vedder quipped, "But since he wrote it, he's right."

Decked out in a trio of long white lab coats, Finn (organ) and Hansard (guitar) returned with Vedder for the second encore, the rousing "Big Hard Sun" from "Into The Wild." [Billboard]

Neil Finn plays his own show at Bowery Ballroom on 6/26. You can win two tickets on our Facebook.

As you know, Stephen Colbert was the special guest with The Black Belles on his own show last night (6/23). He performed with the band and also recorded a single with them which is now on sale via Third Man Records. Jack White actually also appeared on the show this time for his third and final appearance during StePhest Colbchella '011 and then appeared with Colbert again today (6/24) at The Lot at the High Line. Jack and the Black Belles were also spotted last night (6/23) bowling at Brooklyn Bowl. According to Questlove (who was DJing the venue), he "has bowling game."

Tonight (6/24) is the another Doveman show at LPR. Lisa Hannigan (who played 3 sold out NYC-area shows this week) and Mike Doughty are billed as openers, but according to Doveman, some secret special guests will be showing up as well (as usual).

Last but not least, as hinted, and confirmed earlier today, Fucked Up are the special guest at 285 Kent Saturday (6/26) with JEFF the Brotherhood and Iceage. Tickets are on sale at Record Grouch. Iceage also played a secret show at 538 Johnson while they were in town for Northside.

Any special appearances we left out?

Videos below...

Continue reading "This Week in Special Guests (Kanye West, Reggie Watts, Reptar, Neil Finn, Drake, Just Blaze, Doveman & more)"

Pajama Club

And the official bio says...

"It's always been the element of struggle that makes music human and exciting. Neil and Sharon Finn discovered that for themselves at home late one night in their pajamas, having their first jam, making a racket in the grand tradition of enthusiastic amateurs.

For Neil, after a career of writing songs and strumming guitars, it was liberating to be behind a drumkit, no chords or melody to navigate, just keeping time and making it swing. For Sharon, after raising 2 fine boys and coping with Neil it was just 3 notes, pure feel on the bass guitar...

And so inspired, Sharon and Neil were compelled to take it further. They invited respected Auckland songwriter and musician Sean Donnelly to lend a hand. The three of them went to work and steadily those jams became songs, a body of work more diverse and dynamic than any of them had imagined...."

As stated above, Pajama Club (who just officially changed their name from "Pajama Party") features the great Neil Finn and his wife Sharon Finn, with Sean Donnelly and Alana Skyring rounding out the lineup.

Already announced on the lineups of both Wilco's Solid Sound Festival (they go on right before Wilco) and Outside Lands in San Francisco, new June headlining dates are now starting to pop up. On June 23rd they'll play a show in Virginia (right after Solid Sound), and on June 26th you can catch them at Bowery Ballroom in NYC. Tickets for that show go on sale on Friday at noon.

All currently announced dates and a teaser video is below.

Continue reading "Neil & Sharon Finn & band are Pajama Club (formerly Pajama Party) -- U.S. dates announced"

photos by Kurt Christensen

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"Let's get one thing straight: Crowded House isn't a one-hit wonder. Sure, the Australian band is known by '80s music fans for its 1987 hit "Don't Dream It's Over" (and maybe the subsequent "Something So Strong"), but songwriter Neil Finn has actually guided different incarnations of the band through six full-length albums and earned critical acclaim for his solo albums and side projects." [NPR]
You saw the setlist and the video from Wednesday night's show at Bowery Ballroom where David Byrne joined Crowded House and family (Sharon Finn and Liam Finn are both on the tour with Neil). Now here are the pics, along with video from the band's appearance on Jimmy Fallon (they really made the most of their trip here that included three shows at Bowery, and includes one at Wellmont Theatre tonight), below....

Continue reading "Crowded House played Fallon (video) & Bowery w/ David Byrne, Liam Finn, Sharon Finn & Lawrence Arabia (pics) "

photos by Andrew St Clair

Bowery

Crowded House completed their three-night run at Bowery Ballroom in NYC last night (7/21). It was also at the third show that David Byrne came out for the encore to join the band on two Talking Heads covers. We actually have pictures from that show too, but the pictures in this post are from the 2nd night, July 20th. Stay tuned for the ones from night three.

If you missed the show, there's one more NYC-area chance when Crowded House plays Wellmont Theater in NJ on Friday.

More of the night two pictures, video of the David Byrne part from last night, and all three setlists (including which songs Neil Finn's wife Sharon son Liam played on), below...

Continue reading "Crowded House played 3 nights @ Bowery Ballroom (night 2 pics, all 3 setlists, video of last night's guest: David Byrne)"

When Worlds Collide

Over Christmas 2008 and New Year 2009, [Crowded House's] Neil Finn has invited the core band from his 2001 Seven Worlds Collide project, plus some other special guests, to create a new album at Roundhead studios in Auckland, New Zealand.

Guests confirmed so far are Radiohead's Phil Selway and Ed O'Brien, legendary guitarist Johnny Marr, founder member of The Smiths and current member of US alternate rock innovators Modest Mouse, Soul Coughing's Sebastian Steinberg, multi-instrumentalist Lisa Germano, Wilco members Jeff Tweedy, John Stirratt, Glenn Kotche and Pat Sansone, Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall, along with NZ musicians Liam Finn, Don McGlashan and Bic Runga. All proceeds from this very special recording will go to support the continuing great work of Oxfam International.

There will also be a short series of intimate and informal live performances in New Zealand at Auckland's Powerstation on 5, 6 and 7 January 2009.

Wilco kick off their tour-ending two night run with Neil Young at Madison Square Garden tonight (Monday, December 15th).

Everest opens both shows. Everest frontman Russell Pollard's wife's band The Watson Twins (like Everest's album and) play Town Hall in NYC in February.

Liam & Neil (Crowded House) Finn (CRED)
Liam Finn and Neil Finn

Liam Finn was in town the other day to play Sound Fix, Music Hall w/ Pela, and Letterman. Video below...

Continue reading "Liam Finn - 'Second Chance' on David Letterman (video)"

words & photos by Bao Nguyen

Liam Finn @ Soundfix

Liam Finn (son of Neil) began his set to a small audience (an un-crowded house?) last night (Feb 26, 2008) at Sound Fix in Brooklyn (sans Eddie Vedder). He began his set with somewhat slow, folk songs which soon progressed into his own unique sound. Organized chaos can be used to describe some of Liam Finn's songs, where Ben Gibbard-esque vocals are met with sharp cadences and brief guitar riffs. Between songs the audience was amused with Finn's first taste of Brooklyn Lager and his aspirations to move to New York in three or maybe five years time. As the songs evolved and progressed, the audience also grew in size. His pleasant stage presence and unique songs make Liam Finn someone to watch in the future.

Liam is on tour with Pela (and eventually Eddie Vedder). He plays Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn with Pela & Apollo Sunshine tonight (Feb 27, 2008). More photos from Sound Fix below.....

Continue reading "Liam Finn @ Sound Fix, Brooklyn, NY - pics"

an Ahmet Ertegun Tribute....

Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin

continued below....

Continue reading "Led Zeppelin reunion concert photos & setlist"