Sunday, September 26, 2010

James (The Band): Trip to Philadelphia

We took a road trip to Philadelphia this weekend to see one of our favorite bands: James.  Yes, "James", that's it, one name, a first name-the name of the band not a guy or anyone in the band for that matter.  I am guessing that most of you have never heard of James, which is hard to believe seeing that they have been around since the early 80's.  Incredibly popular in Europe they have only achieved moderate success in the states due to the song "Laid" and the band admits that this song, while it gave them legs to stand on in the US, it is not representative of their sound or everything that they do.  It is a mystery to me as to why a band like this never achieved the success that bands such as U2 or Coldplay have.  James like U2 and Coldplay write songs that are big in scope and sound and whose melodies worm themselves into your brain, never to be forgotton.  Don't get me wrong, I am a Coldplay fan, sort of a fan of U2, but if we agree to say that they are cut from the same cloth James does what the others do 1000 times better.  Believe me, their music is big, beautiful, life affirming, anthemic and to their live shows you can add spiritual (not religious), magical and a once in a lifetime moment that you will never forget.  To the people that know them and love them, James mean as much to modern rock and roll as anyone else does.
To learn more about James visit their web-site here.  If you want to check out any of their songs perhaps start with "Ring the Bells," "Born of Frustration," "Tomorrow," "Getting Away with It" or "Sometimes."  I have never known a band that hits me emotionally more than this band does on so many levels.
The show was perfect!
Philly seemed very nice for the brief time we were there except for rush hour/Phillies traffic that we got caught in!  Thank god for the GPS that Sarah bought the day before!!!!
The venue-The Trocadero Theatre was smack in the middle of Chinatown (maybe even Asiatown) and had we had more time I would have loved to explore it.  Food is one of my favorite things in life and I felt like we were in an episode of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations.  Alas we were in a hurry and caught a quick bite across the street from the venue at a great Vietnamese restaurant named Pho (a noodle dish/soup pronounced Phuh) Cali.  It was delicious!
So yes, for a long time James has been one of my favorite bands, top 3 actually along with Wilco and The Tragically Hip.  Throw in the Flaming Lips as the fourth.  For the second time in 2 years we saw James live (almost 2 yrs to the day-last time was in Toronto).  Life is good!  you can pick up the new album here:

ps-Our good friend Gangloff (aka Eric the other, etc) is going to see James within the next 2 weeks in Denver so I won't give away the details.  He may be taking his son, James (coincidence-I think not!  His next child is in trouble; his second favorite band is Ted Nugent (just kidding)!  Truly in trouble if it's a girl!  Click this link to see a photo of James at Czar of the Woods from this past summer.  He is ridiculously adorable!

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