Sleigh Bells Detonate House of Blues in Atlantic City

Video I shot of “Rill Rill” – skip to 1:59. Where Did Alexis Go?
‘Twas the night of May 12th and all through the House of Blues, not a creature was stirring until their tickets were scanned. And Miss Sexy Armpit gambling at Showboat and I in the chilly venue without a coat waiting for Sleigh Bells to take the stage. 2 opening bands failed to impress me. The first berated us with chaotic screams and the other made me doze off, both of their names escape me. Fortunately, I wouldn’t have to wait much longer to hear the ringing of the Bells.

Finally at almost 11 O’Clock there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my seat to see the spectacle on stage. The colored lights cut through the fog and beamed on the breast of a retro raven haired siren. With her kinetic energy and ability to arouse, I knew in a minute it must be Alexis Krauss. When what to my wondering eyes should appear but a wall of Marshall amps and 2 blazing guitarists, Derek and Jason.


Every song dropped a barrage of beats provided by a DJ on the side of the stage. The songs pumped into me like bullets. Sleigh Bells blasted into tracks from both of their albums Treats, and Reign of Terror, including the head bopping “Kids,” their latest track, “Comeback Kid,” “Tell ‘Em,” “Treats” “Infinity Guitars,” “Rill Rill,” and “Riot Rhythm.”

The band amped the crowd up with these supercharged songs. During “Rill Rill,” after basically falling off the stage trying to get down from it, Krauss dove onto the raised hands of the audience as they floated her around for a bit. After their last song, Krauss got back on the mic and thanked everyone and also threw in a little tongue in cheek tidbit about herself for those of us keeping track, “This is the first first stage I ever fell off…” I say make the t-shirt! I WAS THERE WHEN ALEXIS KRAUSS FELL OFF THE F’N STAGE AT H.O.B ATLANTIC CITY!

Sleigh Bells LIVE sounds even better than on an iPod. It’s hard to capture their juxtaposition of madness and etherealness merely via earbuds. Sometimes bands’ live performances are disappointing when you go into a show expecting to hear the songs the way you know them from their studio album, but Sleigh Bells replicates their songs flawlessly. Krauss’ dancing, the barrage of lights, and all the guitar shredding only served to enhance the songs and create a totally exhilarating experience.

If you can only wrap you’re head around music from the contestants of American Idol, then Sleigh Bells may not be for you. The band skillfully mixes pure modern pop hooks with an enormous rock sound and an electro hip-hop cheerleader vibe. You get all that?

Do you remember hearing Guns ‘n’ Roses, The Beastie Boys and Nirvana for the first time? All very different bands, but they were huge game changers. They made you take notice, they made you want to listen to the same album over and over and over again. Sleigh Bells has become the most recent band to make me want to listen to their tracks on loop. Their musical approach is fresh and surprising. Their two albums are constructed with a zigzag of minimalism, melody, and riffs, all layered with lush harmonies throughout.

After their show at House of Blues in Atlantic City, seeing Sleigh Bells LIVE again is a must, but I’ll have to wait until to they come back to New Jersey! Chances are, they will be back again sometime soon since Krauss is a Jersey girl and a future Garden State Playmate, no doubt!

Before the traditional ending, let me say that House of Blues A.C is one of the coolest venues to see a show in Atlantic City. It’s right on the boardwalk and has a real rock and roll vibe where Sleigh Bells knocked me out with their brilliant high powered stage show. They are on tour now so I recommend checking them out next time they come to your area, and until then…to all a good night!

Happy 73rd Birthday to Jack Nicholson!

batman,the joker,jack nicholson,neptune city,new jersey

Happy Birthday to one of the greatest actors of our time and Jersey boy Jack Nicholson! Nicholson grew up in Neptune City, New Jersey and attended Manasquan High School. Jack was voted class clown by the class of 1954 which seems even more comical when you think about how 35 years later he would become one of pop culture’s most famous clowns, The Clown Prince of Crime, THE JOKER! Sure Heath Ledger gave a one of a kind performance in The Dark Knight, but Jack revolutionized the role in 1989’s Batman. If you mix Jack’s performance in one of my favorite films of all time, The Shining, with his turn as The Joker, you will likely arrive at something very close to Heath Ledger’s approach to The Joker character. Thank you Jack for all the superb, over the top, and ridiculously entertaining performances throughout your career!

New Jersey’s Great Pop Culture Moments Vol. 27: Anger Management

Jack Nicholson should never retire from acting. In the case that he does feel like hanging up that devilish, 10 mile wide smile of his and quit the acting biz, then I’d absolutely love for him to begin offering anger management therapy for all of us enraged, pent up, people from Jersey. I could deal without stopping my car in the middle of a bridge and singing “I Feel Pretty” from West Side Story, but perhaps since Jack’s a fellow Jersey guy, he’d be able to offer me some insight. The deep breath and count to 10 thing just ain’t cuttin’ it. I’ll settle for just watching the DVD of Anger Management, which proves to be an amusing distraction, albeit, one that can only momentarily remedy my agitation.

Premiering to mixed reviews, I feel that Anger Management succeeds thanks to its fine cast including Sandler, Nicholson, the ever sexy Marisa Tomei, Woody Harrelson, Kevin Nealon, John Turturro, Luis Guzman and a host of awesome cameos. To top it off, they even managed to throw in a reference to New Jersey! In this scene, Andrew (Allen Covert), a well endowed douchebag who’s crazy about Marisa Tomei, is enjoying a drink with her as Dave (Sandler) walks into the bar:
Trenton,new jersey,Marisa Tomei,Jack Nicholson,Adam Sandler
DAVE: “…Not that crowded here tonight, you would think it would be packed.”
ANDREW: “Actually, I rented the place out. I just figured it would be more fun if it was just us Brown alumni. Where did you go to college again, Dave?”
DAVE:Trenton Community College.”
While there are several colleges in Trenton, such as Mercer County Community College and Thomas Edison State College, there is no actual school named Trenton Community College. Before changing its name to The College of New Jersey and moving to Ewing, NJ, it was named Trenton State College.
I identified with this film, because all Dave (Sandler) needed to do to avoid getting wrapped up in anger therapy was know how to keep his mouth shut. To the surprise of no one, that is something that Jersey people have an insanely hard time doing. Growing up, all I heard from teachers, and on TV was that we need to “express ourselves,” and “speak our minds,” because after all, “you are entitled to your opinion!” Then the minute we open our mouths to do that we’re automatically accused of being rabble-rousers. Who am I kidding? I wouldn’t take an anger management class if Jack Nicholson was teaching it in full Joker makeup and costume. Well, that’s a blatant lie and a total exaggeration. But not having some sort of edge or chip on your shoulder sort of seems like you might as well be spayed or neutered.
Nicholson grew up in Neptune City, NJ and attended Manasquan High School so it would be a fine way to give back to the community. I could see Jack now in his slyest demeanor…
JACK: “Does anyone have any questions about today’s lesson?”
STUDENT: “Yeah I do…what about that time you were on a murderous bloodthirsty rampage holding an axe and trying to kill the innocent Shelly Duvall? You seemed really fucking incensed! What was that all about?”
JACK: “Acting my good man…merely some fine acting. NOW GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!”