Tag Archives: Review

The best show I’ve ever seen… seriously.

Entertainment Column
Written by Nathan Mattise

Can you ever definitively say any single concert is the best you’ve seen?

Musicians unfortunately aren’t like athletes. There are no standardized statistics to judge by; no prizes at stake to raise the importance of a performance. Beyond that there is the genre predicament that feels a bit  like comparing athletes across sports.  A country artist can be incredibly technically advanced and play the cleanest concert of his/her life. If you don’t like country though, some polka band at the town picnic can be a “better” concert.  

Call it a purely subjective sentiment then, but on August 2, 2009 in Clifton Park, N.Y. (at this strip mall no less)… I had my “best” concert experience. Allow me to defend the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs. Continue reading

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July CNY Music Podcast: The Best Albums (From The First Half!) Of ’09 and John Legend in Albany

Geography | Entertainment Podcast
Recorded and produced by Nathan Mattise

The great debate for 2009’s midway album of the year is complete. Take a listen and then read on for the rest of the CNY music news for July.

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Review: Phantogram at Funk N’ Waffles on 6/12

Entertainment Column
Written and photographed by Nathan Mattise

I saw Phantogram scheduled Syracuse on their summer touring calendar and immediately booked the date. The next step in the natural progression of going to see this show was heavily talking them up to friends.

Now if I’m being recruited to go on someone else’s entertainment pilgrimage, I’m skeptical. I’m ready to be let down just because fans will naturally overhype what they love. Doesn’t everyone have a friend who billed Benjamin Button as last year’s best film?

I ended up taking 7 or 8 friends (with varying levels of music interest) to see the band’s set at Funk N’ Waffles this past weekend. So when I can say that the band gained at least that many fans who’ll make sure to catch them again on their next pass through CNY… it’s really saying something. Continue reading

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Want a good roadtrip? Find a Girl Talk concert.

Entertainment Column
Written by Nathan Mattise
Photos by Nathan Mattise courtesy of SPIN & Canon

Ask someone what makes a good roadtrip and the responses you get are as widespread as location possibilities. It may be the sort of entity where you only know what works after you’ve experienced it. So follow me here:

This week I won a concert photo contest sponsored by SPIN Magazine and Canon. The prize was two tickets to a private SPIN-sponsored Girl Talk performance in NYC, a new Canon digital camera and the opportunity to take photos at the event that may or may not be used by SPIN in the future. It was a rather easy decision to tackle the 8-hours plus of driving and Girl Talk, as usual, didn’t disappoint.

Now ask someone what makes a Girl Talk concert and the answers will also run the gamut. Plenty of folks have tried to capture it (myself included, twice even) but it’s such a unique concert experience that you never really understand until you go. So maybe it was the anticipation for this event or the loads of reflective travel time it took to get there, but I realized something so incredibly simple.

A Girl Talk show is the perfect roadtrip because the show itself has what you look for in a roadtrip. Continue reading

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May CNY Music Podcast: The academic pursuit of Radiohead and a visit from The Presidents of the United States of America…

Geography | Entertainment Podcast
Recorded and produced by Nathan Mattise

In case you missed it in April, we’re now podcasting on a monthly basis here on In Pursuit of the Trivial. Check out this month’s installment and certainly send along any feedback or requests you may have for June.

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Being a journalist isn’t easy, being a critic is even harder.

Arts & Literature Essay
Written by Nathan Mattise

I remember hearing in class and internships that my path to a career in journalism would be gradual but typical. See, I wanted to be either a cultural or entertainment journalist. Only a select few get to start off on a specialized path like that out of college. The likelihood was I’d start out writing obituaries and cops at a small local paper, volunteering outside of my regular hours in order to get some entertainment stories. Eventually (and ideally) from there I’d move up to do similar hard news coverage at a bigger paper. Then, if the cards fell just right, I’d potentially get the chance to pursue the niche beat I really wanted to.

Well take it from a former journalism student who “rebecame” a current journalism student- today is not an easy time to become a professional. The path above would be a dream for young writers today. Newsroom grunt work is now hard to come by, which means it’s doubly hard to try and break into specialized journalism (albeit sports, celebrities, technology, etc.).

It”s true blogs can give the most basic opportunity for any writer to write about anything, but doing that for a career isn’t easy (especially when it usually means writing before or after you come and go from your real job). Hell, I’m taking class with folks who were in the field and have now come back to school for graduate work to find arts journalism gigs. So in light of the difficulties entering the field, my recent experiences in the classroom and my recent increased attempts to write about music, it’s time to examine the basic premises of what makes a good critic (or at least what I was taught and what I try to do). Continue reading

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April CNY Music Podcast: The rise of Phantogram and Girl Talk at Cornell University

Geography | Entertainment Podcast
Recorded and produced by Nathan Mattise

It’s long, it’s informative and most importantly it’s finished. Take a listen, check out the linear notes after the jump and send along any and all comments, questions or concerns.

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