mfnw 9/17: day two

Thursday, Friday and Saturday had Nike-sponsored all ages shows at the Wonder Ballroom, shows that happened earlier in the day (five-thirty as opposed to nine or ten), I suppose so high schoolers could go to the show, rock out, and be home in time for homework.  A bit of backstory: Paul and I both purchased VIP wristbands, instead of regular ones.  It cost us $100 more, but it was well worth it, as you’ll read about in tomorrow’s blog.  One of the perks of having a VIP wristband was that you got immediate access into the venue; in other words, you didn’t have to wait in line.  While this was super sweet, the Wonder shows did not follow this rule.  So even if you had a wristband, you still had to wait in line.  Since Paul and I had to work until 5:00, we couldn’t get to the show in time, especially because the lines to the Wonder shows are always PACKED.  By the time we would get there, the line would be full of young teenaged hipsters trying outlandish new fashions, ushering in a new age of Annie Hall hats and vests, ridiculously skinny jeans, and Converse. Oh god the Converse.

Paul also had a softball game on Thursday, and I had no way to get to the Wonder to see the Helio Sequence (damn it), so we didn’t end up going out until ten o’clock.  The first band we saw was Cymbals Eat Guitars at the Doug Fir. Cymbals Eat Guitars is a band name that, unfortunately, can be somewhat true depending on how the sound it set up at a venue.

cymbals eat guitars
cymbals eat guitars

This show was good for what it was: a pseudo-stoner rock out.  The lead singer (the guy in the middle of that pic) kept either checking the tuning on his guitar or just completely retuning it during breakdowns in the songs.  It was somewhat annoying to me, and I can’t quite place why — something about not being able to play an entire song in one tuning, or, alternately, being so anal about making sure your guitar is in tune that it detracts from the songs.  Either way, they weren’t my cup of tea.  They were good musicians, but not my cup of tea[1. For the record, my cup of tea is typically Green.].

Also, before the show started I was recognized by a girl, who had seen me at Berbati’s the night previous.  I responded by having a coughing fit and seemingly ignoring her.  I don’t think I’ve ever been that bad with a woman before.  I mean, yeah, I can be shy and standoffish sometimes, but I don’t usually drop conversations like that.  It went something like:

HER. Hey, I saw you at Berbati’s last night!
ME. Yeah!  Man it was Hot. In. There!
HER. Yeah, it was so hot.

Awkward pause.  She leaves.

I feel bad.  It was downright disrespectful.  She could’ve become a new friend, a new lover, even!  Plus she was holding TWO beers!  Double fisting, for Chrissakes!

Lady at the Doug Fir, if you ever read this: I’m sorry. I will use you as a reminder to not be a douchebag to people, especially people holding two beers who are also women.

When CEG (ugh, what an awful band acronym) was finished, we proceeded to Dante’s to see Scottish bands the Twilight Sad and Frightened Rabbit.

As if by some karmic sense of balance, Paul met some girl within minutes of us being there, and got her number a few minutes later.  Even he was shocked by this strange turn of events, but I like to think of it as an act of cruel fate, teaching me, again, to not be a douchebag around women with beer.

the twilight sad
the twilight sad

I don’t have much to say about the two bands that played.  They were both really good, both similar in music structures (the Scots must have something against resolving chord progressions until the last possible second), and they both faced the same problem with Dante’s sound system.  The Twilight Sad is one of a few bands these days to feature a lead singer who doesn’t play an instrument.  That takes some balls, I think.  I’m in the camp where everyone on stage should play an instrument unless they’re a REALLY GOOD singer, and he wasn’t, but he was Scottish, and his accent dripped through the lyrics, and it was very cool.  So I forgave him for that.  Oh, and their drummer looks  like a little babyfaced cherub.  He’s adorable.  I just wanted to feed him applesauce all night long.

At the very end of their set, though, the left half of their stage, soundwise, went dead, effectively ending their last song.  It cut out, the band couldn’t hear, so they just got up and left.  It, again, was kind of cool and Scottish of them, the lead singer saying “Thanks” and then leaving.  You could tell that they were pissed at it but they also had that air about them that was like, “We’re so much better than that stupid sound system,” which, in the right moment, is really cool and actually pumps up the audience more.

frightened rabbit
frightened rabbit

Frightened Rabbit was like Twilight Sad, except poppier and generally more pleasant.  They also had Scottish accents but they weren’t as pronounced.  They seemed happy to play in the States and everyone loved them, including me, who had never heard them before.  I’m glad I did!

Unfortunately they also suffered from the sound system problem, except they were halfway through their set.  Unlike Twilight Sad, though, they fixed the problem!  I forget who left to fix it, but one of their band members got a new cable or something while the lead singer played a song on the keyboard, bypassing the faulty monitor as it was being repaired.  By the end of the song it was fixed and everyone was happier than ever!

You know, in music reviews the reviewer is supposed to supplement the band’s sound with words — as in, adjectives replace notes, creating a textual compromise in lieu of being able to see the show itself.  I’m really bad at this.  I tend to give up and just say, “They was good.”  I can’t think of anyone who Frightened Rabbit sounds like.  They sound like a band.  A good, tight poppy[2. Note: I originally wrote “poopy.”] Scottish band.  There will be a song of theirs on the mix CD (which will be available on Friday).  It probably will be that song where he sings “I am working on my backwards walk,” because, come on, that’s a cool lyric to start a song with.

Anyway, I just say that because I’m not sure if words can replace music, and if they can, I don’t think my words can replace the music I’ve listened to.  So I don’t try.  But believe me, this was a Good Night of music, that lasted very long and made me very sleepy at work that Friday.

Tomorrow: THE LONG WINTEERRRRS.  And the VIP after party!  You know you love it.

By Josh

I'm the guy who owns this site, ya dummy.

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