Monday, March 27, 2006

A Sounds Eclectic Evening

So Saturday night, and Spooney and I are at A Sounds Eclectic Evening, thanks to the efforts of Grooveva, who knows how to get people up off their asses.

This is the first time I’ve gone, even though I’ve been a member of KCRW for about 10 years, and am a big fan of Morning Becomes Eclectic, and have tons of friends who’ve told me what a blast the annual concert is.

It IS fun, except that you have to pay way to much $$ for cocktails, and you have to park on the other end of CityWalk, which means you have to walk through CityWalk, that monument to the dunderheaded stroller-laden zombies of SoCal.

If someone was trying to drive me crazy, you know, like force me to commit suicide, then the plan should definitely involve me trying to get somewhere on the other end of CityWalk, thus forcing me to traverse CityWalk.

The people! They move sooooo sloooooowly, and they stop about every ten steps or so to shove more food in their kids’ mouths. And they don’t look where they’re going. And they’re easily distracted by shiny objects, and by artists drawing caricatures, and by street performers dressed in a manner similar to Michael Jackson at some past point in his career, the most popular being the “Beat It” point, and the “Billie Jean” point.

I hate people.

But the Gibson Amphitheatre is not a bad venue, sound wise, and once inside and armed with cash for drinks, a reasonably fun evening can then be had.

The bands:

Goldspot – I must admit I missed most of their set, but they sounded poppy and fun if a bit studied in their hipsterness. I do hate that they wrote the following in their program bio:

Favorite place to wake up: Next to a beautiful woman
Thing you can't live without: Poker

Ew. Can you imagine what was edited out? Favorite movie: Goldfinger. Favorite position: doggie style!

Feist – This chick fucking stood me on my ear. Her album is good, but she was so much more amazing live, like a folk-y, world-y Patti Smith. Check her out. She is the new Bjork.

Surprise Guest: Sia – She of the song “Breathe Me,” which reduces me to tears every time I hear it because of its association with the 6 Feet Under finale. She’s charming and surprisingly goofy and not sultry at all except when she stops chattering and starts singing. Unfortunately, her vocals were so loud in the mix I had to wonder if her goal that night was to shatter all the glass in the amphitheatre.

Gomez – I was so looking forward to Gomez. I’d only heard enough of their stuff to have formed a vaguely positive association. But they didn’t have their drummer, so everything they did was kinda weirdly adapted to not having a drummer. What the fuck? Where’s the drummer, guys? They’re not telling.

Surprise Guest: Main Guy from Spoon – Oh, main guy from Spoon. Where is Spoon? Why only you, the main guy from Spoon, and not Spoon? You said that Spoon “couldn’t make it,” but…you are the main guy from Spoon, so what is Spoon doing, if you are here? They’re not playing somewhere without you, are they, main guy from Spoon?

Ben Harper – I don’t dislike Ben Harper. He seems like a really talented guy, and the crowd loved him. And I believe the whole sincerity act, I do. But I dunno, all these people who want me to like Ben Harper kinda remind me of all the people who wanted me to like Dave Matthews.

Ben brought up Ziggy Marley for an endless (is there any other kind?) reggae tune. At that point, Spooney wanted to duck out for a cocktail and some fresh air. At first I thought “But it’s Ziggy Marley, a legend. Or at least the son of one.” And then I thought, “Yeah, a cocktail sounds good right about now.”

Surprise Guest: Franz Ferdinand – DJ god and MBE host Nic Harcourt crowed onstage about what a coup it was to keep the identity of their huge surprise guest stars a surprise until the very moment of their introduction. Too bad anyone who, oh, say, walked through the lobby of the theatre on their way in and was assaulted by the Franz Ferdinand t-shirts at the merch tables was not so surprised.

My readers know I think FF rocks so I won’t go on anymore about that. But at one moment, 3 guys were standing on the drum riser, all wailing on one kit at the same time, (I know, cute trick, huh?) and if your licks can hang in there in the face of that kind of assault, then my friends, you got you some licks.

Death Cab for Cutie: They began their set with two huge chords and the lyrics “So this is the New Year. And I don’t feel any different.”
Well, that is Death Cab for Cutie in a nutshell, isn’t it?
Whereas Franz Ferdinand is all perfect hipster hair and pegged pants and Beatle boots, DC4C is like a band composed of guys you knew in college. And how can you listen to your old college roommate, you know, the slightly chubby one with the attempted facial hair and the frayed Keds - how can you listen to that guy sing this and not feel changed somehow?:

The glove compartment isn't accurately named
And everybody knows it
So I'm proposing a swift orderly change
Cause behind its door there's nothing to keep my fingers warm
And all I find are souvenirs from better times


Brian said...

Oh no! You really can't lump Ben in with Dave Mathews, on account of Ben Harper is the real deal and Dave Mathews sucks complete ass...don't get me going on that fucker! Ben's good stuff, really.

vikkitikkitavi said...

Time will tell.

I just find Ben deeply deeply boring.