Welcome.

January 25, 2009

Now GTFO.

This here marks the final resting place of this specific blog.

But wait! There’s a sequel! Just go here.

Feel free to peruse the posts on here before they get archived and expunged, you can expect that any day now. What currently remains is a fraction of what was on here, and it’s a good thing too. There was a lot of chaff mixed in with the wheat.

Hope to see you where the real party’s at.

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Jenn Gooch w/The Harlan Twins @ Howler’s Cafe

November 6, 2008

What better way to ring in a new month with a new musical discovery or two? Since mastering my iGoogle organizer app, I’ve been all up ons in terms of shows. The Harlan Twins, being at the top of my local list, had a show last Saturday at Howler’s.

Howler’s has come a bit of a way from my first introduction; a Maxipads show well over two years ago. Sadly, that was the most recent show I had been to before Saturday, though I am on a first-name basis with a bartender or two.

The new stage, new tables and splashes of paint make the already intimate venue really come together. I’ll be seeing more than just the bar from now on, especially since the BBT is still out for the count due to water damage from a fire upstairs.

After piecing together my list of potential shows, I decided to figure out who I was seeing alongside the Twins. After a myspace sampling, I was satisfied in the knowledge that I might just be purchasing Jenn Gooch‘s latest release, Gift Horse.

George Neal of The Slow Burners, friend of Gooch and fellow Texan opened with some looong acoustic balladry and stompin’, priming the pump. Gooch joined onstage for “Probably Fine”, which they wrote together.

Shortly after, the petite banjoess ascended the stage and introduced us to a themed setlist; love and loss, isolation and bein lonesome and ‘shit hittin the fan’. The technique worked pretty well, and I was instantly charmed by Gooch’s unassuming nature and between-song humor.

While any cute girl with an instrument will do it for me, the vocals she threw down were terrific. Her southmouth lamentations reminded me of Scout Niblett, while her lyrical skills, especially with songs like “Jonestown Koolaid” evoked a darker version of Joanna Newsom‘s poetics.

She blew through her set; most of her songs are under three minutes. After grabbing another beer, I snagged a copy of her album, already excited to feed it to my iPod. I was even more excited when I got home and discovered her banjo was just a vehicle for her musical alter-ego and that she was primarily an artist, with a site and everything.

The Harlan Twins shambled onto the stage in quick order and turned in another solid performance. James Hart’s guitar work is compelling and thrifty, especially on “Stones in my Passway”. The only self-indulgence you could fault him for is basking in the gravelly brilliance of his voice, but I’m not gonna fault that. As a friend mentioned at their last show, you can tell a good rhythm sections if they look relaxed. At times the bassist looked bored when he wasn’t exchanging grins with the drummer, and that only happened when crazy breakdowns were occurring.

The set was shortened by two songs due to guitarist Carrie Battle’s hearing issue, who has some sort of alien probe in her ear canal that interferes at inappropriate times. Yet again, her mic was nowhere near loud enough, so it may be just as well that the crowd didn’t get to hear “Blue in Bloomfield”, which is not possible without her smokey pipes.

Beyond discovering Jenn Gooch, I found that The Harlan Twins were only one of several formidable alt-country and southern rock outfits. Their next show, at the indomitable Brillobox, is with Lohio, another album release shindig.

I gave Gift Horse several hard listens when I got home, and was overjoyed that the no-frills music I fell for at Howler’s was honestly transcribed in the recording process. It’s not hard to fuck up a solo show or album, there’s plenty of examples of artists doing that, but I was pleased as punch to add the album to my playlist. Given the fact that Gooch is a one-trick pony as far as instrumentation goes, the album is surprisingly lush with exploration and self-examination, which is distinctly reflected in the sounds and language of the album: Slow and melancholy remembrances like “Maybe Tomorrow” are awash in a sea of overt sexuality (“Sealust”), humorous accounts of abortive romance (“Prestidigitation”) and fast burning apocalyptica (“Jonestown Koolaid”).

Show Rating: B+

Album Rating; Gift Horse: A

Thanks to Jenn Gooch for giving me some tongue-in-cheek meditations on love. I’m already cramming the disc down my roommates’ collective throat.

Furthermore, I’ll buy the soundman who can get it right for the Harlans a beer (the keyboards were also too loud at times), honest.


Clap Your Hands Say Yeah @ The Brillobox

October 24, 2008

While it can be argued that life could get better, it doesn’t. that is to say, despite my complaints about and in recent weeks, life is by most accounts pretty swell. It don’t get better than this, and I’m dealing.

The other night (October 21) I went to see Clap Your Hands Say Yeah at the Brillobox. It’s always nice to have national acts acknowledge the existence of Pittsburgh. Hopefully the enthusiastic yet stationary (dance, damn you!) crowd meant that we’ll see them again in the future. It was their first time here, but I think we left them with a good impression.

Admittedly, I am not the number one superfan of CYHSY. I dig them ok, but I was not in a position to sing along. I don’t usually jump on Pitchfork’s bandwagons, because I find the lot of them to be insufferable pricks. I just happen to be very enthusiastic about live music, hence, I was there.

Doors opened at 8, which meant I wouldn’t get there until half-past, and that no music would begin until like 9:40. Approximately. My bad mood in the meantime was diminished by the soundman playing “Oh! You Pretty Things” and “Autumn Sweater” over the system. It was not helped by the fact that the ‘box is non-smoking now, and apparently I managed to time my cig breaks so that I was cancering myself all by my lonesome.

Why grouchy? Well, because I was at a show, alone, again. Either I’m too much of an elitist indie fuck for my friends or they have little to no interest in good music. Yes, it’s more complicated than that, and I could prolly help my case by, uh, making friends with someone at these shows, but whatever. I don’t need another friend, I’ve got too many friends.

So I’m 3/4 or something for going to shows alone in the last six months or whatever, I missed out on Ukiah last Saturday. A big bummer, because when I finally got up the nerves to leave the house (and bathe, jesus. I was all kinds of shambles) and go for a walk around midnite, Howler’s was packed. Packed with all sorts of kids just like me, drinking pbr and smoking cigs and enjoying music that sounded great from Liberty Avenue. I don’t know who the headliner was that night, but between them and Ukiah, it would have been well worth the five bucks to get in.

I did have a date for the CYHSY show, but luck has been absent for me recently, so it fell through. I gave someone at the door my extra ticket gratis in the hopes of shoring up my karma.

9:40 and local band Donora came on. Think Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ second album meets the Cardigans. The bassist was having more fun than an amusement park and laying down some perky five-stringed grooves, and singer/guitarist was confidently belting out some solid pop nuggets. I will most definitely stay frosty for future show of theirs. Maybe buy their EP.

It was a long wait for yrs truly, with nary an ear to squawk into. But joy of joys, it did happen. CYHSY treated the crowd to a propulsive set, including four new songs, two of which laid down before the one song I could confidently sing at least some of the words to- “Satan Said Dance“. It didn’t matter, because barely anyone danced. I guess they’re not down with Beelzebub.

Obviously, albums don’t do any great band’s live show justice and this was no exception. I didn’t care much about the yokels around me, I let myself get sucked into the jangly yet danceable wall of sound. Their records sound flat compared to the live act, obviously. Also, CYHSY does that with their production anyway (something I kind of hate), which is why I am not a superfan.

It was a mixed crowd, some well-dressed, some shabby (hiya!), some young, some old. Two such older dudes in front of me were totally into the show, pumping fists and going on about how CYHSY have put out some of the best songs of the last ten years and obscuring my view. I’m kinda short.

After a nice long set:

Space Junk
Is This Love?
Man at the Bar
Satan Said Dance
Details of the War
Strong Man
In This Home on Ice
Trotsky’s Fence
Gimme Some Salt
Statues
Let the Cool Goddess Rust Away
Clap Your Hands!
Heroes
The Skin of my Yellow Country Teeth
Upon This Tidal Wave of Young Blood

CYHSY departed from the stage to some loud thunderous applause (get it?! ha!). Many in the audience, coincidentally, were demanding that particular song. For our foot-stomping and whistles, we were rewarded with a two-song encore:

Some Loud Thunder
Heavy Metal

While I don’t think that CYHSY can lay claim to towering above their contemporaries, I have a new-found appreciation and interest in them. At the very least, the music is some of the best self-conscious, neurotic dance-rock in this decade that occasionally employs a harmonica. I can safely say they’ve pretty much cornered that market.

Grade: B

And only because I refuse to give such an esoteric outfit anything higher out of principle, and for all the energy in the music itself, the band themselves couldn’t stoke more than a dozen people to move around like their shoes don’t fit.


Savage Animal: In Memorium

October 9, 2008

A few days ago, a beloved member of my family passed, even after undergoing two successful operations for cancer. Old age is something you can outsmart but not outrun.

Savage Animal, the de facto mascot for my house and treasured furry companion has joined the squeaking choir invisible.

Yes, my pet rat died. Yes, her name was Savage Animal. Say it with me:

Savage. Animal.

In actuality, she was only partially my rat- I helped pay a sizable chunk of her medical expenses and made sure she was fed and entertained when the house matriarch was out on *business.

*Frisbee tournaments.

When the topic of Savage’s wake came up, said matriarch, my bfff, accurately stated that Savage was a glue that held a lot of the wonderfulness in this house together.

Those of you who have not had the pleasure of a pet rat, sucks to you. They are as smart as cats (no lie, look it up), more affectionate and are great stress relievers.

They are not, as I may or may not have mentioned, good accessories for games of pool, but are happy to ride shoulders during any and all activity.

Why a wake, you ask? Because she was our mascot, the blind little butterball of fuzz at the bottom of all of our souls.

And yes, enough people express concern over the situation that it is indeed warranted.

Having the trust of any animal makes the experience of being said animal’s human. I recall my folks’ dogs sleeping on my chest when they were puppies, and no matter how lousy a time I may have been having at that point in my life, the same magic transpired when Savage nuzzled into my lap for some sleep.

The past few nights I have come home, I have had to catch myself from calling out and ambling over to her cage to feed her a carrot or scratch her behind the ears.

Though our house maintains a steady regimen of neighbors bleeding over into common area, cooking, pool and porch sitting, the atmosphere is nevertheless subdued by the loss of the curious white rodent who was everpresent, even if she was only poking her nose out from her cage, trying to sniff for someone to pick her up and join in the fun noises.

The cage has been given away, there is a bare spot in the main common room.

Services are TBA and closed to the unwashed masses.


Politics? No thanks.

September 28, 2008

I made a decision when I finally (it only took like two years, right?) decided to get semi-serious about this here blog to not even bother or try to bother with politics again, not even the everlasting clusterfuck of corruption on Grant street here in Pittsburgh, as fun as that is. There’s better-equipped individuals already doing that.

That being said, and to clarify, I can write whatever the hell I want, ok? Get off my back.

But this comes up because of my crafty ole pops.

Exhibit Alpha:

Now if’n that isn’t the funniest political cartoonesque thing I’ve seen all week, I don’t know what is. Certainly not the whining, unfunny shit in every major city’s free weekly. I’m looking at you, Derf. The City.

Not funny. Irritating choir-preaching.

The exception, of course, is Get Your War On, as I have illumined before here, but Pittsburgh City Paper doesn’t get that. At least Savage Love is in there, explaining that inserting one’s testes into a partners orifice is perfectly acceptable sexual behavior.

So that’s that.

I watched the debate last night, and without going into it too much, our boy Obama needs to get a few more teeth in his head, cause good ol’ boy McShame has some razor sharp ones in his dentures. It was nice to hear that the “tie” came out for Obama, as far as the talking heads were saying, but I’d like to see just a little indignation. A little (more) accusation; the best moment was when Obama directly called out baldy for being wrong a numerous counts.

Thursday’s debate with Palin and Biden ought to be good, if only for the laughs I’ll get out of seeing a seasoned and grizzled DC dog run circles around Mz lipstick.


Bad Art and iPods

September 25, 2008

This last weekend, my best pal from highschool came to visit. As the host, I had a credible and decent agenda laid out. However, my lesser demons tend to get involved when I make plans, giving black eyes to anything with a halo. So the agenda got pretty much blown to hell.

The original plan was as follows:

-Shadyside Arts Festival
-Lunch in Shadyside
-Roller Derby Championship
-Dinner…somewhere?
-Alcoholocaust

I only managed three of the five. Ouch.

So my buddy gets lost on the turnpike (laugh all you want, but I did it at least three times back when I still drove) so that buys my hungover ass two extra hours of tequila induced nonsleep.

He shows up, I man up, we stroll up.

To Shadyside. I make him buy me a hotdog to keep both the physical and spiritual sickness at bay. I had forgotten what a lame fuckaround these kinds of things are. Thomas Kinkade would fit in perfectly. Almost the entire lot was shite art for idiots with too much money.

Perfect for Shadyside.

There were some really cool artists- a bronze sculptor, a few painters, one or two other sculptors, but you had to wade through series of tents filled with uninspired tripe. Most of the tents had manual credit card swipers ready. Imagine.

To perfect this sickeningly bourgeois experience, this one here knuckled under and replaced (and recycled for a 10% discount!) his long-dead five-year-old iRelic.

In the Apple store.

The moral of this story is that for all my grousing, I’m no better than the lilies of Shadyside, because I fucking need an iWant, dammit.

I just have better taste in art.

Not skill, there was a good bit of skill there, more so than my technical learnin’. But a shithouse is a shithouse, and I can manage some usable, albeit grimy receptacles.

I had fucked us by forgetting to buy Roller Derby tickets until the night before. They were of course, sold out. Congrats, Bitch Doctors!

So a meal was next. Back to Bloomfield, and Lot 17. I was thereby informed I had already taken my buddy there, so….Brillobox!

Closed? At like 5? Fuck.

Here’s where the lesser demons really got busy.

hey we can just go to the strip it’s totally not that far away

Dear lesser demons, the Strip is over twenty fucking blocks from that particular spot of hell-borne inspiration, you fucks. And my damn sandals gave me blisters.

So, great conversation, urban blight, and eventually Primanti’s. Then, for some reason, I’m all like, “Yo, fuck the 54c, I don’t even like that bus.” So we walk downtown.

We finally hit a 61 back to Oakland for Dave & Andy’s (dude, Strawberry Coconut!) and then walked back to my house, leaving us both wholly satisfied with a pretty packed afternoon and early evening.

Then we each bought a bottle of wine.

I recommend this to anyone:

The bottle is a magic trick! It disappears in a single gulp and you are magically invincible. It does not help yr pool game, however. As the neighbors made obvious. Then, wanting to show my pal how I roll when the night creeps into my veins, I demand we all go to Sonny’s. They told us it is haunted, and used to be a way-station on some old passenger train line. No shit. Some guy told me I should write horror poetry, but I was too chickenshit to tell him there’s not too much I could do to make it more horrible, haHA!

We finally came back into orbit, only to have me force my friend into the waiting arms of a neighbor for a salsa lesson. Perfect way to end an evening.

I awake Sunday, he drops me at work on his way back to the 216, leaving me with a compound hangover, a reaffirmed disgust for Shadyside, the hypocrisy of a shiny new iNeed and a half-finished painting from Friday night.

Shit, I’m not all mouth.


Leader-healer-Kingly-wealth-protector-Man

September 16, 2008

At the pretended behest of my roommate (he only casually asked, and I was actually being a bother when I answered him a few minutes later. He’s a very busy man), I endeavored just now to investigate what in hell my last name means. It is inexplicably German, while the lineage I distinctly know of is Scottish, Welsh, English, Czech, French and some other stuff.

Obviously, there’s German in there.

Those of you who read this regularly, know that I will readily lay claim to being American, especially because here’s my birthrights, as far as I know them:

Scottish:
+Caber Toss: admittedly awesome, but is instantly nullified along with anything else cool (like, say, generations of axe-wielding badasses) by
Golf: Fuck. This. Game.

=Golf anyone?

Fuck it, we still need a visual of awesome.

Welsh:
+Boudica: Amen, tell it on the mountain, a warrior queen.
Reality– Who the fuck is Welsh anyway? (Answer: The Manic Street Preachers)

=I guess I can deal with Welsh.

English:
+Dude, more barbarians: I view the English as the historical precursors to the Americans, which a lot of people do, but I tend to go a bit further back. To cut it short, just like us, they’re descended from just about everyone, they killed everyone they could, formed a country, then killed more people and formed an empire. It’s not so much a plus per se, but it makes for a nice point of reference, and explains why we get along so well. Also probably why both countries do stupid things. Like not using metric. Or invading countries.
Wicked, Tricksy, False, Thieves: Contrary to popular belief structures, the English have had next to nothing to do with modern culture. Yes, I’m talking about punk rock. Yes, I’m talking about blues. Yes, I’m talking about rock and fucking roll. And while we’re at it, can I get a Wu?

(say Tang, or I’m gonna look real bad!)

They can keep Clapton, and we’ll trade all hair-metal for Ozzy, the only one who had anything to do with anything. Dance pop should have been over next week and everyone knows Radiohead is saving money to buy a modest island in the Arctic Ocean and start their own country (Damon Albarn can probably come too). Deal with it, and do not call my own musical tastes into question, I am making a point here.

=It’s a filthy toss-up.

Czech:
+Kafka, thank you.
Ennh: As far as Wikipedia tells me, they eat lots of meat. Also, pointing with the index finger is considered rude, and I tend to use my pinky, huh.

=I can also deal with this, minus the kidney eating.

French:
+Dial That Shit IN: Please, by all means, name as many Poets and Thinkers as possible.
Flag Collection: Ya’ll ain’t never gonna live Vichy down.

=The elevation of humanity is, in hindsight, a bit more relevant. I can deal.

German:
+Dude, beer: Dude, beer. And I guess big daddy Nietzsche.
Oooky television: I think that’s obvious.

=Ennh. I could hang without it. N did go nuts, after all. I worry about that enough as it is.

I’m getting lost here, and I know I’ve missed some things. I think my sister explained it to me at some point. I must not have been listening. Oh well.

So, I’m lost, but then, oh shit! I done gots this flag hangin up above mah bookcase!

I’m not gonna do the chant. That’s for Republicans and morons.

So, in the end, this little experiment was good for drinking a beer and listening to Joanna Newsom, who is a faerie. And further shored up my own personal definition, where I cherry-pick the good stuff and then own up to the bad stuff. Like Republicans and morons. And those stubborn fucking Texans waiting for rescue. Obviously certain death doesn’t scare Texas.

But, like I said, those folks are, in some weird way, related to me.

Thanks, all you shallow-end-of-the-gene-pool morons, for making me increasingly an exception to some bizarre set of rules we have in this country.

And thanks Mom and Dad, for the incongruous fucking name. I should go back to my old plan and drop the middle and switch it to Danger. Then I will get all the ladies.

All of them.


Proof That Evolution is Real

July 1, 2008

Should anyone be surprised that patrons of Wal-Mart have difficulty with the modest task of fixing a bowl of cereal?

Of course not, but the cries of protest over new milk jugs emanating from betwixt bad teeth and multiple chins is emblematic.

Yes, here in America, everyone, from Clean Coal to Exxon is on the Green train these days, because it’s the right thing to do.

Just tell me, please, what’s green and when it’s on sale, I am all about doing my part.

By buying more shit I don’t need.

Like, maybe a car that’s a gallon or two more efficient. Take that, global warming!

The bus? Eww, no way! Black people ride the bus! And poor people! One of them might touch me!

What’s so funny about this article is not that the China-funding, poor-labor-practice-supporting, good ole ‘Mericans can’t pour a fucking glass of milk, it’s that this infinitesimal intrusion of temporary discomfort (unless the idiots never learn how to pour) has said red-blooded yankees all hot and bothered.

Sadly, this minute intrusion, as many Whole Foods shoppers will likely be happy to inform you, is not enough. That milk probably isn’t even organic.

Please, by all means, let’s go green, awesome!

Oh wait. You mean this will actually affect me? You mean this isn’t like sending a bible to a disaster zone? No one told me I’d have to actually do anything! I have comfort levels!

While the growing pains into a responsible and ecologically sound civilization may be moot (hey, there’s a good chance we’re already boned) we certainly won’t be lacking the accompanying moans of agony.

A prediction for 10 years from now:

“Well, it’s not fair, I shouldn’t have to plug the car in everytime I drive. And you know I don’t like the bus. It’s full of immigrants.”

In the words of Bill Engvall, “Here’s your sign.”

Maybe we’re better off boned, because gripes about milk cartons aren’t the first, won’t be the last and certainly won’t be the loudest.


A Fun Project

June 13, 2008

So, awhile ago, I began assembling a personal mixtape.


[shrinky-dink mixtape necklace, found on craftlog!]

It’s not a full tape, and you’ll understand why I’m excited for that by the time I’m done explaining the context of said mix.

If you’re ever particularly lonesome, drunk, stoned, strung out or otherwise unnatural, creating a tracklist corresponding to each and every love in your life, in chronological order, is both refreshing and distressing.

Also, for the record, I listen to mine a lot.

The method is simple. You pick a song for each love. You keep going. This isn’t something that is expected to end.

The song involved for a particular subject could be the song, a song you put on a mix for them or vice versa. One or two of mine made it because of certain lyrics, or even a single line. In the case of one song, the sound of it alone made it the definitive audio.

To take this further, and in an effort to be honest with the next entry on the tracklist, one might even consider giving a copy up for an ear-session. If said entry isn’t the jealous type.

Then again, it might be better to cuddle away with a fifth and listen to it on repeat until you pass out on your desk.

I’m not advocating obsessing, but like any great moment (and ideally, the song should capture the definitive moment of the relationship….if it was a bad one, then pal, you fucked up. To be fair, I’ve got one real misery of a tune on mine), you want to ride it out ad infinitum.

As a culture that loses its own identity as quickly as it affirms it, I think it’s more than important for the average you to sit down and get happy and sad over this stuff. Assemble a full tape (By all means, find that last track!). Listen to it. Find it when you move and tramp over it again. Remember. Tell your kids. But don’t go as far as to say they could have had a different parent. That’s just crazy.

The point is, live in and love your ID. Each track on this mix is just another factor in the equation. Sometimes it’s easier to explain things to yourself if you can find an icon for a given moment. You put those in a series, and it turns out your life is a little interesting.

Bring your film along with a sixer to your friends’ house, share and share alike; you can have a little festival. Stories like that beat the hell out of anything on the idiot box, in any case.

And since when did anyone need a serious excuse to drink and shoot the shit with pals?

EDIT:

I didn’t want to kiss and tell, but then, the point of the exercise is talking about this…So here’s my tracklist to date:

Major Label Debut (Fast Version)-Broken Social Scene
Nancy of Spades-Tony Fahey (To be fair, this is a friend of mine. Precious few have heard this.)
My Mistake-Smashing Pumpkins
Coffee & TV-Blur
One Line-PJ Harvey
Grass-Animal Collective
23-Blonde Redhead
Between The Bars-Elliott Smith


British (Sea Power) Invasion

May 20, 2008

I had been waiting for weeks, I got my ticket at Paul’s CDs, and had resigned myself to a long and lonely walk to Mr. Small’s in Millvale, because my friends are lame, or play frisbee in these things called tournaments, or insert excuse.

They apparently do not like rock music.

But I do, so, braving the unseasonable chill (and rain) and the 40th street bridge, I trudged five miles or so out to the venue, only to be made to wait in the drizzle for another half hour, though the doors should have been open. A small crowd of scenesters spoke of things like Curiosa, Mogwai and their stratocasters. I smoked several cigarettes, and watched some errant green balloon float into the scattered clouds.

I hadn’t even remembered that there were three performers on the bill, and I groaned inwardly when I saw a dude with a sticker-crusted acoustic on the stage. Then I started enjoying him. Jeffrey Lewis is from the same anti-folk school as The Moldy Peaches, except he stayed after class and did extra credit. He was great, and managed to transcend the novelty quality most of that sound is mired in. I’d listen to this on any given day.

He supplemented his odes to artistic awkwardness with ‘films’. These were, as he explained, low budget. By low budget, he meant something like a Demetri Martin sketch. Fully illustrated, and with his voice as a soundtrack, Lewis spun out two of these in his brief set, and they were disarmingly innocent children’s stories for adults. I was grinning the whole time. One of his better songs was about not letting the record label take you out to lunch.

A friend had told me he had enjoyed his Sea Power experience to such an extent that not even Feist opening up could spoil it. I don’t know if I would’ve been as strong, but apparently, her ubiquitous ass is everywhere. The between-sets DJ played a remix of that damn ipod commerical. It was all I could do to not headbutt someone.

The Rosebuds
were up next, and though I had listened to “Birds Make Good Neighbors” at the behest of another pal, I didn’t get into it. But I was blown away by these guys, and I’m listening to the album right now. The set was smart, loud (much more so than the album), honest and dance-friendly American Rock. My usual complaints about the rust-belt not knowing how to dance were on the boil. But I had a spot at the bar, and was enjoying a tall, cold Yuengling and some quality music- Ivan Howard has a great set of croony pipes.

Plus, there weren’t really any girls to dance with. That would’ve required punching a guy with thick framed glasses and taking his place. But I didn’t feel the drive to involve myself in the inherent paradox of punching some dude who looks like me. Except is taller. And has hair. And is probably more charming, hence, has a skinny pretty girl that likes to talk about bands on his arm. I knew I shouldn’t have worn my glasses.

Some of the Rosebuds’ songs were reminiscent of late 60s rock, at times even some psych rock. It was mostly tight pop songs, played hella loud. This is music I’ll be looking to put on at the bar, sandwiched in between a Toadies song and a Black Rebel Motorcycle Club tune. They played a slower song or two, and segued into a bit of Phil Collins with one. I never thought I would hear “I can feel it in the air of the night” sung at a show.

Then some more waiting, until the intro to Do You Like Rock Music? came on. The more I read about Sea Power the more I love them. They called the album that because they figured it was something the Who would do.

They walk on stage, blessing Pittsburgh for supplying the world with Heinz baked beans, and fell into…a fairly sterile set? No, I’ve heard so much about their shows, I thought. I didn’t pay to see the bloody Wedding Present, as much as I like them. I paid to have my eyes kicked in with a massive concussion of Rock and Roll. I want people jumping about! Yan, foil helmets are not enough! I’m sorry the place is not to capacity!

Then they hit a stride when they played “Waving Flags” and proceeded to get fully into it, reaching climax when guitarist Noble jumped off stage and ran around playing. They joked and talked to the crowd (Yan was mimicking whatever was yowled into the microphone he put in a fan’s face for a bit, like a strange game of simon says) and they were having fun playing. So much fun in fact, that they had a ten-minute plus slab of noisy-freakout at the end, complete with one of the microphones making the rounds thanks to the spry Noble, which unfortunately displayed Pittsburgh’s lack of imagination (or at least quick thinking) with every “woo” fans delivered.

Folks were covering their ears for the bulk of the finale, and I don’t blame them. Someone had put a guitar against an amp, and the violinist was playing with the feedback like a dance partner. My ears were still ringing as I rolled up a promo flyer from the wall into my front pocket and tramped out into the night, only to walk five miles back to my house, err…local bar. Then home to examine my blisters and worry about how much I’m going to hurt the next day. And I do, a day later. I am sore as hell. But I’m sure I’ll be found at Mr. Small’s again in the near future (perchance for the Silver Mount Zion show in late June), and I’ll probably enjoy the walk, if necessary, as much as I did the first time.

But then, I like rock music.