Archive for November, 2007

broken social scene and wooden people

November 15, 2007

myself, this one and her man went to carnegie mellon to see broken social scene this past saturday.

at twelve bucks, it beat out my desire to sit around with unapologetic hipsters at a thirty-five dollar decemberists show. i don’t often go to shows (this has been my first one in like a year) so i pick and choose carefully. i am also poor, so i will routinely curse interpol and other bands that roll through here and expect me to toss 40 down the plughole for lousy seats. open admission or no dice.

i also think i need to say that while i fucking love the decemberists (their last album, the crane wife, was totally epic, a B+, even if only for the ‘crane wife’ trilogy and ‘shankill butchers’), people that like them are generally pretentious wankers who seem to fit in with velvety libraries smoking fine tobacco and drinking port. yes, that’s what the decemberists pull from for their amazing songs, but come on people! act a little young!

i was taking drugs at the show. and i wish i had brought alcohol with me, because i wasn’t loaded up enough to deal with this:


those of you who identified this as a multi-layered forest, good job. but this is merely a metaphor for the absolute, cancer-risk level lameness that i have come to expect from shows in the entire rust belt region. i won’t even bother squawking that much about it. nothing will change it, the whole lot should be sterilised.

yes, it was a crowd of trees. wooden people. to be fair, it was cmu (the show was originally going to be at mr. smalls, but hand it to the geek squad at cmu, the sound and vision was hella good, and it was in a gymnasium!) so, no personality. but even the locals, which, judging from a response shout-out (who came in from the city?) to kevin drew outnumbered the dorks 2 to 1, were stock still. so, they’re all dorks, essentially.

so what did we do? fucking danced. indeed, there was a clearing of coolness wherever we strode. there were a few others within our sight dancing, but it was a sad sad fraction. i settled for loud-mouthing about the crowd afterwards. i had important hip movements to make, and wasn’t about to waste time bothering with anything but the music, which was fucking incredible.

the real stand out performance for me was ‘lucky ones’ off of kevin drew’s new solo joint, spirit if…

on the album it isn’t nearly as good….but it’s hard to beat live music, and the effect of the whole band belting out the ‘yeah’ gave me the chills. ‘superconnected’ and ’cause=time’ were also stellar. the band did what they could with such a lame crowd; kevin drew gently needled the college kid crowd by briefly explaining he never went to college because he already knew what he wanted to do. take that, you smug, rich, quasi-geniuses!

the frontman from american analogue set (who was playing keyboards for the set), which i admittedly tried and never got into, sang one of his songs, which was really good. i’ll have to give them another listen.

the opening band had a bit (just a bit) of a galaxie 500 vibe for a bit, but any interest i had quickly faded. cigarettes were more important. i was not into that scene.

all in all, for a band that i’ve long regarded as bedroom music, they rocked real hard live. i was pleasantly surprised, because as you all know, i like my loud guitars and the spiders from mars.

the setlist, which ran about two hours (yeah, i know, fucking awesome. but i still wish i had smuggled some whiskey in), ended with a sing-along- “it will be sad once we reach the end, but don’t forget what you’ve found”

i’d like to say that the kids finally loosened up (or at least swayed) under the hurricane force passion of the music in front of them at this point, but i was too busy howling along with the band to hear or see much of anything else.

if you ever have the chance to catch these guys, take it. i met a friend there during the opener who told me she and her crew had driven to nyc to see them before. i was surprised, but afterwards, i wasn’t about to forget what i had found.