don't be too sure of that

dear friends,

october is shaping up to be rocktober. today is man in gray at galapagos art space where they are the musical accompaniment to fashion show featuring designs by robin english. it is described on the galapagos website as "a fashion show filled with hot newtrailer punk styles. come check out the clothes and drink in the scene--it's cutting-edge fashion at its best." I have an eye for fashion (if not the skeleton for it) so I'll be there enjoying the sights & sounds. next week is metric at southpaw & while I know I'll be very tired, I'll be ready to move. I just hope I don't get hit with the curse of southpaw*. a powerful curse, that is!

the above section is italicized because as contributor bryan so correctly points out in the comments section below, that metric show is TOMORROW 10/6 & not next week. I am very, very tired. & confused. I sorry.

so last night I went to see brakes at piano's.

got there early & caught some of the band prior, the octagon. they had nice staccato bursts amid the pop rock, also the lead singer & second guitarists did some fine braided type vocals where their voices twisted around each other but not in a way that was jarring OR rote, but just right. I suspect those boys will do well, despite the cowboy boots on the lead singer's feet. man, I don't even know why I am so anti-boot, especially when all I want for x-mas is one of those two boots mugs for my soda pop. boot in my mouth, not on my feet? sounds weird, is weird.

I was excited to see brakes in a small venue & from the front of the stage, no less. I shared that exalted space with two comely ladies with gigantazoid cameras, that were, astonishingly, two completely different types of huge. one had a lens the size of my face & the other had a pop up thing with a...thing. I know I don't know nothing about no cameras but they certainly looked impressive & they must've captured some good shots of brakes in action. so go search out those blog/sites (note to self: move soft communication to softcommunication.net, so that contributors can post photos) for pictures from the gig.

less fortunately, I also shared the space with a gray-bearded man who moved me aside, put his beer next to the monitor in front of me & started doing things with camera cables. naturally, I'm thinking, "rude. ergo, he must work here." WRONG. he was just a clever dude who realized that looking purposeful & carrying a digi-beta video camera will make stupid people like myself think you're supposed to be in front. plus he was stinking. I mean, stink'aaaahn. & barefoot**? BAREFOOT! the smell coming from his body as he moved around made me afraid to breathe. I kept looking at the people next to me with beseeching "I need oxygen" eyes. later, when he spacily asked the band what their name was, I was like a) WHAAAT?!?!? & b) filled with a murderous rage that I could barely contain. luckily, I had nothing to stab him with. if anyone sees this joker around, please let me know so I can bring my gas mask.

but enough vitriol, yes, brakes! I found them, a supergroup of sorts featuring members of british sea power, electric soft parade & the tenderfoot, by following the links on the duke spirit web site & was charmed by their brief, righteously humorous punk jabs at pretension of all stripes. their album, give blood, which I heard illegally but purchased legally last night, balances the punk fury (sample goofy lyrics: "cheney!/cheney!/cheney!/stop being such a dick!") with quasi-comedic country-ish tales about growing up in the boonies. I say "quasi" because there's a palpable longing to those songs. is it the knowledge that they've gotten out? who knows? the nowhere-ness of the town you grew up in stays in the heart no matter where you wind up.

singer eamon hamilton has a high reedy voice that sounds like a parody of american earnestness if it weren't for his ragin' (to our yankee ears) accent. he played acoustic just the way I like it in my non-trad-folk: hard & glass-sharp. unfortunately, his voice was drowned out at times due to the mix. this was a shame for various reasons, but none more so than that his pointed & often hilarious lyrics were lost in the din.

the rhythm section was trampoline tight & just as fun. drummer alex white and bassist marc beatty easily switched back & forth between both the hardcore & the more pastoral selections with precision & passion. guitarist tom white's (who looked so familiar, like one of my friends but I couldn't place just who & it was driving me INSANE the entire show) guitar playing was frenzied when it needed to be & rather beautiful in striking & original ways on the more sprawling numbers. at one point, they did a cover of jesus & mary chain's sometimes always & white coaxed the song along with his subtle shadings. impressive considering when anyone tries to pay homage to the j+mc guitar sound, it comes off like a bad xerox; grainy & useless. I recommend you see brakes when they come back around***, you won't be disappointed.

I went home & made sure to shower the faux-homeless odor off of myself. lest I sound too bitter about the smelly, I should stress that none of these urban venue horrors**** (& trust me, I know that that's NOTHING) can keep me from going to ye olde rock shows especially when they feature wonderful bands from across the pond. as for you, soap smelling (I presume) readers, please provide me with your favorite club tales of eh?. let's commiserate.

love, d

albums to seek: give blood/brakes

* not pretty combination of no dinner plus drinks.

** a pair of brand new converse lay at his hairy feet. expensive watch on wrist. not a derelict.

*** brakes are also fan-friendly, I had brief complementary exchanges with hamilton (who provided me with my first ever memento set list - hey! there's always a first) & t. white. I hadn't expected their warmth. this was more of a response than I get from local bands I complement. ah, nyc. you're a cold, cold mistress.

**** two other unhappy piano's moments: 1. I waited something like 5 minutes for a beer, as 4 different bartenders passed me repeatedly, scanning the crowd over the top of my head like actors playing the same blind ingenue in a film starring cher. I had a rising feeling of panic where I felt like I wasn't well dressed enough or tall enough for the bar & its servers. panic crested when I almost cried. I'm not kidding. didn't get another beer. still left a tip. I am a bar martyr. 2. the bathrooms are wading pools of nasty. long unisex line. I thought this was supposed to be a semi-posh place? wha'ppen?


Blogger bryan said...

you mean metric at southpaw TOMORROW, right?

was the smelly video man Joly the Punkcaset/DD guy?

3:08 PM, October 05, 2005  
Blogger d said...

right. tomorrow. my calendar's a mess.

I don't know. is that guy also an incredible armpit killer?

3:30 PM, October 05, 2005  
Blogger bryan said...

what exactly is an armpit killer?

3:42 PM, October 05, 2005  
Blogger d said...

someone that murders you slowly with the stench of their pits.

3:43 PM, October 05, 2005  
Blogger Cris said...

Bryan, as soon as I read "plus he was stinking", I thought the same exact thing!

1:24 AM, October 06, 2005  
Blogger Mike said...

Apparently Joly's a postpunk legend - he printed many of the earliest fanzines and distro'd them through the Rough Trade shop. Which is not to excuse his apparently poor personal hygiene. Joly, this is not 1970s Ladbroke Grove, and Pianos is not a squat.

2:42 PM, October 06, 2005  
Blogger d said...

a brit? then it wasn't him. the malodorous video man had a strong noo yawk accent.

4:08 PM, October 06, 2005  
Blogger d said...

looking at a photo it does look like he might be the culprit albeit without dreadlocks. I still say the accent was new yorkese.

I admire the service he's providing for the people but goddiggitydang, the smell was ferocious.

4:32 PM, October 06, 2005  

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