We had been at Dobb’s Ferry for a good half hour when I finally admitted to the three other people with me: “Sorry – I’ve heard only about 50% of what’s been said.”
My brother laughed and explained to ES that I had been steadily destroying my hearing since I was a teenager. To be fair, the acoustics in that joint are lousy. But they have good food and more TVs airing sporting events than the average SF bar. But also I’ve been steadily destroying my hearing since I was a teenager.
The three bands we saw at Rickshaw Stop later that night were of steadily increasing volume, and steadily increasing awesomeness. We were having trouble thinking of other bands from Philadelphia, but then the drummer of Lithuania took off his sweater to reveal a Teen Men shirt. And I thought, oh yeah, Clap Your Hands… I tried to bring that up to MH during the crescendo of “Hardcore Friends” but I don’t think it came across.
We were having trouble talking because it was really loud. Really, fantastically loud. And just as last month’s Battles show reminded me of the first time I saw Explosions In The Sky, this gig reminded me of the first time my ears were taken over by Asobi Seksu. Coincidentally (or maybe not really, because I really wanted to tie last night’s show in with this narrative), it was at the same event. Continue reading Fear of Hearing Tests. And Beach Slang.→
As I turn another year older, it seems appropriate to reflect on where I am in life, and how it feels to be hovering between past and future selves. Am I standing? Am I sitting? Can I slow down? I don’t want to spill my drink.
A few weeks ago we went to see SALES during their return trip to California. This time the venue was Rickshaw Stop, and this time the show was all-ages. I didn’t realize it beforehand, but as we were lining up to have our IDs checked, I saw the black Sharpie x’ing out the backs of one pair of hands after another. It had probably been a good ten years since I’d seen those tell-tale no-drinks-allowed markers.
Destination Dobb’s Ferry for beers, burgers, and four innings of the Giants game prior to a show at The Rickshaw Stop. I was just finishing up explaining to MMJ that I had been remiss, this year, in taking advantage of our local music venues. Rickshaw does such a good job scheduling exciting new talent; their website is detailed and informative; most of their shows are under fifteen bucks. Why don’t I do this more often? In the days before technology made it easy to forget phone numbers, birthdays, and director credits, isn’t this how we all used to discover new bands? Isn’t this more fun than scanning music blogs for free downloads or listening to a tinny podcast through one earbud at our desks?
I had to go all the way to LA to see Tomas Barfod.
Last Thursday was my birthday, and as luck would have it Danish DJ Tomas Barfod was booked for Rickshaw Stop’s Popscene. He’s put out one of my favorite albums of the year so far, and I thought it’d be fun to open a new decade surrounded by strobe lights and themed cocktails.
Oh I like this song. Wait, what? The hell is everyone doing?
JDG was in town from UCSB for a few days, and wanted to check out Glass Animals at Rickshaw Stop. No arguments from me. I kinda dig their sexy jungle-by-way-of-Oxford vibe, even if every track on the album sounds pretty much the same. I figured it’d be music best appreciated live. And I was right.
Now… I’ve got nothing against taking pictures at a show. Before every phone doubled as a camera, we used to sneak SW’s little Sony into Bottom of the Hill, The Fillmore, Slim’s, and every other venue that once upon a time clearly printed “No Photos” on their tickets.
Before I deleted my Facebook, I felt compelled to document every live show with at least one snapshot; I still do that, to some extent, on Twitter. Now that I’m blogging again, I do it for my readers. All six of you.
Saw Mr. Little Jeans at Rickshaw Stop last night. She was adorable, and the set was pretty fun. But the night ended up being about a lot more than Scandinavian pop music (won’t hear me saying that too often), and the clear, black skies over Hayes Valley were humming long after the monitors got unplugged.
Truthfully, I’m in too optimistic a mood to complain about anything, but I’m also nursing a brutal hangover, so channeling that irritation into a mini-rant seems appropriate.
So setting aside how fantastic my Thursday night was, let me instead talk about how shitty it is to still be dealing with scenester scalpers.
I’ve been going to shows for a long time. A long time. And, of course, I’ve had to deal with plenty of sold-out issues: found out too late; didn’t have my act together; no money at the right time, etc. And after paying way too much for a pair of tickets to see The White Stripes at The Warfield in 2003, I vowed to never again overpay for a show.
(I haven’t actually been able to keep that promise to myself. Over the last decade-plus I’ve had to give in on occasion, but I’ve never really felt good about it.)
This isn’t about the ticket brokers, the companies that buy up blocks of seats to the bigger venues and then flip them for a profit. These aren’t real humans with emotions and feelings taking advantage of fellow fans. It’d be like getting mad at McDonald’s for making people fat. I don’t eat at McDonald’s. I don’t go to a show at The Fillmore or The Fox unless I have time to walk up to the box office and get my tickets in person. Boycotts may not bring a halt to the corporate juggernaut, but they make you feel pretty healthy. Continue reading Hey Scenester – Your Favorite Band Hates You→
Y’all know what a sucker I am for a pretty Scandinavian voice. Since hearing “Runaway” by Monica Birkenes (AKA Mr Little Jeans) streaming around the blogosphere two years ago, I’ve been waiting patiently for the Norwegian electropop artist to release a full-length album.
She’s given us two additional singles in the last few months, “Oh Sailor” and “Good Mistake,” which successfully built up my anticipation for Pocketknife, out this week on Harvest Records.
And because this blog is all about me wandering around loving and living a music-filled existence, I’ll be at Rickshaw Stop on April 3.