Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Week in review

Sorry for the week-long delay. Things have been crazy with school and work lately, and blogging just hasn't been the top priority. However, I did do my band work recently, too. Here's the highlights:

Friday: TD, myself, Chris and Elyse headed for the Rumble semifinals. I was interested to see the bands we competed against/lost to (Aloud and Baker) in a non-competitive light. As I told Aloud (although, admittedly, half-drunkenly), whether you want to or not, you can't objectively watch a band when you're competing with them. Thus, with us out of the way, I had no fog in front of my eyes. I was surprised at how GOOD Aloud is. I shouldn't have been, since I've heard it a million times, but really, their success is deserved. That band has their act together. Baker ended up winning the night and they deserved it, too. While the band isn't exactly my cup of tea (I like the tunes, but I couldn't force myself to look past such blatant pullings from Doves and Coldplay), they are tight musicians and good songwriters. Plus, they pack a lot of energy into their performance. And honestly, losing to a band that eventually made it to the Finals, made me feel a little better about our first round faceplant. It's like that part in the film version of "High Fidelity" when John Cusack realizes that the girlfriend who left him in first grade ended up marrying the boy she cheated with. Like, you can't interrupt destiny. Or something along those lines. Either way, I talked to a lot of good people from the media and other bands and spent a ridiculous amount buying drinks for everyone (I was feeling charitable). And I finally got to hear The Silver Lining, my pick for the night after their rousing set. We got a ride home from Kerry, too, which was an added bonus.

Saturday: The next night, I checked out the Rumble semis, this time with the rest of the band. We were pulling for Age Rings REALLY hard and honestly, I think they had a great chance. They're awesome dudes and they have awesome songs. But alas, you don't know what the judges are looking for. Need proof? Eli "Paperboy" Reed, my pick and pretty much everyone else's pick to win the whole damn thing, lost. So did Age Rings. So did Protokoll the night before (to Baker). And on this night, Township won -- a band that, yes, put on a great live set, but sounded a fair bit like Foghat. All in all, it was a really fun night with some awesome music. One band, who would go on to get the coveted wildcard on Sunday night, The Indefinite Article, had some enthusiastic fans, including one girl wearing bee antennas who parked herself in front of Danielle and I and convulsed wildly. Sort of entertaining, sort of frightening -- like movies where animals can speak English.

Sunday: No practice. Instead we saw our buddy Max G and his band The Spots play at The Burren in Somerville. Since I'll be moving to the 'ville soon, it was interesting to mingle with a crowd of Tufts students and one crazy dancing lady. Come to think of it, I've seen a few of those lately.

Monday: Practice. We sounded pretty good, actually, and started to get ready for our show this Saturday at Holy Cross. We ran through a song we'd tried last week and, in a slower form, over the past couple months. I actually played it live in January, for those keeping score at home. It's called "I'll Be Crying Soon." It's cool, I like this new sped-up version, it's got a nice barroom energy. And the band continues to practice jams, so that we can fill those out when the time is right. Plus, perhaps a cool lick will pass through the transom once in a while and we'll be able to snag it. That's how "Shine A Light" filled up.

Tuesday: Last night, we headed to Blick, an art store near Fenway, for an art show for a piece Julie did for The Weekly Dig. It's a pretty cool piece -- Comm Ave at sunrise, with Cassavettes on the billboard of the Paradise. But my favorite part, even better than the band shout-out, is one cars license plate is my dream vanity plate: U8DUST. That's so by the time people get the joke, you'll have passed and they'll know what they ate. Anyhow, as the picture shows, after the Dig deal, we grabbed a sandwich and our guitars and headed for the Abbey Lounge, where Mike and I took the pub stage to warm up an eclectic night held in the honor of Shoot the Moon's Sammy Miami. We only did three tunes: Seasons / Saint Anthony / Carolyn, Don't Leave Like This. Nonetheless, as shown at the top of this post, we obtained some hankerchiefs and cowboy hats out of the deal. Good times. Unfortunately, we had to split before Kier or Ward from Girls, Guns & Glory took the stage. Bummer.

Today: Last day of classes. I'm listening to the new Wilco record, and marveling at how much "What Light" sounds like a Dylan tune, like "When I Paint My Masterpiece" or that era. But there's a particularly poignant for any writer, especially ones who encounter success on the level of Wilco: "If the whole world's singing your songs and all your paintings have been hung / Just remember, what was yours is everyone's from now on / And that's not wrong or right, but you can struggle with it all you like." What an interesting little glimpse into Tweedy's head -- the hesitation to have your work not be your own after trying to have your tunes heard. Anyhow, soon I'll start a review of the new Great Lake Swimmers disc for the big paper. It seems pretty good, more of the same from the last record, which is just peachy in my mind.

So, now, I've got to finish two big papers for Islam and music, and move. It's going to be a hectic two weeks. Hell, it's been a hectic month. Double hell, it's been a hectic life. But like the new El-P record says: "I'll sleep when you're dead." Sorry, bad joke (especially considering recent circumstances that I swear I'm not meaning to make light of), but seriously, that's the best album name I've heard in a long time.

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