Monday, August 08, 2005

I don't like knowing people/ don't like people knowing about me...

Black Cat, Black Cat! It's been too long, my friend. Or maybe it hasn't, because I forgot what I always hated about going to shows, or to any public event in general: douchebags. The world's filthy with them. And so was the Black Cat, Saturday night, at the Weird War show.

It didn't even enter my mind until I moved from my seat at the bar close to the stage to the soundboard during the second act on Saturday night, at which point I was hit by, to quote R.E.M., the waves of conversation. And I forgot: indie kids don't really care about music. It's like the show isn't about the bands, but them. The music just serves as a backdrop, like in some cheap dive bar. For instance, it's a well established fact that indie kids don't dance. But this is only partly true; they do dance, but they only do it when it's ironic. It's not "Wow, this music's great, I gotta shake some tail"; it's "Hey, look at me! I'm dancing! Isn't this fucking outrageous!? Dancing! Ha!" And they'll do it anytime they feel the attention isn't theirs to own. Watch them: they don't watch the bands, but watch the eyes watching them, the tiny dancer. Or then there's the kid throwing the devil sign and pounding his head. It's all irony, it's all showmanship. Here's the thing: if you want to be part of the show, go see the Blue Man Group or something. This isn't about audience participation, at least not this brand of it. I'm not saying not to shake that ass or sing along or cheer excessively. Just don't be a douchebag about it.

And the second band, Sitali, was actually great. Soulful, loud, passionate. I had never heard a lick of them before, but I'd like to see more. There were some overwrought moments, but I think there was enough pure emotion for it to be real. I think if they had been white emo kids with t-shirts that said something like "My Goose is Cooked!" or some crap, the audience may have responded with more love. There was just a constant hum of conversation during their set. I don't think it has to be church in there, but goddamn, there wasn't a $9 cover for Stupid Haircut's Amazing Theory of Atonal Scales.

And it's official, there's only so much of Ian Svenonius' shit I can take. A little less than 45 minutes worth, as it turns out. I like a singer who can bullshit between songs just fine (hell, I would pay to listen to Greg Dulli talk for two hours) but Svenonius' schtick just wears me out. OK, I get it, garage rock is a commodity and this song is about real estate and Alan Greenspan is the king of garage rock. Fantastic. It's not so much the message as the way it's delivered. In... halting tones... like this... like... William Shatner... with a bedroom voice... so fragile... and asthmatic... But I will say that when Weird War got down to brass tacks (i.e., the rock), they had a groove that should have made the room dance, even unironically.


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