Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Vacation Brain

OK first off, my loyal readers (all five of you), I'm really sorry that I haven't updated this thing in a long time. Part of the reason is that I recently moved and as of yet, I still don't have internet access at home (I'm doing this after-hours at work here; shhh, don't tell), which makes it harder for me. Furthermore, I was also away on vacation in northwestern Massachussetts with a certain boo (you know who you are) for almost a week of that time, during which time I caught Yo La Tengo perform a mesmerizing live score to the Jean Panleve film "The Sounds of the Sounds of Science" at Mass MOCA in North Adams and then a few days later we also caught a superb Dinosaur Jr reunion show in Northampton in a club (Pearl Street) that holds 350 people.

I can't even imagine how much better it was than it would be if I were to see them here in hot, humid, overcrowded New York City at Summerstage. Other than it being really loud and really good, one thing I'll say about their set is that in 15 years of listening to their 1st album, I never realized that Lou Barlow sang so many of its songs, namely "Forget the Swan", "Gargoyle", "Mountain Man" and "Does It Float". Also, Lou barely looks older than when he was kicked out of Dinosaur Jr originally in 1988 whereas J Mascis (with a big head of long grey hair) and Murph (who could pass for Mr. Clean these days) definitely showed their age more, though both played absolutely f'in awesomely, so who cares! My only (minor) complaint is that they didn't play "They'll Always Come" from Bug and a few chestnuts from the 1st album that I would've included in the setlist (namely "The Leper" and "Severed Lips" though they did do "Bulbs of Passion" which was cool).

If you wanna see some pictures of these shows and some additional commentary, you can go here. Furthermore, lots of records and CDs were purchased on my trip and all in all, I really enjoyed hanging out in Northampton and Amherst and I'd go back there in a heartbeat!

A few days after I got back, me and the boo I referred to earlier went to the Siren Festival. I know I'm beginning to sound like a broken record here, but if you wanna see pictures, go here. We managed to catch all of the Dears set (excellent though like all of these bands, they would be better indoors in a small club) as well as Q and Not U (who I'd never heard before but who quite impressed me; they're an excellent dance-punk band that reminded me of The Rapture and Radio 4 as reimagined by Fugazi with Prince singing if you can imagine it; I'm glad I got to see them before their breakup, which will be soon sadly) and Dungen (is it me or is he/they completely overrated; I'm sorry, but why do people with respectable taste like this 2nd rate hippie/festival rock circa 1970?; now bear in mind that I like lots of classic rock, so it's not that they were playing a style of music that I don't dig; it's just that these guys would've been opening for Grand Funk in 1970 or something or maybe 5th or 6th on a bill at a big open-air festival back then; maybe it's because they're Swedish or something and they have the looks down; too bad they don't have the tunes, though).

Later in the day, we caught part of VHS or Beta's set, which was quite impressive in the short bursts that I heard and then we caught most of Spoon, who were quite impressive despite the fact that by this point there were so many people that it was hard to get up to a position where we could see or even hear anything. They played 4 songs from their masterpiece, 2001's Girls Can Tell, as well as a bunch of newer material and they seemed way more confident as a live unit than the only other time that I've seen them (back in 2001 at Maxwells). I wish that they would've played their cover of Wire's "Lowdown", which I've never seen them do. Oh well.

Oh and I scraped my knee riding the Cyclone, but the thrill of riding it was worth it. And go to Totonno's if you're in Coney Island and you like pizza. It's awesome, though Patsy's is still better!

Well in the next few days, I'll be seeing Kaiser Chiefs at Webster Hall and a Gold Streets record release party for their ep "Red", so I'll be sure to report back in a more timely fashion. Scout's honor. :-)


Blogger anne said...

Oh, boo...

7:36 AM

Blogger bp said...

glad to see you made it to totonno's, matt.

12:47 PM


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