Monday, August 29, 2005

Club Owners, Hide Your Mic Stands

Les Savy Fav, Fred Armisen and Thunderbirds Are Now @ Bowery Ballroom 8/26/05
Right after Ted Leo's rousing set at South Street Seaport, me and ALG went to this show after getting something to eat. When we got there, Thunderbirds Are Now went a short while later and they just completely kicked ass. I'd read about them either late last year or earlier this year in the Village Voice and while I think Chuck Eddy (their music editor) sometimes needs his ears checked, sometimes he clearly has a good ear for infectious, noise-tinged post-punk acts and Thunderbirds are clearly no exception to this rule. After hearing a few songs on their site, which you can get here, I was definitely looking forward to seeing them and they delivered with a rousing, 30-minute set so tight, drilling, maniacal and plain old great that it would've been incomprehensible for them to play any longer since there was so much energy given off. Go see them if you have a chance.

After their set, Saturday Night Live cast member and indie-rock comedian (and former Trenchmouth drummer) Fred Armisen came on and gave a bizzaro comic performance which I didn't really know what to make of. It featured a Saddam Hussein impression, amongst other things, as well as a lot of ranting about a broken projector (apparently Armisen usually shows a slide when he goes on). And then Les Savy Fav came on and while they were interesting at first, they utterly disappointed me. To be fair, I've never been a fan of theirs. I'd seen them once before, at the Siren Festival in 2002, and was unimpressed. Furthermore, I'd heard one of their records in a store once and was similarly unimpressed. However, I'd heard much about singer Tim Harrington's crazy stage antics and had heard that they were back in top form, so having not given them much of a chance before, I was willing to listen and see if I'd missed anything. I liked the first couple of songs, but then after that, it became clear that the musicians and even the songs are just a backdrop for Harrington's crazy antics, such as licking a mic stand all the way down to the base, ingesting a noodle and downing water at the same time and then spitting it out and grabbing various garments from the audience and wearing them (such as a scarf that he used for a bandana on one song). He's really a dynamic front man and it's hard to take your eyes off of him, but it only really works if the songs can back up the craziness, like in the cases of Iggy Pop with the amazing Stooges or maybe The Jesus Lizard, but otherwise you're entering a really slippery slope here. With that said, also consider that we were both really tired from having stood for about 4 or 5 hours at that point and from attending 2 shows in one night (and my feet really hurt), so at 1:30 AM or so, we decided to leave. Ordinarily, I would've stayed for the whole set (at least the main part of it), but I was just too exhausted and I thought that after 7 or 8 songs, I'd gotten the idea.


Blogger anne said...

Okay, so LSF didn't "suck" per se, but they're a lot of fun. I think their music is enjoyable, and well, I guess you just didn't get caught up in it. Which is okay. I won't tell on you.

3:29 PM


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