Author Topic: Concert Report 5/2/03  (Read 1860 times)

Mr_Pleasington

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Concert Report 5/2/03
« on: May 09, 2003, 04:51:15 PM »
Last Friday I hiked across the width of Illinois to meet up with some friends to see a much anticipated Pete Yorn show in the Egyptian Room in Indianapolis.  

I've got to say that Pete puts on a really good show...and somehow doesn't move his mouth when singing. He played virtually everything off both his first and just released second album with a good mixture of slow songs and upbeat ones.  The show wasn't sold out by any means, but there were a lot of people in there.  It was a nice venue and smoke free  ;D

Pete brought two opening acts with him.  Rooney and Grandaddy, neither of which I'd heard of before. Rooney took the stage first and was absolutely spectacular.  Best opening act I've seen.  Thier music is comparable to if Weezer had a baby with the Pixies and it was raised by The Four Seasons.  Quirky alternative with a lot of harmony.  I will buy their album without hesitation.

Grandaddy was second on stage and was a big, big downer.  They were just far too mellow for the crowd that was pumped up by Rooney.  They did not go over well.  However, after listening to the free sampler CD I got upon leaving the show I realized that I really like their stuff...I just wasn't in the mood for it. Their music is best described as  very haunting, mellow alt-synth.

All in all, well worth admission.  Best show since I saw Wilco at the Pageant here in St. Louis!

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Re: Concert Report 5/2/03
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2003, 05:00:53 PM »
Sounds vaguely like when I went to see a $10 show at the 9:30 club. Smash Mouth opened. Tres cool. Bunch of guys just having fun, they were loose, confident, and it was a blast to watch them.

The second band, Plexi, is certain to be the spawn of Satan. I have never seen a band blow more than them. It was like the worst parts of bush and megadeath mixed and then flushed down the toilet.

The "headliner" for the show was Sugar Ray, which admittedly, I had only heard one or two songs from at that point. Unfortunately, the album apparently has little or nothing to do with their singles, and they sucked too. It was like he thought he DESERVED to be worshipped because he was headlining a show in a small club with a $10 charge. Wanker. I wanted to have my friend hold him down while I pooped on his head. Needless to say, we decided we had spent ten bones to see Smash Mouth and we left quite early.

Kid_Kilowatt

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Re: Concert Report 5/2/03
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2003, 07:06:52 PM »
I sympathize with your puzzlement at Grandaddy, Pleasington.  I have NO idea why they are touring with Pete Yorn - not only is there almost zero overlap between their respective fanbases, Grandaddy is not right at all to set up a crowd for Pete Yorn.  Rooney is a much better choice for an opening act.  On record, though, there is no contest - Grandaddy blows Rooney out of the water.  I'd love to see a Grandaddy show, but they are coming to SLC with Pete Yorn, so I'm just going to skip it.  Watch for their new one, "Sumday" - it comes out in a month or so.  If you like Wilco's "Summerteeth", it should be right up your alley.

Mr_Pleasington

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Re: Concert Report 5/2/03
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2003, 09:12:08 PM »
Wow, you actually know of the bands...   Where'd you get the buzz as no one I've spoken to has heard of them.

Summerteeth is actually my least favorite Wilco album, but the songs from the sampler CD, which are three from Sumday, sound a lot like the stuff from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot which is my favorite Wilco album.  I'll definitely be picking it up.

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Re: Concert Report 5/2/03
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2003, 09:20:23 PM »
I have no idea who any of these bands are, aside from Smashmouth and Wilco. I'm so out of the loop when it comes to current popular music (I'm more a country/folk fan, which puts me in the minority, I know).

Have any of you ever heard of David Wilcox? I'm going with some friends here in Boston to see him in concert tomorrow. It's folk music. I'm going more out of hanging out than because I'm a big fan--I've only heard samples of 3 of his songs, and honestly, I have to say that folk singers today have no sense of originality or rhythm. I used to think that my friends performing folk music at ward talent shows just weren't as talented as I'd like, but then I heard several professional American folk singers.

(I don't include folk singers from other countries, at least from the UK, because I'm all about that--Kate Rusby, John McCusker, Cliar, Battlefield Band, Malinky, and Anne Martin--all great stuff.)

Compare current American folk singers, like the guy Kate Rusby opened for in Chicago (and I have to tell you, we wished this guy would just get off the stage and let Kate come back!)--the Americans all sound the same, whiny, weird, and nonmusical vocals. Usually the instrumentation is great, but the singing is impossibly matched, nonrhythmic, too slow, etc. The songwriting is amateurish, compared to the British groups I've listened to.

Makes me wonder what's up. Am I just listening to the wrong American groups? Maybe my expectations are too high. I'm hoping for more along the lines of the quality of the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, but not necessarily bluegrass. Maybe I just need to listen to more bluegrass and write the American folk scene off for good.  ???
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Re: Concert Report 5/2/03
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2003, 09:34:52 PM »
NPR carries a Sunday morning show called Stained Glass Bluegrass, basically gospel/bluegrass fusion. I'll recommend that. Also, Béla Fleck has a good bluegrass album. It's clean, but not that innovative, but as I said, it's a solid listen. He's better doing jazz with the Flecktones, also worth checking out.

As for folk, well, Bob Dylan did that for us. He had an interesting vocal approach, and I really enjoy listening to HIM, but his immitators and disciples usually just annoy me. To get better stuff, you have to go older: Woody Guthrie (and his measurably less talented but still interesting son Arlo), Pete er... crud, forgot his name, want to say Segar but that conjures up images of BOB Segar, and that's not who I'm thinking of-- i'll remember it later--, even the Kingston Trio. Those are good names to start with for non-bluegrass American Folk. Also Richie Havens and another really well known but forgettable name. Crud. I'll have to look those up and get back to you.

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Re: Concert Report 5/2/03
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2003, 03:57:14 AM »
I've heard the Bela Fleck stuff, I think--at least, I know my roommate in Chicago had the CD. Personally, the reason I'm turned off by Bob Dylan is because he tries to sound like an 80 year old man, even when he was in his 30s. And maybe that's the problem I have with much of contemporary American folk.

I've never actually heard Woody Guthrie sing, but I had to read 3 books about him this semester for my nonfiction class--seems like everyone was stuck on Woody in 2002 in children's publishing! If you ever want a well-reading, thorough but straightforward biography of him, I suggest This Land Was Made for You and Me: The Life and Songs of Woody Guthrie, by Elizabeth Partridge. Written for a high-school readership and above, it does a great job of including the truth about Woody's life, including his mother's struggle with the disease that also killed Woody himself, Huntingdon's disease, without sugar-coating. But it also concentrates on the impact his songs had for so many decades. Good book.

I don't know--maybe it's because folk is trying so hard not to be country-fied that it bothers me. I mean, if modern folk music grew out of folk music from the past, that would mean songs about everyday life, yes, and granted, we're not an agrarian society for the most part anymore. But it should also have lively music, interesting scoring, use of interesting rhythms, that sort of thing. You'd think. I can't describe it by typing it, but if you've ever heard any of the local bands in Utah except for Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band (and they're guilty of that kind of songwriting at times, too), you'd probably get a good idea of what I mean--every phrase is ended with a long, low held note, usually with awkward emphasis on the wrong syllable.

Great example of this was the guy who opened for Kate Rusby last year (whose name I forgot promptly after sitting through that excruciating concert): he has this song about wistaria, the flower that grows in vines on the sides of houses. Now, whenever I hear that word, all I can think of is the chorus of his song: "Wis-ta-riiiiiiiiiyyyyyyaaaaaaaaaa, wis-ta-riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiyyyyyaaaaaa," with the "iiiiiiii"s going up and the "aaaaa"s going down. Yeah, hard to describe, typewritten.

Maybe it's just that I don't mind country music and I like older Celtic music and the music that grew out of it (including country, which grew out of folk music of Scots-Irish immigrants in the Appalachians). So I'm drawn to music like Kate Rusby's, which is decidedly different than American folk, even though her label is sold as folk, too. Then there's groups like The Mamas and the Papas, and other groups I've always thought of as rock, but who were actually part of the folk movement of the 60s (as I found out from reading the jacket on my John Denver cd, because they sang his Leaving on a Jet Plane first).

But I just thought maybe there were American groups like that today that I might have been missing. I'll have to check out Bela Fleck again.

By the way, I HIGHLY recommend getting Kate Rusby's newest cd, Little Lights. Too bad she has a fear of flying. She somehow got past it last year to do a tour of the U.S., which is how I got to see her in Chicago, but I went to the website recently and found out that she's going to stick with places she can travel via the surface of the earth for a while, so she won't be coming back here anytime soon.  :( Hard to promote here if you can't get here, so I'll do what I can to recommend it to friends...  :D

Sorry to pull you guys off the original topic. Maybe I should have started a new thread.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2003, 04:07:32 AM by norroway »
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Re: Concert Report 5/2/03
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2003, 08:16:02 AM »
I want to add Kris Kirstofferson and Ron Wood to my list of good folk singers

Most of the people I listened were performing at least into the 90s. They're not new, but they're still contemporary.

And I understand what you say about Utah bands. Utah must have the lamest local music scene anywhere. i grew up with bands like the Pietasters, the Pilfers, Phish, and Local H (admittedly the worst of the four) as local bands. The Provo scene just didn't cut it.