Monday, April 28, 2008

good friends also find a way

You very rarely have to ask me twice to join you at Largo, but in some instances, you don't even have to finish the sentence before the word "yes" pops out of my mouth. Largo on Fairfax's last stand would easily qualify as one of those situations, and I required no time at all to confirm my place on Heidi's reservation for the Watkins Family Hour.

Watkins Family Hour, Largo, April 24, 2008: Officially, this is the third Watkins Family Hour show I've attended, but they've popped up at so many other Largo gigs that their appearances tend to blur together. They're a very good example, however, of the Largo model at its ideal, highlighting both the artist(s) in the solo spotlight and a collaborative setting. They beg the question: Did the Watkinses take to Largo so well because of an inherent affinity for this setup, or did this setup make the Watkins Family Hour possible?

Perhaps someone else can answer definitively. All I know is that it works, and the Watkins Family Hour is another event that I'd easily recommend to anyone interested in the Largo experience.

Tonight, an entourage of familiar faces joined Sara and Sean onstage: Benmont Tench, Paul Bryan, and Greg Leisz. Later, Mike Wicher (on dobro), Gabe Wicher (on fiddle), and David Garza stepped up as well. I haven't been to enough Watkins Family Hour shows to know how many songs they repeat from week to week, but the tunes this night weren't the ones I'm used to hearing. As I recall, they presented a handful of songs either on or considered for Sara's solo album, Sean and Gabe's so-called hit "More Pretty Girls Than One," Jon Brion's "Trouble" (though Jon was not at the show that night), Sean and Paul on the Louvin Brothers' "I Like the Christian Life," and more.

The guest players made themselves known at the show as well. As always, the band members enjoyed generous soloing opportunities for each song, but they could be heard in more ways than one. Paul Bryan, for example, took the lead vocals on Gene Clark's "Why Not Your Baby" (my favorite song of the night), while Benmont was, well, all over the place. He sang and played piano, accompanied by Sara, on a ballad for someone on Valentine's Day, but unfortunately, we didn't hear his song about Leslie Feist. Apart from the rather somber tune as well as his always meticulous playing, Benmont was downright giddy, commenting on Sean's raspy voice and generally baiting Sara. He also played bass on a couple of songs. He clearly needs to tour with Mudcrutch more often!

They took some time trying to figure out how to end the night, spurning more common requests such as "Tall Buildings" and "Short People." They came to a consensus on "Cherokee Stomp," which allowed all the players to let their hair down, while simultaneously raising the roof. Yee-haw!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

a new decade

Not that you would know it from the '90s love that persists in this blog. Some day, I'll embrace the fact that I'm clearly susceptible to reunion shows, no matter how much I doth protest. Then again, there was no back talk when the reformed Verve announced its return to San Francisco for a warm-up show, about 10 years since the band's last appearance in the city.

The Verve, the Warfield, April 23, 2008: Every spring, San Francisco hosts an unofficial music festival: Coachella North. Your mileage will vary from year to year, but with a little effort, it's possible to cherry-pick among the bands booked by the big festival down south and who happen to schedule local dates as well. For us delicate flowers who can't be exposed to real climates, this is a major boon. Coincidentally (or not), it's also the time of the year when my thinly concealed Anglophilia pipes back up.

I'm not actually the biggest Verve fan among my friends. That title goes to my dearest Mori, who considers them one of her two all-time favorites; she even saw their legendary show at Slim's back in 1993 or thereabouts. I took a little while longer to come around, but A Northern Soul is one of my treasured discs. I didn't even mind Urban Hymns and all its ensuing hype; as many times as I heard "Bittersweet Symphony" on the radio or saw the video on MTV, I didn't get sick of it, and I was happy for the guys, though I probably also liked to remind the newbies that the band had done superior work (yawn).

The Verve, Warfield, April 23, 2008

This Northern Soul/Urban Hymns balance dominated the first half of the show, as the band alternated between titles from the two albums. Sadly, there was no material from the early records, but that, too, was expected. Rounding out the set, we got two new songs, one of which didn't yet have a title (I think), while the other bore the Verve trademarks.

The Northern Soul material sent me ape-shit every time, especially when they opened with the propulsive and entirely appropriate "A New Decade." When the next song from that album turned out to be the resounding "This Is Music," I made a silly phangirl prayer that we'd heard them do the album in its entirety. That didn't happen, but we got a pretty great selection nonetheless, including my absolute favorite "On Your Own" and "Life's an Ocean," in its undulating, hypnotic glory.

The Verve, Warfield, April 23, 2008

Urban Hymns got quite the workout, and they came close to hitting every song on the record. To my surprise, I barely remembered that album, even the supposed hits. I mean, I like to pooh-pooh it, but I listened to it a lot back then, and I love certain tracks, such as "Weeping Willow" and "Space and Time." Where we were situated, at the front of the room, just about every tune got the sing-along treatment, but "The Drugs Don't Work" brought out a full chorus of voices, including that of a very drunk girl who tried to rush the stage. Fortunately, she was shooed away before butchering the song too much for the fans in our area.

One of the major draws of this reunion is seeing Nick McCabe playing with the band again. Obviously, his musical contributions helped define the band's identity, and his swirling, psychedelic guitar work, paired with Richard's distinctive lyrics and vocal delivery, as well as the driving rhythm section set the band apart from the other groups coming out of England, both in their early incarnations and later when the commercial acclaim followed. First too swaggering for the shoegaze era, then overly metaphysical for the Lad Rock years, they were always a genre unto themselves. It was an uneasy balance, but it worked for a little while.

The Verve, Warfield, April 23, 2008

And it worked again tonight, as Richard showered Nick with admiration and respect, calling him "the best guitarist in the world." When Nick's string of technical difficulties followed, Richard soothed the audience (not that we were anything less than adoring) by reminding us that it took this long for the band to get back together, we can wait a little while longer to make sure everything is perfect. Overall, they were in great spirits, conferring with each other between songs and hugging one another at the end of the set.

The Verve, Warfield, April 23, 2008

There are two main reasons to go to a reunion show: You saw the band the first time around and want to relive the memories, or you never saw the band and want to find out why they matter at all. I've gone to shows under both circumstances, though in the glut of reunions these days, I tend to favor the former situation when it comes to forking over the cash for tickets. I can't tell you how many times I read the music news and wonder why a band I never cared for in the first place is getting so much attention for coming back together (Stone Temple Pilots?!?).

I'd totally understand if the same complaint were lodged against the Verve. After all, they're essentially a one-hit wonder in the States, and some (of the less enlightened) would say they rode in on Oasis's coattails in the '90s. I beg to differ, of course, and would likely launch into an extended lecture about the mutual admiration that has long flowed between the two bands, but that's neither here nor there. But even if I didn't have that pedantic streak, I'd go to this show just because I was so blown away by their '97 gig at the same venue.

Oddly, though, almost as soon as the show started, I realized how little I recall of that concert or of the couple of other gigs I've seen of the band, as well as Richard solo, as impressive as they were. Maybe it had something to do with being on the rail tonight; maybe I just missed the band. Whatever the explanation, it felt as if I was seeing the band -- especially Richard -- in a new light. The force of the music felt familiar, but for the first time ever, Richard's charisma hit me hard.

The Verve, Warfield, April 23, 2008

I apologize for fixating on the frontman, but it was impossible not to do so tonight, even when I knew that Nick McCabe was coaxing out such gorgeous riffs to my left. Though I have who knows how many magazines adorned with Richard Ashcroft's face and read countless stories trying to capture his presence, they did him no justice. His facial features -- those insanely high cheekbones, the strikingly prominent nose, and the distractingly full lips -- taken apart might sound like a caricature, especially when set on his stick-thin figure. However, they worked entirely in his favor as he commanded the attention of 2,000-plus fans. I couldn't stop watching him, especially when he went into that faraway zone and stepped through his dance (?) moves. And for extended spells, I couldn't think of him as anything other than his nicknames: Captain Rock, as Noel Gallagher called him, or Mad Richard, as he was known in the U.K. music press.

The Verve, Warfield, April 23, 2008

I don't put a whole lot of faith in reunions; I'm of the school that's convinced a band will fall apart under the same tensions that came between them the first time around. Regardless, I wish them the best of luck, and I know I'll be back for more, should they return.

See also:
» let him read your palm and guess your sign
» give in, into that good feeling

Sunday, April 20, 2008

where butterflies and blackbirds perch

Thanks to a happy confluence of events, I've hardly been deprived of E and the eels between tours, but I wouldn't complain if their appearances increased a bit. Until that happens (i.e., never), I'll stick with Plan A and continue attending their shows up here.

eels, Palace of Fine Arts, April 14, 2008: One of the things I love about the fantastic group of people who filled up my hours in Chicago last weekend is that we're all music nuts, which should be clear in the way we track down, map out, and fill out our calendar with as many gigs as we can. Thus, even as we chowed down and awaited Jeff's arrival, we found plenty of time to discuss other gigs and artists. Thanks to Sooz's recent concert experience, we buzzed about E and the eels quite a bit.

Truthfully, we mostly chatted about the merchandise available at the shows, and let me assure you, there were some good 'uns. Alas, I resisted the undies, despite my long-held remorse over not buying Pulp knickers when I had a chance.

Sooz didn't tell me much about the show itself, perhaps because she wanted to keep it a surprise; further, I hate spoilers. For a band like the eels, this effort is worth it, as they do their best to mix it up from tour to tour.

The streak remained intact for this gig; in lieu of an opener, for the first hour-plus of the show, we watched Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives, a documentary about E's father, the quantum physicist Hugh Everett III. (So that was why we were in a seated venue!) The film had the potential to be both obtuse in its explications of the elder Everett's radical theories, as well as maudlin in following E through his childhood home. Much in keeping with the eels' style, though, it was neither; rather, it was pretty funny, even when E mentioned his sister's suicide or finding his father's dead body. I think my favorite part of the movie was when E listened to old recordings, including one of his father, complete with incidental backing track of the young Mark Oliver Everett on drums.

Eels, Palace of Fine Arts, April 14, 2008

The musical portion of the evening also avoided your typical rock cliches. E and the Chet manned any of a number of instruments arranged in a circle around the stage: guitars, drums, a piano, a pump organ, a celeste, and even a musical saw. The arrangement reminded me a bit of a certain club in Los Angeles, especially when the two of them switched off drumming duties in the middle of a song and when the Chet took over the vocals for a Led Zeppelin tune.

Aside from this detour, the eels' catalog got a good workout, as they bashed out old favorites such as "I Like Birds," "Climbing to the Moon," "My Beloved Monster," and "Novocaine for the Soul," as well as deep album cuts. Supplementing the musical contributions were the voice of a god-like figure, the Chet's dramatic reading of selections from E's memoirs, and E hilariously sharing recent fan mail and concert reviews. I gotta hand it to them for giving us a true multimedia experience!

Legend has it that Bobby Jr. and his human companion can often be spotted traversing Hillhurst. With any luck, they'll take a detour out to Fairfax Avenue some time before Largo pulls up its roots. I'm not holding my breath, but as any eels show will prove, stranger things can happen.

See also:
» it's been said many times, many ways
» i like birds...and eels

Thursday, April 17, 2008

springtime comes

Though, in Chicago at least, neither were the leaves back on the trees again, nor (as far as I know) were the snipers harder to see, my friends. But after February's foolhardy stand, I'll accept anything short of a blizzard and a firing squad -- not that any threat, meteorological or otherwise, stood a chance against the collective warmth and joy of 30-odd friends reconvening for what has become an annual tradition: our show with Jeff Tweedy.

Jeff Tweedy, Hotel S'n'S, April 12, 2008: These weekends are always a whirlwind, no matter how many times we do them -- or maybe as a direct result of all the times we've done them and our ever escalating attempts to stuff as many activities as possible into too few days. The Cliff Notes version goes like this:
  • Rock 'n' Roll Hell, where the likes of Wesley Willis, Tammy Wynette, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, Don Ho, John Phillip Souza, Mimi Fariña, Dusty Springfield, Nico, multiple Ramones, Michael Hutchence, Laura Branigan, and the Motown greats raised our plastic cups to Guitar Hero, chocolate bacon bars, and Dave's birthday

    Rock 'n' Roll Hell

  • Hot Doug's, a delicious prelude to the evening's impending feast
  • Lots of grocery shopping, prepping, cooking, and domestic goddessing (and godding too, I suppose) for...
  • The potluck or, more accurately, Pork Fest 2008, featuring Jeff's succulent pork cheeks, Sooz's candied bacon, Daniel's saucy balls, Dick's savory meat -- and less carnivorously, various salads and desserts. Man, that was good stuff.

The spreadFortunately, we threw off the feedbags long enough to gather in the basement, where we settled in for the main event: Jeff Tweedy playing our requests.

These shows have always been amazing and wonderful, but I think we (with a valuable assist from Jeff) cobbled together a winning formula last year. Asking each of us for a real-time request instead of working from a setlist was a brilliant touch, reinforcing everyone's role in making the night so memorable and personal. We stuck with this game plan, but with one critical difference; this time, we didn't provide Jeff with a song list prior to the show.

Personally, I didn't think we'd need to, as I figured all of Wilco's songs were fair game following the residency, and odds were the majority of the selections would come from the band's catalog. But as devoted fans, any of us could name an old song or a cover that we loved and that Jeff was not necessarily prepared to play. And it's only natural that in this setting, some of us would at least try to get in the lesser-known titles. On that count, Jeff had to turn away some requests, but that was only fair, and heaven knows, we had no problems coming up with songs that he actually wrote.

The whole evening was pretty much a highlight reel, but one song in particular embodied all the best elements of the show and the gathering, and that would be "The Unwelcome Guest." It only took three years, but Alison finally got her request and then some, as our friends Mart Rivas and Dave Mirabella expertly accompanied Jeff on the tune. (For the record, Jeff knew about this one beforehand, so maybe there is an advantage to providing advance notice.) We were all so happy for Alison, especially since we got to enjoy the fringe benefits of her request. Regardless, it couldn't have happened to a nicer person.

Jeff Tweedy, Hotel SnS, 4-12-08

The other showstopper, without a doubt, was "Sir Duke," requested as a joke by Patti and originally intended as a collaboration between Jeff and Mart. Shortly into the song, however, Jeff changed his mind, sat down on the floor near Heidi, and ceded the stage to Mart, who brought it home in his trademark style. So much for knowing what to expect!

I could cite so many more incredible moments, from the achingly beautiful ("Thirteen," "More Like the Moon," "Be Not So Fearful") to the roaring pick-me-ups ("ELT," "Build Me Up Buttercup," "Airline to Heaven") to the simply sweet ("Summer Teeth," as requested by young Miles), and I would still leave out dozens more awesome songs. And I haven't even touched upon the funny stories, the good-natured banter, or the cozy comfort we enjoyed all night.

Jeff Tweedy, Hotel SnS, 4-12-08

The music and the food are easy to latch onto, but they don't tell the whole story. The evening wouldn't have been the same if it weren't for two more factors. The first is Jeff and Susan Tweedy's incredible generosity, without which none of this would be possible. For some reason, they keep letting us do this, though by now they should know full well what they're in for. If there's a next time, rest assured, we'll let Jeff prep for us.

The second is, well, us, as self-serving as that sounds. It's not exactly a groundbreaking concept, the idea that a group of people that know each other and genuinely enjoy one another's company can have a grand old night while listening to a treasured musician play songs they love. What's harder to get across, though, is how much this collective experience lifts the music and the friendships. If I could bring these pals along to every concert I attend, I would (we're trying!).

Jeff Tweedy, Hotel SnS, 4-12-08

Generally, I'm not a joiner. I haven't been to my high school or college reunions, I don't belong to any major social organizations, and I tend to bristle at any hint of a herd mentality. Yet for the last four years, I've disregarded weather forecasts, packed my bag with fashions gone long out of vogue, and jumped at the chance to be one of the gang. I'd even go as far as to suggest that in coming together, many of us have never been truer to ourselves. Who says you can't have your (maple bacon and/or Vietnamese coffee cup)cake and eat it too?

The full history
» i wish that i knew what I know now
» people say i'm crazy doing what i'm doing
» the message
» all the ladies and gentlemen
» that year
» turn our prayers to outrageous dares
» every day is dreamlike
» it's been a while

Monday, April 07, 2008

The Rationales, "The Going and the Gone"

The Rationales, The Going and the GonePower pop must be one of the most misunderstood but highly debated genres in music. On the one hand, you have a vast number of people who've never even heard of such a thing and who might assume you're talking about--heaven forbid--pop music or whatever best-selling dreck is inevitably dominating the charts. On the other side, you'll find passionate defenders willing to spend hours arguing over the merits of Alex Chilton's career choices.

This second group, despite appearances to the contrary, will likely agree on one thing: Power pop is the best music in the world. And when you find a band that carries on that wonderful tradition, you listen to them, support them, and treasure them. Such a music fan would be advised to check out The Going and the Gone, the debut EP from Boston-based band the Rationales.

The Rationales

The Going and the Gone kicks off with a confident, luxurious mesh of guitars on "Guardrail," followed by the boisterous bounce of "No Guarantees," which comes with a chorus that any barfly should be proud to shout out at their favorite watering hole. The Rationales sustain this wave of racuous, infectious energy throughout the EP--which might be why the closing track "Ruby Colored Halo" comes as such a surprise and a delight. Featuring lovely touches of slide guitar, this sweet, folksy number offers another view of the Rationales, supplementing their power pop chops with poetry as well.

See also:
» the Rationales on MySpace

Saturday, April 05, 2008

pre-easily fooled

Once upon a time, my concert reports lived in little notebooks (the print variety), tiny tomes I happened to find a little while ago while tidying the house. The earliest entries are pretty bare; I simply went through my ticket stubs and jotted down any recollections I could muster. But I must've started taking it more seriously around 2003, because that's when the dispatches filled out a bit.

They're not worth reprinting here, but I figured I'd excerpt some of the better passages. Unfortunately, I can't recall the context of some of these comments, so what you see is what you get. Anyway, some highlights from my gig history:

Badly Drawn Boy, Bimbo's 365 Club, November 16, 2000: Three hours of music, including Bruce and Journey covers; cocktail waitresses bringing orders onstage; almost got brained by Damon's mic!; Damon dancing on tables and kicking Bruce detractors--wow!

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, the Fillmore, March 12, 2001: Steve's dad introduced the band as "the Jinx."

Wilco, Town Hall, Sept. 28, 2001: I thought that guy wanted to slap me. [Ed.: Who? What? Why? I have no idea.]

Guided by Voices, Bimbo's 365 Club, August 20, 2003: Bob Pollard: "We're the birdmen of alcohol." [Ed.: That quote alone is worth digging through the notebooks.]

Wilco/Sonic Youth, Summerstage, June 27, 2003: Met Roy and Kurt, two Sonic Youth fans who had taken the bus all the way from Peoria to see their favorite band--very sweet kids.

Beulah, Great American Music Hall, Nov. 6, 2003: The band asked for requests for the encore, then forced whomever yelled the title to come up and play an instrument onstage for that song. I think my favorite participant that night was a guy in a tie, a button-down shirt, and khakis. Miles referred to him as "the accountant."

lisa simpsonRufus Wainwright, the Warfield, December 19, 2003: We were joined by a youngish guy who claimed to be gay but was married to a French woman who needed a green card. He also wore pearls à la Lisa Simpson. He had a package and a message that he wanted to get to Rufus. Long story short: He succeeded. Anyway, he was very funny, with enough drama for a week's worth of All My Children.

More random tidbits
--Shows where I saw Scott Kannberg (Pavement; Preston School of Industry) in the audience: Flaming Lips, Wilco, British Sea Power
--Shows where I fell asleep or very nearly dozed off: Sigur Ros (at the Warfield, not the Fillmore), Godspeed You Black Emperor, Broadcast

--Beth Orton, Ione Skye (Death in Vegas, the Troubador)
--Billy Connolly, Kelly Macdonald (Travis, the Troubador)
--Amanda Decadenet, a.k.a. ex-wife of Duran Duran's John Taylor; I know no one cares, but it was a big deal to us (Supergrass, Bimbo's 365 Club)
--Keri Russell (Wilco, Roseland)
--Hanson, Claudia Mason (one of my favorite '90s supermodels), Bob Odenkirk (Wilco, El Rey)
--Pete Yorn, E from the eels (Wilco, John Anson Ford Amphitheatre)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

listen, there's music in the air

An unfortunate by-product of the presently percolating preoccupation is that I have a hard time focusing on other subjects or, more precisely, other musicians. In this instance, it means I haven't been able to devote much attention to new releases from old favorites -- sorry, Bob Mould and Stephen Malkmus! But at least I have tickets to their respective shows.

Bob Mould, Great American Music Hall, March 23, 2008: How has it that two-and-a-half years have passed since I last saw Bob Mould in concert?! I mean, I know I missed a couple of gigs here and there; I blame rock tourism and freelancer finances, respectively, for those no-shows. But I had no idea I'd let it come to this.

Bob Mould, Great American Music Hall, 3-23-08

I guess in order to understand why this lag even matters, I should back up and share one of my oft-told tales of teen angst. (Please feel free to skip this part.) When I was in junior high, my parents forced me to go to Vietnamese language school on Saturday mornings while my brothers stayed home, watched cartoons, and played GI Joe--but I digress.

The school, in and of itself, was not so traumatic. The troubling aspect came from the fact that my fluency was so laughable that I was placed in the beginner's classes, where my so-called peers were a good three to five years younger and--thanks to puberty--anywhere from several inches to a foot shorter than me. First lesson learned: It's indeed possible to feel awkward, self-conscious, and stupid all at the same time. (Addendum: When I started taking Vietnamese classes again in college, I realized my language skills were about average for people my age and/or who had immigrated to the United States around the same time. Whew!)

tieng viet

Anyway, somewhat to my parents' chagrin, I ended up hanging out with the Amerasian kids, who also happened to be old friends. I did learn some basics of the Vietnamese language in the couple of years I was required to go, but just as important, the mixed-race kids and I talked (in English) about music during recess. And this is where I was introduced to Hüsker Dü.

In truth, British bands continued to dominate my listening habits for a while longer, but this limited exposure to the American DIY scene revealed a musical universe dedicated to a set of values diametrically opposed to those of the polished pop musicians I favored. I wouldn't fully recognize this legacy until nearly a decade later, when lo-fi brought it all back for me, but I was already smitten. And when Bob released his first solo album, I thought it was one of the most beautiful collections of songs I had ever heard. I was hooked.

Bob Mould, Great American Music Hall, 3-23-08Between then and now, a lot has changed, but my admiration has never wavered. During the grunge years, Sugar was nearly the only American band I listened to, it was Bob's Singles Only Label that introduced me to Grant Lee Buffalo (this blog provides ample proof of where that led), and I remember buying a Magnapop CD just because he produced it. I could even relate to his dance stuff, having gone through a similar phase.

I realize that sounds like a lot to invest in one concert by one artist, but I certainly am not alone. The fans at this well-attended show welcomed Bob with hoots, hollers, and lots of love, and Bob reciprocated with a set heavy on older songs. I think only a couple titles each from the new album District Line and its immediate predecessor Body of Song made the cut, while Sugar representation was strong, evident in two opening numbers and several more songs sprinkled through the set. Of course, we heard plenty of solo material as well, and most surprising of all, Hüsker Dü featured prominently too.

Rich Morel and Jason Narducy were once again along for the ride, but replacing Brendan Canty at the drumkit was Jon Wurster, whom I had last spotted touring with the New Pornographers. Standing stage right, I had a great view of Jason Narducy, one of the most energetic bassists you'll ever see, and his backing vocals filled out the songs (especially the Hüsker Dü tunes) nicely. My only real complaint of the show might have to do with the keyboards. Though I was right next to Rich Morel, I could barely hear his contributions apart from the obvious segments, such as the opening of "Hoover Dam."

Bob Mould, Great American Music Hall, 3-23-08

If I had to state a preference for Bob with a band vs. Bob solo, I think I'd go with the band setting just because Bob's happiness is palpable when he's playing with his fellow musicians and friends. It wasn't unusual during this show to see Bob, in the midst of his musical duties, grinning at his bandmates or conferring with them on changes to the setlist. A number of times, Bob also stepped back into the shadows far on stage left, perhaps to give his backing players a share of the spotlight? Well, that's my take.

The blistering main set fired us up good, the first encore gave us a chance to catch our breath, then the second and final encore kicked our asses all over again with a triple dose of Hüsker Dü. In fact, it appeared that they had planned on only two songs, but in response to the roaring reaction, Bob decided to throw in "New Day Rising," which I've never heard him do. I'd like to think that Bob is continuing to make peace with his past, and that's why he's revisiting his earlier work now. Seeing as he continues to look to the future, I don't know why he shouldn't allow himself that leeway.

Saturna, Great American Music Hall, 3-23-08Saturna opened the show, and they sounded really good, both poppy and rock--and I don't mean emo! Their guitarist, especially, produced some wonderful tones. One song took me right back to Killing Joke, the Chameleons, Echo and the Bunnymen and that guitar sound I love so much. Another, with its huge wall of heavy but melodic guitar, may not have existed at all were it not for likes of Bob and other musical pioneers. They paid the obligatory homage to Bob, but I get the feeling that they really meant it.

See also:
» i want something that's warm and honest
» use it tonight