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  Lessons in Pop

20 May 2001

10:56 PM: So Mr. Badly Medicated Boy at one point in his overloud, disorganized, masturbatory excuse for a concert Friday stopped to do a long, sing-songy speech to the audience. He almost made up for the whole show by admitting that he sounded like "the new Bono" - then blew it by saying "Only younger and better looking with a better voice and better songs." In your dreams, pal.

Anyway. He went on and on about how he didn't need any of those press wankers saying anything bad about him, because, like, he didn't care, you know? He's not a Star. (No, he just likes to have people stand around for hours basking in the Himness of Him. Not a star, no no, of course not.) He's just keepin it real, man. He's doin it for his girlfriend, he's doin it for the kids. He fucking actually thinks he's the new Bruce Springsteen.

Well, I tell ya. You don't want to be a star? You just want to play your music? You think overamping your guitar to the point that it destroyed the quality of every song you play makes you more real? Badly Medicated Boy, sit down, shut up, and Meet Mr. Black.

Frank Black, that is. Who, without pretension or artifice or wasting anybody's time, got up on stage at Slim's Saturday and played some god damn good music. It was loud, it was noisy, it wasn't too "pretty" or artificial or any of the other things you seem to be concerned about. Nope. It was just good. The Catholics is a great band, too. Two guitarists besides Frank, and instead of tripling the drunken/stoned noodling as would have done by Mr. Boy, they had this astonishing notion that they would play their fucking instruments as if they were musicians! Whodathunkit? God, there were bits in "Robert Onion" (I think?) where they were playing the same parts together and the sound of it was overwhelming. Not only physically, though that too - but mostly in the transporting power and, yes, Beauty, that electric guitars can provide like nothing else.

And to think that I was all eagerly awaiting Poorly Illustrated Fellow, and almost didn't even go see Frank Black because poor me, I was seeing too many shows all at once. A lesson relearned: GO. Just go. Because the nap I'll forget, you know?

Willfully blind self-indulgent nebbish or amusingly quirky old coot? And how bout that local sports team? Discuss among yourselves.

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