12 July 2001
12:32 PM: W.o.w. Quasi was so fucking great! You should've been there. But you couldn't! It was sold out! Buahahaha. C'mon, I have little enough to gloat about.
The not-quite first but first for us band was (I found out later) No. 2. (Oh, hey! He used to be in Heatmiser! Heh.) They were quite good themselves, very Nirvana-ish sounding only without the angst or stomach problems. More poppy than that. I thought at times they were veering towards Blink-182 territory. Lana agreed with the Nirvana thing, but thought Blink-182 might be a little too harsh. Which is true. Really good sound, good bass lines, the guitarist had an excellent voice. I picked up their CD, but I haven't listened to it yet. We'll see.
And then! Then! There were these microbimbettes annoying us during the last song, so we went to get beers, and then I wanted to get a Quasi T-shirt because it was cool, green with a toilet on it. And find out who that first band was. And! Janet! was right there! She was selling the shirts! Her hair is amazing; I know, pathetic, but that was my first coherent thought. Then I went away for a bit to wait for crowd to go, and came back. Bought new Quasi CD, the shirt, and aforementioned No. 2 CD. She spoke to me! I said something brilliant like "You are so excellent!" At least I didn't say "Dude!" Oy. She sort of didn't respond to that, bored or shy or over it or all and more one expects. Then she noticed the T-shirt that I was wearing. Which, much to my embarassment and completely unplanned, happened to be the shirt from Sleater-Kinney's last show in SF. Honest, it was just on top of the pile. I said something to this effect. She said, "I've never actually seen anyone wear that shirt before." Buah! I laughed and ran away.
Then we went off to the bad kids patio and smoked, which was probably not the brightest idea, because when we came back in it was completely packed to the gills. Bottom of the Hill, not a fun club when it's overfull. On the other hand, when we finally did find a place to stand - nobody was an idiot. Worst thing was the hair of the extremely tall girl in front of us, which kept threatening to dunk itself in beer. But didn't, so no harm.
Quasi is Sam Coomes on keyboards and Janet on them drums. They're very very good fun bang bang yes! good. I liked his keyboard sound, it had a rough edge like a guitar, and a good low bottom as well. They had so very many technical difficulties. Amusing, especially the things he said about them. "I found the wrong problem and fixed it before. Now I have to fix the right problem." I recognize this approach.
I didn't know any of their songs, so I can't say Oh! When they played "Bla Bla", it was so good! She's such a firm hand with those drums. If I don't have the words to talk about guitars properly, I can barely even speak English about drumming. I know Nothing. None of that frilly look-at-my-kit overcomplicated playing. Just wham! wham! and so forth. It's funny how it can be the lead instrument, really, considering you can't play a tune as such.
They had to drop the whole middle of their set because it depended on Sam playing guitar and he had Guitar Issues that made that a no. So by the end, they were playing things that I guess were really old, or new, but that they hadn't practiced very much. As he said, "Well, we can try it. It can only not work." Or words to that effect. This approach, too, I recognize. On the next-to-last song (I think), it was just Sam playing a less-fuzzy, very nice melody and Janet singing, no drums. "This is for everybody who hates me and loves Janet." Aww. We don't hate you, Sam. But you could definitely feel the Crush in the room otherwise.
So on and so on, very good, fun. Then I came back to my neighborhood and Sean dropped by the bar and I got a whole mess of Season 3 Buffy tapes. I see Today that once again, they got shut out of the Emmy nominations. Bastards.
Right now I wish I was still asleep but I kept having bad dreams about working in a restaurant or some kind of hell, so I'm not. Asleep. Or working. At the moment.
9:14 PM: Yay! Lynda Barry's back!
9:29 PM: And this is a really good review of the Air show. Especially the part where she admits not having any idea how to do this:This morning, during my commute and several moments sitting in the piss-filled, sausage-scented parking lot at work, I listened to "High Fidelity" author and New Yorker music critic Nick Hornby talking with Terry Gross on the NPR radio show "Fresh Air." ("Fresh Air?" Mere coincidence? I think not.) He said it was really difficult to be a rock critic because unlike reviewing a book where you can rehash the plot if you're in a tight spot, in music you're left having to describe the sound.See. It's not just me.
How do you describe music? Well, you compare it. (Air is Europop. Air is electronica. Air has roots in Pink Floyd.) You describe the way musicians play their instruments. (I could use words such as "licks" and "riffs" and "meandering" and "masterful." Or maybe that's another genre.) You put it in a context. The more obscure and detailed the observation the better.
So, anyway, about the Air concert. The beers were fine. The nachos were fine. Hanging out with my friends was great.
Willfully blind self-indulgent nebbish or amusingly quirky old coot? And how bout that local sports team? Discuss among yourselves.
All names are fake, most places are real, the author is definitely unreliable but it's all in good fun. Yep.
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