Just barely got an entry in for the month of November...have been slow
rolling this one for a good two weeks. But I have
high hopes to make another post BEFORE we leave for Costa Rica in a
little over a couple of weeks.
Another lost photo
from our cross-country drive in March 2008:
I am pretty sure this was in or just outside of Capital Reef National
Park in Utah. Unless my brain is completely failing
me, this old cabin was parked near some ancient Native American cliff
drawings that you could look at through one of
those enormous coin operated binoculars attached to a stand.
I've really been firing on all cylinders lately when it comes to
getting to the club right when the band I want to see starts
playing. I walked in the door just as Built
to Spill began their first song, and despite the packed
house I was able to
nook right in near the front by the side of the stage.
At this point in my life I've seen this band play probably close to
twenty times (if not more), and I knew full well what this
night had in store for me. As always, BtS played a fantastic mix
of songs from across their entire catalog - off the top
of my head I can recall "Virginia Reel Around the Fountain", "Carry the
Zero", "Stop the Show", "Reasons", "You Were
Right", and "The Weather". As always I would have killed to hear
more songs from "Perfect from Now On", a statement
I have made after every one of their shows...even the shows where they
played a lot of those songs. Just can't get
enough of that album, even 12 years later. Surprisingly, as Doug and
company just released a new record called
"There Is No Enemy", there were very few new songs, just fan favorite
after fan favorite for the better part of two hours.
Sadly, another truism of any Built to Spill show also reared it's ugly
head - the terrible, awful crowd. For reasons un-
clear to me for well over a decade, assholes and idiots love this
band. This may be saying as much about me as it is
about the rest of the crowd, but the personalities that infest any
given Built to Spill show are the worst mix of drunks, frat
boys and douchbags. And this isn't just a Chapel Hill thing -
most of my live viewings of Built to Spill happened in San
Francisco, and it was no different there. The constant yelling of
inane things at the band. The bouncers having to break
up a fight in what looked to be the strangest, most inappropriate "mosh
pit" I've seen in ages. And then there was the
gaggle of chatty women standing behind me, referring to themselves as
"cougars" and sticking their garbage and beer
bottles in the hood of my pullover. There really should be some
sociological studies done on this strange gathering
awkward, useless chaff, but I guess it says a lot about what a great
live band Built to Spill is that anyone with any sense
would suffer these fools.
So I've seen this newly reformed Polvoa number
of times now, and even in my super fanboy status, it's hard to deny
they aren't getting more and more awesome with each and every
gig. Yes, awesome, that is the technical word for
their performance, I saw it in a technical handbook on show
descriptions. They've certainly gotten a lot of tighter, what
with the touring and the practicing and the recording a new album,
tighter than they ever sounded pre-break-up.
Given that they did just record a new album, "In Prism", I was a little
surprised that they didn't play more songs from it.
It's got to be a tough balance for a band that has been around for a
long time that has a large catalog to get the ratio
of new songs and older fan favorites down on their set list.
Obviously most of the crowd usually wants to hear their
favorite song, while the band really wants to play these new tracks
they are proud of. I'm almost always on the "play
the old shit" side of the fence; but unlike most material that gets
released by groups post-reunion, the new Polvo
record is really damn good.
Anyways, yadda yadda yadda, the new record is great but they still
played almost entirely old songs. Not that I'm
complaining, but my faulty memory can only recall "Beggar's Bowl"; a
couple more new ones would have been nice.
What they did play was a super-extended version of "Bombs That Fall
From Your Eyes" that sounded like Polvo
crossed with "Umma Gumma" era Pink Floyd...it was one of the best
things I've heard in months. Maybe through
some magic of the internets someone out there reading this review
bootlegged the show and can hook me up with
a copy of that song, I would be forever grateful.
As a side note/complaint, I tried buying the vinyl of their new album
on my way out of the club, and they were sold out!
I had been putting off buying it for a while because I wanted to wait
and get it when the money would be directly going
to the band, but no such luck. And then a couple weeks later I
stopped by Schoolkids in Raleigh to make the purchase...
of course they were also sold out. It's almost comical that I've
had such a tough time buying a record by a local band
released on a local label, but on the bright side it means Polvo is
moving units and that is definitely great for them.
One of these days I'm going to finally find and buy that damn record...
Golden Belt (Rock & Shop Vintage Market)
So there was this "Rock and Shop" event going on during the day in
Durham, and what the hell - I like to both rock and
shop, so it seemed like a good idea to attend. It helped that two
of my favorite local groups were playing - Mount Weather and Lonnie Walker, though when we
were walking into the event we passed the Mount Weather guys loading
their gear out...bummer on that, I was hoping to see them play
again. But Lonnie Walker was still due to play, and after
a bit of strolling around with the wife while she gawked and glad
handed over a number of small craft tables, the band
made with the music and I watched them rock out while the old lady
continued to shop. I still struggle to figure out who it
is Lonnie Walker remind me of - I know everyone else says Bob Dylan,
and I can see where they are coming from, but
there is a lot more to it than that. I previously mentioned the
Talking Heads and I still get that vibe on some of their
tracks, but there is a rootsy, almost Band-like feel to their
music. All I know is their songs are instantly stuck in your
head, and I wasn't the only one entranced - there were a couple of
small kids standing next to me who were downright
mesmerized by the live rock action. It's good to know I've got
more in common with small children than just my overly
picky diet...a mutual love of fantastic music too!
"I'm going to get into an aerodynamic tuck, and use the dildo to cusion
I don't particularly have anything to say about all of these songs,
except they are all good because I wouldn't have bother-
ed posting them otherwise.
Dead Meadow - Between
Me And The Ground.
These three songs were taken from some late-seventies/early-eighties
Australian Punk compilation...all Brisbane
bands if I remember correctly. Young Identities - Instant
Just Urbain - Burning.
Mississippi Fred McDowell - Good
Morning Little Schoolgirl. The title/subject matter of
this song probably
sounded a lot less sketchy in the day that it was recorded.
Shellac - Steady
As She Goes.
The Felice Brothers - Boy
Lawrence County. I was unsure about this band for some
time but I'll be damned
if their album "Yomder Is the Clock" didn't really get under my skin
and become a must-listen.
The Hold Steady - Constructive
The Twilight Sad - Half
The Undertones - Teenage
Don't Like It.
T-Model Ford - Chicken
Go see this man live if he comes through your town - there probably
many years left to see a true American musical genius.