Tuesday, April 15th, 2003
The Hour Grows Late
Elvis Costello is back in town at the Hummingbird Centre on July 2. A little pricey and I saw him last year – albeit a fantastic show – so I will probably pass.
I will NOT be passing on Wilco at the Kool Haus on June 20, though. Booyaka.
So long bloody show last night. My legs and back are killing me – standing for four and a half hours will topple even the sturdiest of punters. I don’t feel like getting too in-depth, so I’ll keep the reviews sorta brief.
Daniel Johnston is a strange, strange man. He’s a mentally ill folksinger with a devoted cult following including Sonic Youth, Nirvana and Sparklehorse. People seemed pretty excited that he was in town, and I was mostly just curious. Picture a fat, disheveled man pounding frenetically on a classical guitar and singing simple little songs about love in an erratic voice. He displayed a little more prowess on the keyboards, but overall, it was a curious spectacle. He played for about a half hour.
Portastatic plugged in impressed. Mac McCaughan is a helluva guitar player – I’ve never seen Superchunk live, but his “quieter” (a very relative term) act still rocks out pretty hard. I liked them well enough to want to find their non-soundtrack stuff. I would have bought one of the CDs at the show, but I was already out of cash from buying a YLT t-shirt and a copy of The Sounds Of The Sounds Of Science (purchased from Ira, again. Any band at their level that still sells their own merch deserves your respect).
Yo La Tengo. I think I have to be in the proper mood to appreciate them live. There’s no question they’re exceptional musicians, but the long drawn-out jams get tiresome, especially if you’ve been standing for hours already. Since they drew mainly from Summer Sun, the straight-ahead tunes were at a minumum to begin with. They trotted out some of the chestnuts in the encore, but the main set – all two hours of it – was dominated by jams and noisefests. The set time also came from the fact that no one played the same instrument in consecutive songs, and I do have to say, wandering around the stage wondering what to play next looks like fun. Their extended four-drummer version of Sun Ra’s “Nuclear War” (It’s a motherfucker!) was fun, but much of it crossed the line into self-indulgence. And, of course, they did an encore of “Speeding Motorcycle” with Daniel Johnston on vocals. But when the second encore ended and the house lights came on, I was more than happy to boot it out the door and home to bed. Love the band, but they may have worked themselves off of my “must-see-whenever-in-town-always” list.
np – Yo La Tengo / The Sounds Of The Sounds Of Science