Monday, August 9th, 2004
The Neins hail from Vancouver, and not Portland as I’d originally thought (as there is another band called The Neins outta Oregon – it’s just as well that I didn’t get around to listening to any samples because I would have been listening to the wrong band). They sounded a lot like The Mountain Goats by way of Athens, GA due to Cameron Dilworth’s high, edge-of-breaking tenor and their slightly psych song structures. I was impressed with the polish of their music and performance, particularly since they seem so young. Or maybe I just seem old. Anyway, good stuff to start off the night even if the room was awfully empty when they took the stage.
I had gone to the show primarily to see Oakland’s Rogue Wave as I’ve been enjoying their debut album Out Of The Shadow and have heard good things about their live show. I wasn’t quite expecting the full-out rock attack that they came to town with, though. If you haven’t heard the record, it’s primarily acoustic with some tasteful electric guitar and synth embellishments though you’d never have guessed it from their performance. Every song in the set got a fully amped makeover and while I won’t say that they all benefitted from the extra wattage – some of the lovely delicacy of the record was obviously lost – it definitely made for a more powerful and impressive set. And loud. A lot with the loud.
But not as loud as Carl Newman’s travlling sideshow. I haven’t heard his solo debut The Slow Wonder but the tracks I have heard haven’t really blown me away. But still, I do love The New Pornographers and many folks whose opinions I respect have been gushing about the record so I was certainly prepared to have my mind changed – and changed it was. Not in a road to Damascus sort of way, but I definitely enjoyed the show and will be seeking out a copy of the album. Newman has done well in filling his band with a crew of hyperkinetic freaks to raise the energy level in grand rock fashion – how often do you see not one, but TWO Flying V’s on stage? Playing primarily as a four-piece, they also brought a few of The Neins onstage to help out with extra guitar, melodica or percussion duties as needed. The set was mighty short – barely an hour including encore, but just about right length for a concentrated does of pop goodness.
My only complaint on the night was Lee’s Palace’s decision to use the crappiest possible combination of lights for the show – sure, that’s a complaint that’s probably mine and mine only, but even though I had my run of the front of the stage and two wings, I could barely get a decent picture from anywhere. In the grand scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter, but I’ve been on a bit of a nice run of getting good show pictures so it was a bit of a letdown – after all, how often do you see shows where all three bands have cute girl bassists? Oh well. Photos here.
Why did the Pixies reunite? They’re in it for the money, of course, But at least they’re honest about it and are putting on good shows. So everybody wins – especially Joey Santiago’s kids. The New York Times article also has some history from the band and a look at what future there might be. From The Mutual Slump.
Watched the “Explosive Extended Edition” of The Bourne Identity yesterday to bring myself up to speed on what happened in the first film before I get around to seeing the second one. I’d seen it theatrically when it was first out and enjoyed it, my only complaint at the time was that Matt Damon looked way too young to be a super-spy. I happened to catch his birthdate in one of the passports on the second go-around and noted that he’s supposed to be 33 (if we’re to assume that the year in the film was 2002). Uh-huh. Anyway, the DVD re-release really wasn’t all that extended and certainly wasn’t much more explosive (which is to say not at all). They tack on an new beginning and ending segment, ostensibly to better bridge the first film with the second one, but the new opening really doesn’t make any sense and certainly doesn’t add anything except to set up the new closing scene, which I didn’t think was necessary at all. Oh well, I’m sure they sold a bunch more DVDs, and really – isn’t that what really matters? Still enjoyed the movie overall, though. Franka Potente? Thumbs up.
np – Slumber Party / 3