Sunday, August 16, 2009

In Which Online Worlds Collide

You've most likely thrown yourself under the FaceBook juggernaut. If so, you're probably aware of these viral lists that everyone feels the need to make. Not long ago the "25 Things About Me" sensation caused quite a stir on the 'Book and found itself being discussed in popular media. Seems lately the big buzz floats around the "50 bands" discussion, in which one recounts 50 acts one has seen in concert. I signed on, because I love music, but afterward I was left feeling incomplete. Surely there is more to seeing a show than just SEEING the show, so I sent back and annotated my list. The thoughts are completely subjective, my own self-important opinions, with corresponding supporting information/media.

I herein present my list, with notes. Perhaps you have your own list. Perhaps you were at one of these shows with me.


OK, here are the rules. Test your memory and your love of live music by listing 50 artists or bands (or as many as you can remember) you've seen in concert. List the first 50 acts that come into your head. An act you saw at a festival and opening acts count, but only if you can't think of 50 other artists. Oh, and list the first concert you ever saw (you can remember that, can’t you)?

Should you choose this challenge, here's what you do:
Copy my note. Click on “notes” under tabs on your profile page. Select "write a new note" in the top corner. Paste the copy in the body of the note. Make your list. Change the number at the top, and add your title. Once you've saved, don't forget to tag friends (including me) on the right.

* Denotes multiples

1.OZZY!(first concert. won tickets off the radio)
I was excited as hell to be going to my FIRST CONCERT EVAR, but even then, in the late 80's, Ozzy was frail and kinda ridiculous. Still, wouldn't trade it for the world.

Opened up for Ozzy. Technically cheating, I know, but WTF. I was a way bigger fan of these guys. I still love their cover of "Bring The Noize".

3.Jane's Addiction
Yeah... I'm embarrassed to say this, but I actually used a line from Perry in my high school yearbook: "You gotta be driven by passion, man. That way know one can own you." Thanks, rockstar. Tell that to my student loan officer and my car loan. Dick.

Somebody actually tried to steal my shoes at this show. While I was wearing them. And sober. This was long before I decided I hate Metallica, after they had come out so forcefully against Napster. The hatred just got deeper from then on.

5.Jethro Tull
Not my fault. Somebody had an extra ticket, offered it to me, then had the balls to ask me for money at the end of the night. People: you gotta put the money thing out front, otherwise this list would contain 49 bands.

6.Mighty Mighty Bosstones
Freshman in college. Jumped on stage and broke my hand diving off.

Again... freshman. Nobody knows who this band is. My buddy, working the door, gave this 18 year-old a booze bracelet, and I got Wah-Hasted. And danced. I remember peeing on my school, claiming my tuition gave me the right.

8.Frank Black
Saw this show with Pollard, and it was the most drunken, surly, border-line violent crowd I had ever seen. Given another half hour to wait and drink, I'm sure this could have turned into a riot. We bailed early. I saw all the songs I wanted to see.

9.Skeleton Key
These guys were awesome. Saw this one with Joel. If you haven't heard their first record, do yourself a favor. Their second, not so much.

Again with the Joel. These guys walked a maddening line between awesome RAWK and irritating, drawn out, slowed-down wankery. I would definitely think twice about seeing them again.

Some shows were awesome, some were mediocre. One of my favorite bands, still cranking out records today.

12.Red Hot Chili Peppers*
The first time I saw RHCP was a free show at UNH, shortly after "Mother's Milk" had been released. It was outdoors, and pretty fucking awesome. Between songs, Flea clutched to an amp stack and puked his guts out, then played the next song like a 4 string possessed. Amazing, since once I puke, I'm out. John did a beautiful rendition of the chorus to "Tiny Dancer" between songs, which got booed by a dude wearing a backwards baseball hat, thus fermenting such fashion statements to a position of hatred in my mind forever.

The second time I saw them was at Lollapasellout, and my appreciation for them has been steadily declining ever since.

Come to think of it, the following 3 acts were also seen at that "event/marketing extravaganza", so I'll keep my comments short and pointless.

13.Pearl Jam
Still like these guys. Sometimes.

Superunknown is the only thing worth listening to by these guys. Some may say that none of it is, and I couldn't really argue.

Fell asleep on the grass during their set. Back to the single shows:

16.Death Cab For Cutie
Thus begins the Me-Or-Someone-Had-Free-Tickets-So-I-Went (MOSHFTSIW) bands. Once upon a time I liked Death Cab, and then they kept putting out records, and I realized I hated the singer's voice.

17.The Black Keys*
Without fail an amazing show. Every time.

18.Magnolia Electric Co*
See #17

See #17 and multiply that by pi, slap a vagina on it and propose.

20.Gogol Bordello
It's a rare thing for me to dance. It's also a rare thing for me to go to a show for a band of which I know nothing. Check, and Czech.

21.Man Man
Holy hardest working band in show business! I took Nancie to this one, after she had just stepped off a 27-hour, epic-scope plane ride. She may have been a little too woozy to enjoy it, but she still claimed she had seen Jesus during this set. See for yourself:

22.Be Your Own Pet
MOSHFTSIW: Saw these guys after their first record release, when every one was air-humping and proclaiming "Thurston Moore Approved!!!" Yes, they are VERY young. Yes, she is VERY hot. Yes, I agree, it's not that great.

'Nuff said.

24.Sunset Rubdown
Pretty awesome band, too bad they just released a record that I knew nothing about and only played songs from that. Still, good stuff. This tune is great:

Big in France.

MOSHFTSIW Couldn't care less about their records, but goddam! Those fellas can get the asses on the dance floor.

27.Fucking Champs
Saw them open for Trans Am, not a huge fan, but sometimes people like stuff.

28.Trans Am
See above. Saw these guys play at Garment District (huh?), and they were fairly amazing, and someone threw a stuffed animal onstage and got hooked on the bass head for at least 4 minutes. It's the little things...

Spazz rock, awesomeness:

See above, but played on handmade junk:

31.Lightning Bolt
Holy shit this night was amazing. The venue was a Massart iron-pour on Halloween, smoke and fire framed the courtyard, artschool costumes are the best, and LB blew that shit out. Chris brought a pint of whisky and drank it like water while I sipped PBR tall-boys:

32.Future Of The Left
The last show I saw. I was embarrassingly excited to be an old man going out to a rawk show. They didn't disappoint.

33.Rye Coalition
Opened up for Shellac. Hated them, but love them on record. Odd, I know.

34.Afghan Whigs
Awesome show. They played for 2.5 hours, then took a break and came out and played hours of Motown covers.

Who is that guy introducing the band??

35.Parts And Labor
I was very excited to see this show. Their song "A great divide" is one of the most psycho drum bits ever. Unluckily for me, they had just brought on a new drummer who was... timid. At best. Their follow-up record was pretty good as well.

36.The Mars Volta
Along with #37, these 2 were the bastard step children of one of the most amazing bands ever, At The Drive-In. I want to travel back in time and give myself an atomic wedgie every time I think I had had the opportunity to see ATDI but failed. Stupid! However, since these two split, it was clear to see where each song-writing group had contributed to the band. Once they split, they both kinda sucked in a unique way. When the first Mars Volta record came out, it got my swift nomination for Album of the Year. Then I saw them live. Ugh. See the previous entry on Shellac: Huge, frantic tornadoes of amazing rock interspersed with spaced-out, self-indulgent pap. Awful. I know a band is bad when my feet start to hurt from standing still. This band had me thinking positively about amputation.

Part B to entry #36.

Headlined for #37. I've never seen a crowd so violently erupt on note #1. Unfortunately, those fans have awful taste.

Awesome. From Canada, took the stage with hockey sticks. Irony?!

Played at MIT, and I had to have a sponsor to get me, an outsider, in. Haughty eggheads... Deerhoof was amazing! The drummer was indistinguishable at one point, he was thrashing so hard. And the singer was a pint-sized dynamo.

41.Dismemberment Plan
I brought my friend Jane, and she was put off by the singer, who, according to her, thought he was way sexier than he really was. But don't take my word for it:

42.Drive-By Truckers
Just got off the plane from Europe, was blown out by the southern rawk.

43.Mr. Bungle
Fairly great. Someone groped me in the crowd.

44.Kings Of Leon
MOSHFTSIW. Good set. Short.

45.Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Free show at City Hall Plaza. I wonder how successful they would be if Karen O weren't so hot...?

Free show at the Hatch Shell. It kills me that Mark Sandman is dead and yet all four members of Motley Crue continue to draw breath on this earth.

Ran into my former drug dealer just before the show. We hung out in back and traded round for round. Didn't pay much attention to the performance.

48.Six Going On Seven
Awesome. R.I.P.

49.TV On The Radio
Opened up for YYY at City Hall. Had never seen/heard them before. Blown away. A fan was born that night.

50.Tom Waits
Someone asked me once what that show was like. I said it was like getting a blowjob at disneyworld.