March 21, 2005

a roller coaster of a week

my initials on the high score table of the Bride of Pinbot

That right there was pretty much the high point of my week. I had been fighting for months to get onto the high score list of the local Bride of Pinbot machine, and there I am, #3. I've actually scored higher than that, but for some reason the two times that I have, the machine failed to record the score after I entered my initials.

There were some other good moments from last week, though. On Monday I went to the Southmore House to catch Del Cielo play. I got lucky that I showed up early - although they were nominally the headliners, they ended up performing third of five bands. They literally struck their first note as I walked into the venue. They played a good set, although almost all of the songs came from their new album, Us Vs Them (no period at the end of vs is exactly how it is on the album; I would have chosen otherwise, but I'm a member of the grammar police) and only one song was from their first album. That was a little disappointing, as I had really wanted to hear "Three Months Down" but I enjoyed the set anyway and bought the new album. As a bonus, they were touring with a band I had never heard of, Des Ark from the Durham area of North Carolina. This duo (guitar/vocals and drums) kicked all sorts of ass; they had just this unbelievable sound, something of a cross between the early, growly, seductive Björk and a tidal wave. I bought their album Loose Lips Sink Ships (Bifocal Media. When I mentioned I worked for KTRU, it turned out that they knew Rick Sawyer! They tossed me an extra copy for the station. So far my impressions of the album are wholly positive, although it's less intense than their live show.

On Wednesday, I had my rock show. We got totally hosed. When Scott, Bobby, and I set out two months ago to try to get this show booked, there was literally no competition, so we thought we'd be OK, especially if we flyered and got the word out to the press. Unfortunately, we ended up battling against Hot Hot Heat at the Engine Room, Bobby Conn at the Proletariat, Futureheads at the Rhythm Room, and Death From Above 1979 at Mary Jane's. And those were just the big shows. It's a shame that no one came out to see these bands - all three totally rocked. Taylor was just unbelievable on his guitar - his demo EP simply doesn't do him any justice. The Heavenly States were catchy and poppy and funny, and The Oranges Band kicked ass. But no one was there to see it...

On Thursday, my indoor soccer team got brutally beaten 8-3 after going up 2-0. Later, I got the pictured pinball score while I was out having a few drinks to celebrate the Irish.

On Friday, I went to go see the Reputation play at Mary Jane's. Elizabeth was kind enough to guestlist me, and I got there in time to see most of the first band's set. Rescue was good at what they did, I guess, but they constantly sounded like they were out of tune, right up until the very last song when all of a sudden all of the harmonies came together. So I was unable to determine whether they were intentionally anharmonic, or just out of tune. Then the Reputation went on. They played a great set; E was wearing the famous Compound Red t-shirt. I've got some pictures that I'll post later after cleaning them up. I tried to remember most of the set list:

  1. Let This Rest
  2. can't remember
  3. new rock song, as yet untitled
  4. new piano song, as yet untitled
  5. Bottle Rocket Battles
  6. Face It
  7. can't remember

I stayed for part of Koufax's set, but I was fading quickly so I didn't bother staying for the French Kicks. Koufax was pretty good; they reminded me of The Arcade Fire. Said my goodbyes to the band, and went home to crash.

Saturday I went to go see the legendary Guitar Wolf (caution, the link will resize your browser window) play at Rudyard's. What a huge change from Wednesday. The place was more full than I had ever seen it, and it was a veritable pompadour convention - I counted at least 8 variants on the pompadour among spectators, not to mention the guys from Guitar Wolf. The Priests (from Rochester, NY) opened, and they rocked pretty damn hard. They were followed by some other band (The Kings?) who were good, but not nearly as hard as the Priests or Guitar Wolf. Their lead singer kept screaming "In your face!" between songs in a slightly British accent. He was kind of annoying, to tell you the truth. But I had beer to keep me occupied. Guitar Wolf, on the other hand, are a spectacle not to be missed. I actually don't own any of their albums, but I would never miss a show, because that's exactly what it is - a show. Seiji at one point wandered into the crowd with his guitar, climbed onto a table, struck a few poses, and kept playing all the while. The crowd was very accommodating, holding up his guitar cable so it wouldn't get tangled. And the price of admission was completely redeemed by their cover of the Clash's "Should I Stay Or Should I Go."

And yesterday, my outdoor soccer team got demolished 9-1. I thought I was going to have an interview with Doujah Raze, but apparently that fell through.

Anyway, I'm glad that SXSW week is over - there are only a couple more shows this week that I'm going to go see - Lederhosen Lucil and DJ Jester on Saturday; possibly The Mountain Goats on Thursday. Now I can return my focus to the ever-growing pile of work that is on my plate, and also my taxes.

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