Wednesday, June 19, 2013

FALIMT - Shouldn't We Talk About The Music?

So I figure I'll get my discussion about the music out of the way so I can talk about the culture and the drugs.  (Not that I'm not a music whore, but the sociological and chemical implications are more interesting to discuss.)

Oddly, the band we were all talking about after 'roo was Weird Al.  I've always casually liked Weird Al, both as a kid and as an adult.  But I might actually be a Weird Al fan after his show.  Unlike most shows at the 'roo, his started on time to the minute-at midnight the lights went out and the video intro started, the mark of a true professional.  All of it was tightly choreagraphed and hilarious.  The videos he played during the costume changes were all funny and well chosen, usually leading right into the song he was about to play.  And his skills are actually pretty impressive, particularly his rapping-when he came out with White and Nerdy, he actually rapped on a motherfucking segway while zooming around the stage.  I guess when you've been in the business for 40 years as the very metric of fame (according to no less than Kurt Cobain) you truly gain a feel for showmanship.  Surely part of my good experience with Weird Al's show was because it was the nerdiest tent at the 'Roo-all the cool kids were off at R. Kelly or Wu Tang or whatever the fuck it is cool kids like and that meant the preshow conversation was better than most.  But really, all I can say is hats off to that guy-he is a hell of a performer.  I would have liked him to do "Dare to be Stupid" which is my favorite Weird Al Song, but I just watched my DVD of the Transformers animated movie when I got home and was content.

The first show I caught was Walk the Moon, and honestly I only tagged along because all my friends were going and I didn't want to be by myself, but I was completely surprised by how much I liked them.  They are a bit pop-rocky, in the vein of Eve 6 with a heavy techno influence, but they put on a hell of a show.  I will definitely be checking out more of their stuff.

Boys Noize was a band I had gone to see.  I first heard about them several years ago; they do a remix of Space Lord that I always really dug.  My molly was kicking in really hard by the time they went hot and I was sizzling by the end of the first song.  The lightshow was sublime, they had a real feel for the crowd, and I danced myself retarded until five in the fucking morning.

I also caught the Revivalists on the Sonic Stage.  Honestly I was just there to camp the front row for Delta Rae, but they had me on my feet within about 3 songs.  They played a long set-the lady that runs the sonic stage really likes them I think-but I didn't mind a bit.  Their sound is folksy but extremely aggressive, and their energy level is just insane-it was like being lifted up on a tornado and dropped into an acoustic munchkinland.  I will definitely be checking out more of their stuff instead.

Delta Rae, who you may only recognize from the most recent Trueblood trailer like a fucking posuer, is just a quivering ball of sexy talent.  Seriously.  All four members of the band are supremely talented vocalists-they are notable as the only band that can cover a Fleetwood Mac song and not make it suck.  They all also play insturments, and there is something impossibly sexy about a girl pounding away on the bass drum while hitting a pitch perfect vibrato.  It's the only show I caught twice and would have watched again if they played again.  I was surprised by how high energy they were-because of their talent level I expected something fairly sedate about their show, like watching a piano virtuoso in action.  But they were moving all over the place without missing a note.  If there is any justice in the universe, in a few years they will be headlining Bonnaroo.

ZZ Top was another band I caught and was honestly disappointed.  They played all their songs just like the studio album, did very little moving around onstage, came on almost forty minutes late, and showed almost no reaction to the crowd.  It wasn't bad, although I'm not the biggest ZZ Top fan in general and I love awesome was just sterile and charitably meh.

I also caught the Sheepdogs on the last day.  They are a groovy folkadelic combo, normally more jam band than I really like but I was digging their shit by the end of the show.  Their lyrics are pretty interesting and they are a high energy combo as well, always moving around-and their guitarist just burns the house down when they cut him loose.

Dwight Yokum was a good experience overall, even if I'm not normally the biggest fan.  I was surprised by how big his crowd was considering that the average 'Roo goer is kind of a hippie, but he got a pretty goddamn good rebel yell out of them ol' boys in his tent.  He was pitch perfect as well, and a little static-all of his stuff sounded straight off the album, he didn't go off on tangents too much and that made it a little dull for me, but I could listen to Guitars & Cadillacs all day so in the end things were OK.

I caught the Nationals while I was camping out for Tom Petty.  Perfectly palatable band, sophisticated musically and with a great feel for the crowd, but they will always be cursed in my mind as the only thing between me and Tom Petty.  They don't deserve it, but there it is.

Of the headliners, I only caught Tom Petty.  Everyone acted like I was a blasphemer because I didn't go listen to "Sir" Paul Mccartney, but honestly I'm not that big of a Beatles fan and he is by far not my favorite Beatle.  Tom Petty on the other hand...well, you don't grow up in Indiana and not love Tom Petty.  In fact, I have a strong instinctive dislike of people who don't like Tom Petty.  Tom was amazing, as was to be expected-it rained for part of the show, my acid wasn't kicking in because it was fucking strips of paper some dirty cheating cocksucker sold me, I was dead exhausted because it was the last show, and I didn't give a shit.  I fought for a good spot early on, long enough to catch a few of my favorites, and then I went to the back and just laid down and listened to him.  It was nice and low pressure that way-and periodically between songs I got to hear him tell me how awesome I was.  Overall a phenomenal experience.  I would have liked to hear something from the Last DJ, something higher energy and angrier so I would have had more oomph for the walk home, but on the whole, I can't complain a lick about that show.

Anyway, that is about all I have to say about the music.  Tomorrow's lecture will be about Miss Molly.  You don't want to miss it, I assure you.

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