Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Mogwai and a really shitty band and a ray of hope to not end on a bummer

Sometimes the peripheral things happening at a show are just as entertaining as the main event. The bathroom lines at the Mogwai show last Thursday night at St. Andrew's were one of those moments. A few of the choice overhead comments:

"What the fuck is with this line? I walked past the ladies room and there isn't a line at all"
"That's because there's only like four chicks here"

a guy to another guy washing his hands after peeing:
"What are you doing? Is there something that wrong with your dick that you have to wash your hands every time you touch it?"

then one of the times I went down (I think I put down about 5 tall boys at the show, so there were frequent trips after a certain point) and there were 2 guys bitching about the wait, which was only about 3 minutes or so but that can seem like an eternity with a full bladder. Anyway, these guys were already INSIDE the bathroom waiting for the next available stall/urinal, but one guy egged the other guy on into pissing in the trash can. Then someone else started pissing in the sink. Pretty fuckin' punk rock. Needless to say it's the hardest I've probably ever laughed inside a bathroom other than the time at the House of Blues in Chicago when there were two guys arguing over who was doing more of their stash of blow in a stall next to me. As much fun as the bathroom was, the Mogwai set was even better. Easily one of the more powerful live acts still going today. If you subscribe to the theory that matter is neither created nor destroyed in a chemical reaction, Mogwai will completely remind you that every particle of your body (and everywhere else for that matter) has been around since the Big Bang. They're so fierce live, and the sheer volume of it is like the sixth member of Mogwai. It was simultaneously beautiful and violent. Of the brilliant new album all I recognized was my personal favorite Friend of the Night and a monstrous version of Glasgow Mega-Snake that closed the show, complete with an extended noisy ending. Other than the opening Yes! I Am A Long Way From Home, the rest was just a blur of their brilliant brand of tension and release. Paik and Film School were playing at the Stick that night as well, but after Mogwai I was just too shattered. Plus seeing anyone else that night (even Paik) would've just been anti-climactic.

After the brilliance of Mogwai on Thursday, I witnessed one of the WORST live acts I've ever come across. I had gone to Small's for the purpose of seeing Light play, and one of the openers just ruined my night. They were called Canada, which is a slight on our neighbors to the north. Knowing that Canada is basically a nation of pacifists that don't shoot each other over sneakers and wouldn't howl for blood over the fact that their name was attached to such a horrible band. If a group of tuneless Canadian pseudo-hippie pot smokers who thought that their THC addled "jamming" in the basement was worthy of putting a group together to torment people who drink at bars formed a band and called themselves U.S.A., I wouldn't doubt a full-on minutemen type assault to put an end to it. As an act of good faith I think their heads should be mounted on pikes in Hart Plaza, facing Canada, with a big banner that says SORE-REE (the phonetic Canadian pronunciation of "sorry") over top of it as an act of good faith. Maybe spare the two lady cello players, but the guys must go. They all switched instruments, which included a fucking xylophone and one of those melodicas that only sound good in dub reggae tunes or if used by Brian Eno. Maybe if they would've all stuck to focusing their effort on one instrument it might've been easier to listen to, but probably not.

As promised I'm not ending on a bummer (well, not exactly). Jason Molina, this generation's Springsteen, has another solo album coming out in August, similar to the Pyramid Electric Co. album from a couple years ago. Molina talks about it here.

thanks for reading, if anyone out there is

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