I got in to see a few songs from Tiger Cried Beef and they always impress me. They're like gourmet vanilla: at first, you're like, "oh, I've seen this before," but then you get into the subtleties and think, "oh, yeah, but this can be really good." I also noticed that good ideas sprout from my spot leaning against the right-side speaker [with earplugs, by the way, which happen to serve two purposes: not blowing out my eardrums, and drowning out the distracting chatter.] It's not with every band or every time, but I find that poetry makes me think of stuff â€” you know, new things to do or work on.
Anyway, next up was The White Devils. This is Frank De Blase's band and for anybody who knows me, I have a mix of feelings about the guy. It usually comes out looking like disdain, but it's really more complicated than that.
See he's one of the main music writers for The City Newspaper so there's a certain amount of empathetic envy (or envious empathy) since I kind of do the same thing sometimes â€” the dichotomy comes from the fact that he gets paid for it, but I can see myself getting annoyed that it's often a shit job. I mean, sure you get paid to write about bands, but you also have to write fluffy pieces about bands you don't really care about, and you get slammed for being a critic by â€” in his case â€” your fellow musicians.
Now I've also met him a few times. A couple years ago, I remember having a nice chat about writing about music at California Rollin' at Village Gate Square (274 N. Goodman St.). He seemed like a nice guy, but either forgot who I was or didn't want to talk to me the next time I saw him. And again, I'm mixed on his response. On the one hand you can't be friends with everyone you meet, and not everybody can do that "such a nice guy front" (and I know I can't do it consistently). On the other, I think if you have a pleasant conversation with someone and you see them again, I kind of expect that there would be an inkling of recognition. But then I also know that it's hard to remember everyone. And then I hear from his friends that he's really a nice guy. And then I hear from his detractors that he's not a nice guy.
Worst of all is that I bother expending all this effort trying to accurately express how I feel about him when I don't really want to be friends with him [no offense, Frank, if you're reading this]. His band does a bluesy rock that I'm not a fan of. If I read him right, he's into pin-up culture and busty women; biker bars and greaser-chic. I'm just not into that stuff â€” none of it. It's just that we both happen to write about what's going on in town.
I guess the thing is that he's writing for City. And I assume there are lots of readers and most of them agree with Frank's assessment and preferences [logically I know this is a flawed assumption but I can't seem to convince my heart]. But I wish that this quantity of N readers (where N is really fucking large) would actually like the kind of stuff that I connect with. But then I think, "why? who cares?" I get unlimited latitude in what I feel like writing about and what I feel like putting on the events list. I'm not out to win any popularity contest because I'm unwilling to make that devil's deal trading "self" for "popular". I just figure there's got to be a way …
But anyway, his band is good, even if it's not the kind of music I'm into.
Closing things out that night was The Sadies who always put on a great show. It's all about the music although they look good doing it. And I really like them even though they play the country-cousin of bluesy-rock: rockabilly. Well, rockabilly with generous helpings of surf-rock thrown in. I feel bad because I don't have a lot of things to say about bands I like â€” I guess I figure it doesn't do much to try and explain in words what you hear-that-becomes-feel. Just sound and motion and an emotional connection, I guess. Oh, and fun. Lots of fun.
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