Saturday, August 16, 2003

Concert Review: Goose Island Fest, Friday, August 15

I should get this advice posted in time to prevent today's WXRT air personality from getting booed as Marty Lennartz was yesterday: Try for some honesty. Sample script:
Hi, I'm the guy from the radio station that's on the advertising for this concert. Although I may personally be a fan of these bands, we don't actually play them on our station for fear of alienating our target demographic and reducing advertising revenue. This means that I'm insulting the bands by trading on their credibility to promote our station without doing anything for them in return. Let's face it, any money we paid for sponsoring the show goes to the promoter, not the bands. And I'm insulting you, the audience, because I'm telling the thousands of you that are enthusiastic about these bands that your taste doesn't matter. So thank you for allowing me to indulge in hypocrisy. If you really want to hear these bands, you should listen to your local college radio station that plays them all the time but can't afford to be on the concert advertising because they can barely get enough donations to cover their operating budget.
But back to the show itself. Missed all but the end of Yakuza and wasn't upset that I didn't hear more of their noise.

The Waco Bros. are just a damn entertaining band. They're tight, they're spirited, and they have fun. I don't know what they put in the water in Leeds, but I admire the tenacity of natives such as Mekon/Pine Valley Cosmonaut/Waco Brother Jon Langford and David Gedge of the Wedding Present and Cinerama to keep crafting great music even after widespread commercial interest has waned.

Especially because I'm fed up with the indie rock aesthetic, I must point out that Bob Mould looked great. His t-shirt fit, and it didn't look like he slept in it, a criticism that could be lobbed a good chunk of any indie rock audience. Bob was also looking quite fit himself, his paunchy, flannel-shirted days a distant memory. The guy is quite a gifted songwriter, but his set lacked dynamic variation. Whether he was bashing away on his acoustic 12-string or an electric guitar, it all started to run together and it wasn't loud or precise enough. Wouldn't have minded hearing him with a full band, and I guess he's decided that Modulation, his venture into electronica, was a failed experiment.

This was the third time I've seen Guided by Voices. I fail to see what the big deal is.

Sonic Youth are forging a new genre: prog grunge. While I admire them for continuing to experiment well into their career, for following their own creative muse, the fact is that they were too short on songs and too heavy on wanking. It is far less precise and more visceral, less overintellectualized than King Crimson, but it was still wanking.

Despite my criticisms, at least it was a night of outdoor music that didn't entail a trip to the evil Tweeter Center. For this, I am thankful.

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