I’m doing a post on this for the simple, base satisfaction of talking shit. And I know the Old Hollywood adage: “Don’t talk shit about people, because you never know who they’re going to be later.”
I’m sorry. I can’t help this one.
The line up of bands at Emo’s last night went like this:
Headliner – Between the Buried and Me…
Cool. I hadn’t seen these guys in a couple years, and it’s always a good time when I do. I also love their albums.
Feature – August Burns Red…
Again, cool. While their music isn’t really the type of stuff I’ll sit at home and listen to, or put on in the car for that matter, the energy they put into their live show is frenetic, electric even. And their music is heavy and catchy enough to make everybody in the house get up and move.
Fun fact: The first time I saw Between the Buried and Me at the Music Farm in Charleston, South Carolina, August Burns Red were there as their direct support, so I guess you could say that this show was a bit of a trip down memory lane.
Opener – Good Tiger…
Hoo boy. Make yourself comfortable.
While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the music of Whitney Houston, and we all came out last night for the love of Progressive Heavy Metal, and it’s totally absolutely fine to like both of these things… We’ve got ourselves a real “chocolate-in-the-peanut-butter”
type of situation here. Normally the idea of taking dynamically paradoxical music styles and seeing what you can make by mixing them together is something that I would be interested in, not unlike the taste of a delicious Reese’s© peanut butter cup. However, the attempt made here to create something different, inspiring or interesting fell flat on it’s face and left an aftertaste more akin to that of a soapy urinal cake.
It wasn’t just the music. The body language and movement on stage? It didn’t even seem like the band was buying it. There was a hovering cloud of “going through the motions”. Not to mention the guitar players who looked like they just left their shared two bedroom apartment where they farm cats together long enough to check the mail; just throwing on whatever was on the floor closest to the bed. Or maybe that was their shtick? Was it a “hipster” thing? Hipster, by the way, being way-too-vague of a term. If being into obscure music and not really caring about conventional standards of what is physically attractive makes you a “hipster”, then fuck it, count me in. Either way, it was terrible.
So what I would normally do in this kind of situation would be to watch one to one-and-a-half songs, mean mug the stage and then walk outside, but my girlfriend had bought my ticket for me, and we had had a pretty heavy day already, so I opted instead to open myself up a bit and find the humor in it. Which might have been worse, but so much more fun! Every time the lead singer would wander around in some uninspired (or perhaps way too inspired) falsetto or end a line with a Prince-like whimper, I burst into a full-on gut laugh that made my girlfriend laugh too at first, but then get embarrassed and threaten to go stand somewhere else. But by the end, she saw what I saw and then she, my brother and I were are giggling like children in church.
But I can’t let them off with just laughs. Oh, no. This homogenized, slapshod hodgepodge of a band, aside from taking too many ill-fitting aesthetics and influences, tying them loosely together with whatever material they could find in their kitchen junk drawer and heavy investments in Axe Effects and Kerastase Shu Emura Cream, just so happened to touch on my most delicate raw nerve of a pet peeve: they used backing vocal tracks.
One of you mother fuckers better explain to me: if you have five people in your band, and the stringed instrument arrangements aren’t overly challenging, why can’t you have one of your other members sing the harmonies? I actually found myself standing on tip-toe, looking over the crowd to see if the drummer might have a mic or a headset… Nope. The Melvins, who I saw last week, have been around as a band for over 30 years. The current line up consists of three members: guitars, bass, and drums… Everybody sings. Good Tiger have been around a couple of years. The members are in their 20s and 30s. And they basically embody everything I hate about the current climate of heavy music.