so, i went to this last night. it was sort of a surreal experience because i was there with the person who was largely responsible for the bulk of my forlorn listening to tame impala’s innerspeaker and its “will you or won’t you” lyrics, and we wound up having a pretty serious conversation during the show. but looking beyond that, at least for a minute or two…
yawn opened. they’re a band from chicago that very much subscribes to the latter day animal collective music model (i’m talkin’ samplers, synths, and echoey vocal harmonies). i have a hard time knowing how to feel about them: i love the style of music they create; it is that of my favorite band, after all, but something about these guys doing it just didn’t feel right. i will say that their song “kind of guy” is the exact sort of gauzy quirk-pop dapple of deliciousness i want to be listening to at any point in time, and that they’re accomplished musicians for sure. they should really try to find their own voices (literally and idiomatically) – if they pulled that off, they’d be wonderful. their hearts were in the right place, in the sun-soaked lounge of where ambient electronics and folk meet (some might call that the chillwave room), and they seemed to satisfy the quarter-full ‘dise and its not-drunk-enough-to-dance-yet patrons well enough.
yuck were next. i unfortunately missed the bulk of their set because of a few extenuating circumstances involving a dark BU alley, but apparently they weren’t as good as when we caught them at sxsw. just as well; i’m not wild about their music though i understand why people are. isn’t it weird when that happens? anyway, i know more than a few people who stumble upon this blog via google searching are going to be disappointed to see that i don’t have anything more to say about them, but (contrary to popular belief, all y’all “allston ladies’ room” hatas) i’m not gonna make stuff up.
and then came tame impala. i saw them at the same place in november and i do have to say that was the better performance, but last night they certainly weren’t bad. they’re one of the few straight-up rock bands that i have a stomach for these days, and they gave us a bona fide rock show: stringed-instrument mashing, soaring vocals, and a monster onslaught of drums. highlights for me included “alter ego,” the song from innerspeaker that i feel is their best (and the least similar to the other tracks on the album, which is definitely a valid criticism one could make about this group), the rompin’-stompin’ riff fest that is “solitude is bliss” – replete with all its on-album catchiness and aplomb, and a totally unexpected but entirely welcome psych-rock cover of massive attack’s “angel,” the trip-hop mega-anthem that opened their classic mezzanine album.
i was woefully distracted throughout the night so i wish i could say more about the actual performance. but i will say that this music, all of this music, all night long, provided the perfect soundtrack for what i was going through. yawn’s music has a sense of wide-eyed wonderment to it, an almost childlike sort of curiosity (admittedly this too is quite animal collective of them, but still, i’ll give credit where credit is due); when i got there, before things got difficult and, yeah, i’ll say uncomfortable, i was feeling that, being there at a show with a new guy (and the one i was lamenting over in this blog a few months ago at that). yuck kept that feeling going, but drenched it in nostalgia and post-adolescent life-questioning as well. and by the time tame impala came on, their songs about second-guessing and indecision and frustration in general were almost preternatural soundtracks to the goings-on of my brain.
i know i’m partially guilty of twisting lyrics and stuff around to seem like they better fit my situation here. we all do this to some extent, but therein lies the framework for our obsessions with musicians, or our identification with them (at least for those of us who pay close attention to lyrics and wind up applying their contents and meanings to ourselves). and i think that goes beyond music/lyric relationships and is true of any sort of art. why do we like the books and movies and paintings and poems we like? isn’t it because we hear a little bit of ourselves in those words, or see a flicker of our mind’s eye in those pictures, or see ourselves as framing things in the same mindset as the creators of those works were in when they framed those works? i think so.
bottom line, though: great fucking show, and it feels great to write about it. i’m trying hard to get back in the swing of blogging again. i just don’t feel like i can safely speak my mind here sometimes, y’know? but… where can you do that?