Let's say you're in a band. From Seattle. You've been on tour, in a van, for nine weeks.
You tell us this.
You're playing for a small crowd of several totally fired up teenagers, a guy who looks like he might be one of their parents, a bartender, a door person, presumably a sound person upstairs, and me. Your style of music is a slightly listless non-update of the Strokes' rock-is-back tautness and Dandy Warhols' decades-dulled Mick Jagger impressions.
You have one (pretty catchy) song that people like in Seattle, France, and Chicago. No place else.
You tell us this, too.
You're a power trio-- except for a ski-capped fourth person hidden on the side of the stage as she sort of half-heartedly bangs at the tambourine.
You played here at least once before. Last time, you told jokes poking fun at the town you were playing.
This time, you start to speak. You say something like: "Uhh, could you make this town a little less big? I think more bands would feel comfortable coming through here if you did. There are too many people here. Like, when we drove into town I lost my 3G. Also, saw lots of homeless people."
Seattle is bigger than here, it's true. But you're playing here.
"[Something about corn!]" "[Something about sexytime with cornfed women!]" (Cheers from the few, super excited male teens!) (The even fewer, somewhat less excited female teens are probably underage, ya perv!) "[More banter about corn and cornfed women!!]"
Hey, when I have a band can I play the Crocodile in Seattle and talk about all that RAIN you guys have? And grunge? And heroin addicts? (BTW I still recommend local people check out Seattle/New York radio station KEXP, especially DJ Shani. John in the Morning works well in this time zone, too.)
Anyway, not trying to be a jerk any more than necessary on this blog, just want to be honest even though I'm blogging about shows in a city that could still use more shows. I was at Vaudeville Mews again last night not for the Blakes, but for Montreal's Winter Gloves, who I only caught for a couple of songs (an opener canceled so they started early) but thought sounded pretty good. Melodic, collegiate, slightly twee, keyboard-upholstered indie pop. They record for Paper Bag (Sally Shapiro, CFCF). The lead singer reminded me not in a bad way of the bartender at the restaurant we used to go to the most often back in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn.
Sunday night I went to a listening party at the Lift for the new cassette-only third album from Des Moines-Minneapolis duo Olives, entitled Trembles (Moon Glyph). Comprising Ross Nerving and label chief Steve Rosborough, Olives do sort of a Liars-y lo-fi/noise art rock thing. Their previous tape was apparently inspired by Jorge Luis Borges' The Book of Imaginary Beings. Their latest has booming vocals, occasionally, kind of looming in the shadows, plus some shrill and metallic guitars. Trembles is a surprisingly broad-ranging listen, with funereal tribal drones and spacey drilling guitar figures and dystopian chants but also a delicately gorgeous ambient/electronic track. Olives say the effort "is an act of hymnal disassembly ... a subversion of traditional spiritual song structures and lyrical tropes." But even more than, say, such experimental noise dudes as Excepter, who I really like when they're on, these guys don't sound as pretentious as all that. They sound like they're having a blast. Their album is still goofy enough to include a line that at least SOUNDS LIKE this post's title. Comes in a limited run of 300. It wasn't martini night!
Download "Michael 'Dracula' Goldberg" by Olives as a free mp3 here.
REMINDER: Cursive on Dec. 12 at the Vaud!