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What Would People Think?

Friday, June 17, 2005

Music Midtown: the definitive review

Well, Mike has already blogged about this, so I figured I'd add my 2 cents (indexed for inflation) on the acts we saw at Music Midtown...the wondrous weekend music festival in my hometown Atlanta.

I went to the show with Mike, Jeff, and Dan. Also making appearances that weekend were John Embree (my co-worker at the Georgia Capital Defender...a man so awesome he brings hummus and pita bread to a screening of The Birds in the park), who managed to scam a ticket off a friend....Brad Ploeger (source of the newly coined term "Ploegerism: (n) the state of scheming to take over the world)....and Mike's friend Bob Amar (who kicked my ass at Tetris, plays bass, and still has my fanny pack at his apartment).

An all around rockin' time was had....and I got to experience the following acts.

Interpol: I was underwhelmed. Their songs kind of all blended together. The lead singer sounded like the guy from the B-52s. I'm not sure if that's a positive or a negative. Interesting thing about Interpol is how they mixed their sound so you could make out each instrument individually. Maybe I would have enjoyed them more if I knew more of their stuff. But they weren't for outsiders.

The White Stripes: They kicked so much ass! 2 people managed to figuratively knock a crowd of thousands off their feet. Once known for playing just guitar and drums, they brought in big-ass bongo-type drums, a xylophone, keyboards, a piano, and even a ukelele. Jack White started off with his usual screeching into the microphone, but he eventually got around to singing. Meg leaned back and shut her eyes and looked like she was falling asleep...except for the fact that she was bashing that drum kit like it was a bully who beat her up in 7th grade. For a guy who specializes in simplistic riffs, Jack took the time to show off that he is actually an amazing guitar player. I probably enjoyed the show the most, since I own every White Stripes album....but even Jeff, who basically knows "Fell In Love With A Girl" (which they didn't even play) and "Seven Nation Army" was impressed.

Bloc Party: I had heard good things about this band. They had been described to me as U2 but with the lead singer of The Cure instead of Bono...and more racial diversity. They were a slight letdown, though not bad by any means. I enjoyed listening to their lead singer yelp out his lyrics, then instantly forgot the songs. Except for their last song, which I think is called "Pioneers"...the fade out singing "We will not be the last" over and over...almost creepy.

Keane: Caught only part of their show. They were nice and melodic. The lead singer has one of those boyish, cherubic faces. More to the point, he had a nice, British sense of humor. "Sorry about the rain. We brought it with us. It's our special gift from the U.K. Now, here's a glaringly inappropriate song called 'Sunshine'."

John Fogerty: I'm only vaguely familiar with Creedence Clearwater Revival (so much so that I'm not sure if it's spelled "Creedence" or "Creedance") but their 60 year old lead singer can still rock out. You gotta respect a guy my Dad's age still jumping around the stage and launching into guitar solos. "Fortunate Son" is still and awesome (and relevant) song.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: This would be the other absolutely awesome show from the weekend. Petty launched into hits, covers, and obscure songs with equal verve. Even the overwhelming smell of second-hand pot didn't ruin this for me. Petty is a solid songwriter with a unique lyrical style. Really, there's nobody that's "like" Tom Petty. Luckily, and most importantly, he puts on an awesome live show. Many artists I love (i.e. Aimee Mann) are simply dull live. Not Petty. He's forever in Sardonic Mode. I really can't describe how much his show rocked.

Tegan and Sara: Teenage twin sisters from Canada. They have a sort of folk-pop songwriting style. And they are really, really, really catchy. Their live show was average (Keane-Bloc Party level)...but their stage banter was funny and charming. They sound like people I'd like to meet in person. But first, I have to get their catchy songs out of my head.

Coheed and Cambria: Loud. A-melodic. Annoying. Difficult to understand. After Mike heard the single, we left in the middle of the show. On the plus side: the lead singer has humorously big hair.

Unexpectedly Sober: A promising up-and-coming band....you should hear them before they get red hot! Ok, they're Mike, Jeff, and Dan. But they play my songs! We went back to Dan's apartment and had a reunion show. Not only that, but we dragged Bob along....making him Unexpectedly Sober's first ever bassist. It was nostalgia heaven. They played classics like "Island" "Ban This Song" and "Start." Nothing I wrote, but I can forgive them. Mike, record "Just Like Everybody Else." I WANT THAT SONG!

And this was my life last weekend. This week, I read a trial transcript. The D.A. in it is a jerk.

I spent the last 30 minutes of my work week writing this post. Lucky I'm not being paid for this.


  • I intend to finish recording "Just Like Everybody Else" as soon as I get my voice back (yes, it's still gone after Sunday). Now that Jeff's improv-ing has given me a little direction on the lead, I think I can turn it into a pretty good song.

    By Blogger Mike, at 6/18/2005 4:11 PM  

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