Thursday, December 06, 2007

12/01 The Teeth, The High Strung, Jupiter One, freezepop @ Mercury Lounge

As usual, photos at the bottom, but a special treat because they're not mine and not on my camera so they're actually good.

It was cold as balls. Then again I was a little happy about that. As much as I hate the heat, a little chilly crispness was something to welcome.

Other things that had me very self-satisfied that day. A mere hour or so before I arrived at the Mercury Lounge, I had managed to finish cleaning my apartment. Something had to be done. I'm not dirty, but I'm very disorganized, and once I let go, it's an insane downward spiral that's really hard to climb out of. Have you ever seen those documentaries on compulsive hoarders? And the insanity they live in? And you think, "Holy shit. How can you get to that point? Around the time you can't open a door to a room because there is a stack of newspapers behind it, don't you think enough?" Um, well, I can see how that can happen. Over the past couple of weeks my apartment had turned into a dangerous minefield of exactly clothes, CDs, art supplies, cookbooks and magazines.

Luckily though, I happen to have a point where I realize something needs to be done. The casualty count was at one pair of glasses and one CD ("Get the Guests" by The High Strung, interestingly enough). The toll almost climbed to a second and third CD; I knew this could continue no longer. It ended up taking me a week to get motivated to start cleaning the house and the actual cleaning took place over the course of three days. Not because it really should have taken that long, but because I just can't keep it at. The breaking point was when I woke up on Saturday morning and saw that there was still the pile of books, magazines, sketchbooks and CDs I had pushed together into the middle of the floor like some sort of ceremonial pyre, while new books were starting to litter the floor once more. The laundry I had completed a week ago still sat unsorted while new laundry to-be-done was beginning to pile up. This could go on no longer. I'd dare to even go to the show late than to let this continue. I was not leaving the house until this had been taken care of. I pulled out my broom and dustpan. "On ne passe pas!"

So after having successfully tackled that I huffed and puffed over to the Mercury Lounge. Second point of self-satisfaction? Upon finishing the my house sorting, I found some issues of Paper Tiger I bought back in London, so I made a read of those on the subway.

Marc was already there and technically I was 30 minutes late, but in usual Mercury Lounge fashion, you honestly could never be late. I swear, there have been times when I actively WORKED at being late to a show there and each time I'm painfully early.

One thing out of the ordinary was how bustling it was. It was by far the most people I'd ever seen gathered there early for the first act. The crowd tends to ebb and flow a bit, but it was already packed.

"Dude, I know absolutely nothing about the two bands playing before The Teeth and The High Strung," I admitted. "They must be really popular with the home team."

I used to check stuff like this out. Actually look up who else is playing if I was going just for the headliner, but I'd gotten out of practice of doing that.

The first act was freezepop. I spotted the two keytars onstage and instantly my reaction was, "...two keytars? TWO??" This both scared and excited me. Yes, there were dueling keytars and even keytar solos. One of their songs are on Rock Band. Indeed out of everything, that got my attention the most because I'm a nerd like that. Why I am a nerd #2? I loved their cover of "The Final Countdown" out of the entire set.

Jupiter One was next and fuckin' rocked our faces off. I saw the keyboards and then saw the violin. "Oh shit, I am so looking forward to what this is going to sound like," I said.

Awesome. And obviously great musicians. Sophisticated arrangements and everything. The lead singer/guitarist/violinist would interchange between violin and guitar. At one point the guitarist/keyboardist/flutist (yes, you heard me, "flutist") pulled out a flute and I couldn't contain myself and cried out in excitement, "ROCK FLUTE! Wooooooo!!!" My picks? "Countdown," "Unglued," and "Turn Up the Radio." Pick up their stuff. Listen to them. My initial reaction? Orchestral, melodic rock that would fit in very well on a fantastic video game soundtrack. It must've been video game music night or something, because when I talked to K later it was revealed that they do have a couple of songs on some video games, but they were all sports games and I don't play sports games unfortunately. I want to make a video game or animated film just so I can ask them to score it.

The High Strung rocked out as usual. I must enjoy them too much because I swear I feel like their sets feel shorter and shorter to me. I sang along like a total goof. One thing that's always interesting to me is they have such a big sound. And I don't mean big like loud, but big as in very full. I don't know how they manage it because it's three guys on guitar, bass and drums and Josh sings high, but it all packs a pretty good punch.

So Derek almost blinded/killed someone with his drumstick. I saw it fly out of his hand and as I followed the trajectory it smacked this girl up front straight in the head. Marc and I whipped around to look at each other with eyes wide open and mouths silently mouthing "Oh!"

It sounds mean, but at first I didn't think it was a big deal. It wasn't like he was aiming it at her, I thought, it just slipped out of his hand but she kind of held her hands to her face and turned around. The guy with her got her a cup filled with ice for her to hold against her forehead. I was all, "Oh come couldn't have hurt THAT bad."

Um, yes, obviously it kind of did hit her pretty damn hard. In fact at one point she took the cup away and I saw her in profile. There was a HONKIN' knot on her forehead. It really was pretty...noticeable. My instant reaction upon seeing it was, "DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYUUUUUUUUMMMMM." Note the period at the end. That's exactly how I said it in my head.

Derek was apologetic of course, but he did produce what would be The Quote of the Night(tm):

"Um, I hope this isn't your first date."

Oh, I hope it was. I hope it was their first date and they stay together because that is the best "How I met your grandpa" story if I ever saw one unfold before my eyes.

As The Teeth came onstage Marc looked at the band then looked around at the crowd and said, "This is a very facial hair-friendly band."

And that is AWESOME.

I love seeing The Teeth on stage. They're so much fun. I finally got a copy of "You're My Lover Now" as well. Can't stop listening to it. I've tried to describe them to people before, but I really can't. I mean, if I had to, I'd say it sounded like a barber shop quartet picked up instruments and started a band...OK, that's kind of wrong too. I mean, they do harmonies so well, and I don't want to say they sound retro, because that's not really it either, but kind of? Well, what I mean is they're not emulating a style really, it's just rock, there's some mix going on between folk, sea shanties, and the kind of songs you hear playing in the background when they show old footage of San Francisco in the early 1900s. This is the point where I give up and I just say, "You know what? Just have a listen. Trust me on this. Anything I say to try and make you get what they sound like will not make any sense and will probably horribly incorrect."

I'm so glad they played "Coolest Kid in School," because there's nothing like singing, "And she hadn't eat at all that day. And if she did she threw it up anyway."

For those too lazy to click on the links, here's something to get you started. But do check out the MySpace pages and listen some more since SeeqPod is a bit limited. This is me crossing my arms and daring you not to pay attention to The High Strung's rhythm section.

I didn't even bother with pictures since I knew Marc was going to show up with his sick camera (JEALOUS) and then it'd just be a photo dick measuring contest which I WOULD LOSE. An apt way to describe the comparison because my camera is as ineffectual as the fact that I am a girl therefore I do not have boy bits to be measured. But all joking aside, these are some great photos. Check out his set on Flickr. He gave me permission to repub some here. I said it'd just be a "three or four" but really there were too many, so sssshhh. He has better quality versions up there anyway, so just think of this as a taste.


Jupiter One

The High Strung

The Teeth


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