Terribly Empty Pockets, The Lindsay, Blake Miller, Beard of Stars
Just some scattered notes on this all-local show, another in the streak of great stuff happening at Bourbon Street:
--How about we never run the instruments through the PA at Bourbon Street again? I can see why they would try it out, but the place is small enough to leave the instruments without microphones and just run the singers through the system. It worked fine at the two great shows I attended there last week. This time around, good intentions or not, the sound guy managed to rob some very nuanced bands of any and all nuance.
--Beard of Stars doesn't really break any new ground, but anybody who loves Pavement as much as these guys obviously do is OK by me. Plus Bobby Miller and Matt Wagner sure know how to write a zany song. Any fan of "classic" '90s indie rock should give these guys a try at one of their upcoming shows.
-- As anybody who's read my writing on Blake Miller knows, I love the guy's music. But I'm not sure Bourbon Street -- or any rock bar, for that matter -- is the right place for his ephemeral, abstract performances. Coffee shops, DIY spaces, bars with giant trees growing inside them--these seem better suited for such quiet stuff. (Although the Bourbon Street show on the 15th with fellow solo acts Spanish Prisoners and Time & Temperature might be a good fit, too.)
--The Lindsay keep torturing me by not playing "Your Contemporaries," but maybe they're being super hip and "retiring" it like Times New Viking did with "Skull Vs. Wizard." (TNV had better be kidding, by the way.) Anyhow, these cats made up for their omission with "Iranian Eyes," "Change My Oil" and a righteous cover of "Helter Skelter." I've got blisters on me fingers!
--The Lindsay loves British Invasion stuff, and "Helter Skelter" wasn't even the best indicator of that love on Saturday night. The band sometimes covers the Kinks' "Wicked Annabella," and Ray Davies indirectly had a hand in conceiving the newish Lindsay song "Billy Boots." Also, those psychedelic T-shirts are badass.
--Terribly Empty Pockets continue to blow my mind, but they suffered the most from the poor sound situation. It didn't seem to bother anybody besides me too much. From what I could hear when I wasn't covering my ears, their new material continues to develop, and "Ben Colburn Is Arriving In a School Bus On Fire" could be record of the year if they would ever get back to recording.
--Speaking of which, Terribly Empty Pockets should really get back to recording.
--It's not as easy as you might think to go four hours at Bourbon Street without having a drink, but if you set your mind to it, it can be done. Take that, Pavlov.