Wednesday, March 24, 2010


GraffitiMaybe it was a symptom of not being at SXSW, but I've been craving live music lately. And not just the bands I know either.

In addition to seeing a bunch of different live shows last week, the other night I nearly made it out to a non-predetermined club to see whoever was playing. I don't think I've ever shown up at a club for no reason. There's always been a reason - I like their music, a friend wants to go, I work for them, I need to check them out, I was given free tickets. As I said, I nearly made it out, so I don't get full credit, but it felt liberating to not have a plan.

On the planned side, I saw the weirdest live music performance I've ever seen in the form of Tanya Tagaq, an Inuit throat-singer. I've seen and admired the Tuvan style of throat-singing, but this was different altogether. Imagine that sound you make when you stretch first thing in the morning but while inhaling and beatboxing and sounding tortured. And imagine that you're Bjork and you hug everyone and you really like steaks. I sound like I'm making fun of her, but the cool thing about her was her sincerity and lack of irony. That and she ended the night by saying "Thank you for accepting weird." I was enamored.

The following night at Rock and Roll Hotel I enjoyed the crack band and countryesque croonings of middle opener April Smith and the Great Picture Show while remaining underwhelmed and disappointed by the droning from indie darlings Here We Go Magic - kind of like Arcade Fire but with fewer hooks. Also liked The Dig at the 9:30 Club who I've been meaning to see because they're friends of a friend and Port O'Brien. Portugal. The Man headlined, but by then I was too hungry to hang around; did learn that they're from Wasilla, Alaska though.

Now I head off to New Orleans for another few days of talking about activism with musicians and a rock show at One Eyed Jacks.

I guess the pick-a-band adventure will wait until another night.

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