Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wait, what, Tuesday?

It's Tuesday? Already? Again? But it was just Wednesday and what?

I got the Lost in Pacific Time EP by The Academy Is... in the mail today, but I've had absolutely no time to listen to it. I got just as far as taking off the plastic seal, and then had to go study, and then go to work, and then a review session and swing dancing and more studying and ah! And I have to get up early in the morning to go to work then take a test then class then work then hopefully a training session and filming and oh my goodness when is there breathing?

So I've decided, just now, to take a half hour, and listen to my new CD. Because I can do that.

Track 1: "I'm Yours Tonight" which I've already discussed here.

Track 2: "Days Like Masquerades" begins with a very different vibe from most TAI songs, a bit more classic rock. The chorus reminds me of something, the way the notes step up progressively like stairs. Then suddenly, around 2 minutes and twenty seconds into the song, we get some electronic keys and I wonder if the boys are taking a bit of musical direction from their buddies in Cobra Starship? It's a Cobra kind of song structure actually, with a respite in the middle, a heavily repeated line, and the guitar sounds right too. Hmm.

Track 3: "Sputter" discussed here. The lyrics are hitting me harder this time though, and they're really very gorgeous. Bill Beckett usually rights very clear lyrics, very story oriented and straight forward, while Andrew McMahon's style seems more poetic and conscious of how the words will affect the delivery will affect the mood and tone.

Track 4: "New York (Saint in the City)" isn't making much of an impression on me, though the drumming is standing out as particularly interesting. This is, however, a driving down the highway, throwing pictures and mementos out of the window kind of song. I have no idea why, but that's the image in my head. The guitar gets kind of interesting in the middle too. I guess I like the instrumentals of this song, but the lyrics and vocals aren't doing anything for me.

Track 5: "In The Rearview." The basic beat of this song makes me think of girls slow dancing in poodle skirts with boys with pomade in their hair. I blame all the sugar and sleep deprivation. And the beat. "You would rather be alone than admit you were wrong" is a poignant line. the guitars at the end are getting me though - I love them and want them to continue. Why does the song stop so soon? Why does that not launch into a great guitar instrumental track? Why?

Overall I'm a little underwhelmed, though I'll give it some time and a few more listens to really sink in and settle into my brain. I think my standards for TAI are a little high though. Their first two albums really shook my world at the end of my first year of college, when I discovered them about two years after everyone else and listened to Bill Beckett yell at me through my car speakers for not taking control of my life, the music telling me that I had to do something, be something, go somewhere. Now he's just singing at me, and I miss those songs that suddenly kicked me out of repetition and into living.



In other news, I've lately been kind of obsessed with Icky Thump by The White Stripes and Dying to Say This to You by The Sounds. Both very, very different albums, and jarring when I'm flipping back and forth between the two, but they're embodying my current state of mind. One part of me wants to rebel with pop beats and dance moves and being my own person, while the other half of me wants to get lost in my head, get lost in Mexico, and get lost in loud crazy guitars. Half of me wants to dance in a short skirt in the middle of a crowd while the other half wants to throw on combat boots and kick ass all over town.

I'm a little conflicted at the moment. Ah, well. Now back to evolution studying! Extinction vortexes and mutational meltdowns aren't going to define themselves, you know!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

When Awesome Things Collide

1. First of all, woah. It's not perfect, and the judges kind of hate it, but somebody choreographed a lindy hop to "Welcome to the Black Parade" by My Chemical Romance. It is the sketchiest video website ever, and it's in a completely different language, but woah. I swing dance at college, and I love MCR, and no way were those two things ever going to coincide. But hah, Canada has proved me wrong!

2. The next is a merging of two of my absolute favorite things: Cooking, and Cobra Starship. Did you know that Cobra's bassist, Alex Suarez, went to culinary school? Watch him make amazing looking food:



(Also a plus is the ridiculous, lewd commentary supplied by their guitarist, Ryland Blackinton. And look, Audrey Kitching! Scene queen she may be, but you gotta admit the girl can rock pink hair.)

3. Finally, (and this is old) The Teddybears did a remix of the song "Black Mamba" by The Academy Is... for the Snakes on a Plane soundtrack. When I found this, over a year ago (back in the days of livejournal), my reaction was this:

"I was searching around on Borders.com because they're having a 40% off CD sale and I wanted to see what they sell before I run rampant in the store with a gift card and a list of CDs, and I stumbled upon the Snakes on a Plane Soundtrack, which I never got around to buying a while ago. And I looked at the tracks.

Holy sweet goodness.

"Black Mamba" - The Academy is... [Teddybears Remix]

The two opposite poles of my musical world just collided. A Swedish ex-metal-grindcore band turned pop remixing a Chicago Alt band.

I cannot describe to you how I felt about this. I literally just ran around the bottom floor of my house in excitement. Two musical loves coming together. Holy everything.

My CD collection just turned itself inside out.

It's not the best remix ever. I'll admit that. But just the fact that those two bands collided into one single song has made my life. There's no one in my house for me to praise this musical genius to. I can't think of anyone I could call who wouldn't laugh at my outburst.

Because I'm bursting. Out. Outbursting.

Holy Musical Goodness."

I was maybe a little less eloquent than I would have been here, but you get the sentiment. You can listen to it here. I just went back and listened to it while writing this and damn. It was good. Do yourself a favor and take three and a half minutes and dance to this song.

Monday, September 21, 2009

More New TAI: "Sputter"

Well this is better.

The Academy Is... released another song off of their upcoming EP again (seriously, an EP? These guys have put out three real CDs. An EP?). It's so much better then the last. You can listen to "Sputter" here.

I love the bass line beating underneath everything during the verses. The vocals by Andrew McMahon fit the song perfectly and sound great layered over William Beckett's. I really love some of the lyrics too "Outside construction workers pour a brand new basement floor, but then the ground starts shaking fault lines to your own front door." It has a real feeling, as though Beckett actually means some of these words, isn't just throwing them out there. I can really feel this song too, it has depth and layers and emotion. I love the harmonies on the word "sputter."

It's still a little fake pretty perfect poppy in the chorus, but it's better.

Welcome to the New Hate

So there's a huge viral campaign going around, that has been happening for a few months, for a new, unsigned band. They've been sending cryptic letters and pills and instructions to scene band figures like Pete Wentz, Alex DeLeon, and Andrew McMahon. Now, I haven't really been following the whole thing, but it kept popping up on blogs that I read and in band websites and so I clicked around for a few minutes tonight, enough to find out who was involved and gain some idea of what's been going on. There's some sort of doctor, and prescriptions, and a need for Pete Wentz to run around town in a mask. There were cryptic letters, some sort of chest. I dunno. I didn't read much of it, but I gleaned enough to get access to this website. It's a play on Pete Wentz's blog, and I didn't read it, but the top has two songs by the band running all of this.

And they're nothing special.

They're not bad. I actually liked the second one, "Figure Me Out," a lot, but there are hundreds of other bands playing exactly the same thing right now, many of them on Pete Wentz's label. And really, we don't need more of this. The music scene has stalled a bit, and we're rolling around in hundreds of bands with boys on guitars singing about being in high school. Sure, bands like Passion Pit and Ra Ra Riot are infusing the East Coast scene with hipster dance music and peppy keyboards, and that's fine, but I don't think it's really where the scene is going to take off.

There was a band handing out CDs outside the last concert I went to, I Hate My Ex. I took one, of course, but usually those CDs just get thrown into a desk drawer and ignored. This one, however, found its way to me on a particularly bad traffic day, and got placed into the stereo of my car. The first three songs were the same as many of the other rising bands of the moment: nothing special. Not bad, but the same as everything else. But the last track was labeled as a surprise - it turned out to be a cover of "You Belong With Me" by Taylor Swift. It made me crack up laughing while sitting in traffic and the band got props for that, and it caught my attention.

But it didn't make me want to rush out and see them.

There are so many fledgling bands right now that are doing strange, different things to try and get attention and separate themselves from the crowd, but it's not working because the music is all the same. They need to change the music, make the music different, not just their marketing.

I'm frustrated with the music scene at the moment. I want something fresh and new and interesting. I want a band to step up and show me that they're something special, something great. I'm sick of seeing essentially the same band with bad haircuts over and over and over again. Someone's got to stand up. We need a new band, a new style, a new scene. This one is dying.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Today Be a Day of... Pirates

Yeah, it's talk like a pirate day. Again. And I was going to write this entry in "pirate speak" but I began to annoy myself after one line and just no. It was not happening. I'm not a pirate.

But I have been to Boston in the Fall.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Sounds

It's breaking my heart just a little bit that I'm in my apartment right now, not at The House of Blues getting pumped for the show that The Sounds are playing tonight. But I'm really not stupid, despite other evidence, and the idea of walking a mile back to my car alone at midnight with all of the crazy things happening in Boston lately just isn't enticing. Damn friends and their physics labs until 9:30 at night, and fuck being a tiny, twenty year old girl, the perfect target for crazy kidnappers and muggers. BAH.

Okay. So I'm making myself feel better (or maybe just worse) by listening to their music. I think you should too:





I guess I'll catch them next time they're around. I mean, they're here all the time, seeing as Boston is just so close to Sweden. *rolls eyes*

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I'm Yours Tonight

The Academy Is... released a new track on the Alternative Press website today, available here. It's very close to the tracks and musical style that came from Fast Times at Barrington High, which was my least favorite of their albums. I felt that it was very superficial compared to their other music, too light and vacant. This has a bit more substance to it, but it still has some silly piano keys that feel fake and laid over the rest of the track. I think that's my problem - their recent music feels fake and insincere, whereas their old stuff really felt like the were pouring their hearts out for us to see and feel.

"I'm Yours Tonight" is too much a cliche love song: "I'll pull the stars down from the heavens to fill your skies," "Forever alone 'til I found you," and "I'll help you find your way" just don't fit with the boys who used to be singing about broken relationships and heavy hearts. Maybe they've grown up, fallen in love, become happy. And that's great for them, but maybe not for their music.

Also, this is being released on an EP, "Lost in Pacific Time," that will be available on the AP Fall Tour and online after September 22. So hopefully this isn't indicative of their next full album.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

2009 MTV VMAS

So watching the VMAs, I took detailed notes of what was happening, and my reactions to it, so that I could compose them all into a well thought out, well written post about the show. I have three pages of notes. Oh man. And I just read through them and you know what? They're kind of hysterical as they are. Half formed sentences and all, they're my immediate reaction to what was happening. I wondered if I could really post them in that format, because they're all scattered and strange, but you know what? This is my blog and I can do that! So here are my VMA notes, about 30 minutes after the VMAs. Enjoy. If you can.

2009 MTV VMAs

Pre-Show

-Lady Gaga arrives looking completely drugged out

-Ashley Green? Alice Cullen? Ooookay.

-Green Day in suits. I approve. They are silly.

-Shakira!

-Wait, Lady Gaga showed up with Kermit? Jim Henson is crying.

-Before we cut to commercial, we just got Man with ax, Andy Samberg, and FOB. ?

-P!nk shows up on a firetruck. This thing is ridiculous. With Carey Hart!

-Lady Gaga is wearing this ridiculous feather and mask thing with Kermit and it’s not even shocking anymore. Don’t defile Kermit by kissing him Gaga! She is so strange.

-3oh!3 yay! They’re funny guys. And dressed in t-shirts and sweatshirts and jeans at the VMAs. Oh man.

-More Twilight people. Don’t care.

-Buzz Aldrin is giving away the breathrough video award and talking about peeing on the moon. He’s talking so slowly. Poor man. He can’t keep up and he has no idea what the videos he’s announcing are. Aww, Buzzy. Matt and Kim win. Buzz has no idea what’s happening here. “Those kids and their rock music!”

-A small band of kids previously danced. K.

-Taylor Swift just showed up in a Cinderella carriage! She’s so cute. The horses’ names are “V and MA.” She looks pretty, but I wish the dress had a little more structure.

-Now we’re watching camera phone videos from fans and that looks like… one of the Olsen twins? Beyonce? Shakira?

-Justin Bieber. P.Diddy is next to him looking imposing. They just switched to some girl in a bright t-shirt talking while Diddy talks. What is going on? Dirty Money? What is happening?

-Alicia Keys! She looks gorgeous and she is so well spoken and poised.

-Kristin Cavalleri. Don’t care.

-Cobra Starship shows up on a party bus. They look very put together. “If you had to take any of the celebrities on the tour bus with you, who would it be?” “Taylor Swift because she’s so good, we gotta make her go bad.” GABE SAPORTA YOU KILL ME.

-“Fame” cast. Fame music video. Skip.

-Jermaine Jackson. In a snazzy coat. His hair looks like a fake plastic head of hair.

-Fefe Dobson.

-Pink and Shakira ARE wearing the same dress. I thought I was crazy.

-J. Lo. Silly jacket that looks like she’s binding her arms down. Is J. Lo relevant anymore?

-Beyonce. How does Beyonce have 9 nominations? Is SHE still relevant?

-Leighton Meester. Very silver dress. “You’re nominated for…” No, COBRA is nominated for. VMAs. Get it straight.

-Best video that should have won a moonman: Beastie Boys – “Sabotage”

Show

-Madonna? She is ABSOLUTELY no longer relevant. Oh. Michael Jackson tribute. She lists her similarities to MJ. And then the not similarities. “I never had a mother, but he never had a childhood.” “He seemed otherworldy but he was also human.” I don’t think I can sum up this speech. It’s a lot of comparing MJ to Madonna, a little self centered, and a bit of a magnification of a friendship that wasn’t there. “I had abandoned him.” “There will never be anyone like him again. He was a king. But he was also a human being, and alas we are all human beings, and sometimes we have to lose things before we can truly appreciate them.” “Long Live the King.” It was actually a touching speech, but I feel her delivery was poor.

-They recreate the dances from a lot of Michael’s videos while they play in the background. Then they go to that song he did with Janet, and she comes out and lip synchs along with it. I have no tolerance for lip synching. They end on a picture of Michael and Janet and she bows and walks off stage.

-Katy Perry rises up on the stage singing “We Will Rock You” while someone I should recognize plays the guitar amazingly. I love her, I do, but her voice isn’t so great live. Oh, never mind, she picked it up. Maybe she was just shaky at the beginning, now she’s got it. Oh yeah. Russell Brand is hosting. I don’t really care for Russell Brand. He looks like the mad hatter. Guitarist is “Joe.”

-Brand makes a rude joke about Perry. Yup. And here we go with the political statements. Okay, he’s saying the male dominated media is putting down Lady Gaga. No, girls are doing it too (hi!). And he’s making jokes about her being a hermaphrodite and him hanging his hat on her… yeah. And now a joke about his “sack of magic and wand.” Sigh I want music videos, not dirty men! Taylor Swift looks horrified. Free health care jab. Oh man they’re cutting his mic because he’s saying nasty things.

-House band. They tell him he’s saying crazy things. Good!

-Shakira and Taylor… something from Twilight present Best Female Video. I so want Katy Perry or Taylor Swift or P!nk to win. Love all three of those videos. TAYLOR SWIFT WON!!! She looks completely blown away. She beat Gaga and Beyonce! Yes! I love this video. “I sing country music…” Kanye comes out and pulls the mic from Taylor and talks about Beyonce having the best video ever and poor Taylor looks uncomfortable and scared. The crowd gets up and cheers for Taylor Swift and the handlers take her off stage. That was ridiculous and so uncalled for. He just ruined her moment. Remember when P!ATD won and some guy stole the mic. This was possibly worse than that.

-When Russell Brand tells you off for bad behavior….

-Jack Black presents best rock video with Leighton Meester. Oh, Jack is the guy with the ax and fake muscles. They pray to the gods of metal. Coldplay should win this (good video) but I sooo want FOB to win, and think Green Day actually will. Oh, hey Paramore. Green Day wins. Boo. The song isn’t actually that interesting. FOB stands and claps. OH. MARC WEBB directed it. LOVE YOU MARC WEBB but this wasn’t your best collaboration.

-The 15 year old boy Justin gives Taylor Swift props. Win! Taylor Swift perfroms in a subway? Okay, she pre recorded (?) performs in a subway. She’s in a trench coat and cap. And she lip synchs. FAIL VMAs. I guess she’s in a moving subway car full of fans. That might have sounded funny. And she’s running through the streets. When she hits street level they switch to live as she gets up on a taxi. OH! Not prerecorded and there was no way to get the sound from the subway. I SEE. She rocks out on a taxi. Love this.

-3Oh!3 performs with the house band. They sound ridiculous live but I still love the energy. MTV stops the sound every time they say “Ho.”

-Gabe Saporta and Pete Wentz give a huge bro hug on stage after Gabe gets up off one knee. Rock this place, boys! Is this the first time they’ve seen each other all night? They play “Hot Mess” in the background. Pete is wearing a “Please Call Gabe Saporta” t-shirt and threatening to give out Gabe’s number. They fight over Pete’s Jacket. And run off dramatically when there’s breaking glass because…

-Gaga starts off on the floor under a chandelier. She looks completely crazy. She’s on stage in her underwear. She sings “Paparazzi.” But she doesn’t lip synch, so, props to her. There’s a huge poof on her arm. They wheel out a girl in a bejeweled wheelchair. It’s a lingereie mental hospital. She plays the piano. Kind of. She starts bleeding from her bra. And she smears it on her face. And hangs above the stage looking dead.

-AHAHAHA. They flash to Lady Gaga sitting in the crowd again and oh my god. She’s wearing this big red crown with a big red shroud over it that covers her. It’s so insane and crazy red lace death what?

-Brand makes a joke about date raping Megan Fox. No one laughs.

-Nelly Furtado and Kristin Cavalleri present Best Pop Video. WANT COBRA TO WIN. WANT WANT WANT. Nelly Furtado is cute. Do not want britney or gaga or beyonce or wisin y yandel (who?). Want want fingers crossed! Britney wins. Britney is not there. She accepts from tour. She’s wearing rhinestones. No cobra win L

-Adam Brody and Megan Fox. Why is she considered the prettiest girl ever? I don’t see it? They introduce Green Day.

-Green Day has four people on stage. Confused Alex. Who is number four? I should have gone to see them in Boston. This looks fun. Billie Jo’s hair is having issues. There are random blond chunks… kay. Oh there’s a fourth guy because Billie does a lot more prancing and a lot less guitar playing. You know what though, a band like them couldn’t wipe through the scene today with that kind of raw music and emotion. They were special, at the right time, and made a huge impact. They start pulling people on stage. Security’s gonna hate them. The stage floods with people. Billie Jo gets trampled. But still manages to sing even though we cannot see him at all. Tre looks scared. The crowd lifts Billie Jo up and it is pure rock! I love this! LOVE.

-Pitbull sings with the house band. Uh.

-Twilight people show a twilight trailer. Kristin Stewert cut off all of her hair.

-Chase Crawford and Ne-Yo introduce Beyonce. PUT ON PANTS BEYONCE. She is wearing a long sleeve, huge v-neck leotard. Not lip-synching for a minute. Good. Single ladies dance. Is it considered lip synching if you’re not mouthing along and just dancing to your own song? Back to singing. Lots of women in leotards doing strange dance moves. Robot glove.

-Jamie Lynn Siegler?? And Diddy present – oh hold up. Diddy says: “Eminem and Jay-Z made renegade, Jay-Z gave us Kanye, Kanye kept it going recording with Ne-Yo” and the crowd starts to boo like crazy.” Diddy stops and the crowd starts chanting “Taylor.” What is happening? OHHHHH. Because Kanye was the one who stole the mic from Taylor? Gotcha. Diddy stops his monologue and lets the nominees be announced. TI wins. But he’s in jail. Soooo.

-Alexa Chung and Gerard Butler introduce Muse. It’s their first US TV performance. This is the first BAND that performs all night. I’m not a huge Muse fan, but they put on a great performance.

-One of the kids up for best new artist is “Drake.” Um. That’s totally the kid from Degrassi.

-AAR is performing with the house band when we return from the commercials. Tyson is covered in like, tin foil. Like a dirty wrapped candy. Like a piece of already chewed juicy fruit stuck back in the wrapper. I’d lick it. Closeup: It’s like a shirt of silver glitter. Oh my god. Someone painted Tyson with silver glitter. Me thinks MTV wanted his tattoos covered but he refused to put on a shirt. I approve.

-J Lo presents best hip hop video. Didn’t Jay-Z retire forever ago? I want Asher Roth to win just as a huge upset. Eminem wins. He looks mad. J Lo looks unimpressed. And tries to leave.

-DJ AM tribute by Kid Cudi. DJ AM was at the VMAs last year backing Travis Barker, and it was great. Enough so that a friend was talking about it this summer.

-Tracy Morgan and Eminem present Best New Artist. Neither of them are relevant. There were like 6 awards in two hours. Seriously? Eminem is so over this. Lady Gaga wins. Wait, how did she have nine nominations if there were only like 6 catagories and she wasn’t in all of them. What the hell is this red thing she’s wearing. I can see her underwear. She takes the award for god and the gays. Oh man.

-Serena Williams comes out? Wtf is this show? Next performer is P!nk. She’s dressed as a trapeze artist, blindfolded, and lifted over the stage. She’s singing live. Okay, I can’t imagine she’s still singing live upside down while she’s doing stuff with this trapeze dude. But it’s impressive. And cool. I wanna try. She is swinging and leaping and it’s cool. But not at all music related. But I wanna try.

-Video of the Year presented by Jimmy Fallon and Andy Samberg. Beyonce wins for Single Ladies. Fair.

-OMG Lady Gaga is wearing a feather wreath around her face. WTF.

-BEST THING EVER. Beyonce wins Video of the Year and announces: “I remember being 17 years old, up for my first MTV award with Destiny’s child, and it was one of the most exciting moments of my life. I would like Taylor to come out and have her moment.” The crowd goes insane. Taylor: “Maybe we could try this again?” She thanks Roman White and the actor and fans and everyone and looks so happy. BEST THING EVER.

-Jay-Z and Alicia Keys sing about NY. K. Some chick climbs up on stage and poses with them. Who are you, chick? Why does security suck?

-MJ documentary trailer.

-End.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Raditude

School is officially back in session: my blog updates have gone from every couple of days to once a week. Fail.

Another fail: Weezer's new album cover. An album called Raditude, named by Rainn Wilson. I don't even know what's going on with Weezer any more. I think all of the pot that they smoked has finally addled their brains into plain confusion. Because, really? A dog jumping over a table? A tacky yellow border and horrifically cheesy font? My one hope is that this is horrible artwork on the outside of an amazing album, in the "don't judge a book by it's cover" attitude. But, um, what is this?

Their new song is good though. "(If you're wondering if I want you to,) I Want You To" is now streaming on their website, and it's gotten a little bit of radioplay so far. It's very up, very happy, a light song for dancing around with shoes off. It's not their classic alt rock vibe, but it holds on well to their general air of songs about losers, for losers, written by losers. And I say that in the best possible way, as one of their biggest loser fans. It's very, very tight musically, though, and I love artists who can put together a song that is filled with sound, covered in notes and instruments, and yet keep the song from feeling overwhelming. They throw in a lot of sound and there isn't too much space around the notes, everything filled with harmonies and strings, but I can still hear individual guitars and drums and it's not overwhelming. It's like a deep screen of sound, not an oppressive wool coat of noise.

I'm so tired. I'm not making much sense. Weezer's not making much sense. I guess it's fitting.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Make it Mine

Watching the new episode of "The Pop Show" this morning (which is still kind of meh. "Hollaback Girl" and a video by T.I. and an interview with Kristinia DeBarge and it doesn't all mesh well) and I wasn't paying much attention to Jason Mraz. He's cool and all, but it's not really my style of music, so it was just kind of playing in the background of my computer. Then I started to notice things.

"I've been on that bridge!" "I know that street!" "Nowhere else in the world has water that color."



A sign at one point says Amsterdam, but this was absolutely filmed in Munich. The river he's surfing runs through the English Gardens, the same park that houses the huge pagoda behind him when he's eating a pretzel. The trolleys and the streets and the churches. That gigantic lobster in the market! I was in Munich in May, and absolutely loved it. I didn't expect Germany to win a spot on my favorite countries list, but it is absolutely gorgeous.

I want to go back.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Cobras in Hell

Cobra Starship at Club Hell, Providence RI, August 31

After waiting for three hours, making some line friends, and passing out some glowsticks (A failure in marketing! How dare you rub off, sharpie, how dare you?) yesterday night turned into an interesting night in Hell.

Oh come on, I had to.

First up was DJ Skeet. I actually really liked him starting the show. I was dubious about a DJ kicking things off, but he got the crowd moving and played some fun songs and we all had a great time while it was happening. There’s just something about an entire crowd singing and dancing together that makes me smile.

The first band up was The Friday Night Boys, and to be completely honest, I have no idea what they sound like. They were having severe technical difficulties. The drum was drowning out everything around, the lead singer’s mic was so far down that he wasn’t audible, the bass amp wasn’t working right, and the guitars weren’t loud enough. I don’t think I’ve ever been able to make that statement about a concert before, but the guitarist looked like he was playing a cool solo, and I couldn’t pull it out from the overwhelming noise that was coming through the speakers. Nothing was the right level, everything was playing over everything else. It was bad, and I don’t blame the band. Their Myspace actually sounds kind of interesting. I wish I’d been able to hear it. I do think that they could have aided the situation a little bit by not filling every beat with as many instruments as possible (lay off the cymbals!) but overall I think they were unjustly served by Club Hell.

But oh man did I want to give the lead singer a shower and cut his hair. I realize it’s the last day of tour but damn.

Next up was The Audition. They had a much better time with the sound, though it still wasn’t perfect. They made up for it though, with the fact that their bassist was wearing a Weezer shirt and their lead singer completely owned the stage. He’s quite the performer and it made up for the complications in the sound. It got me dancing, it got me bouncing, and it’s actually pretty fun music. The lead singer’s got an interesting voice, like a tunnel, and the guitarist was pretty good. Actually, listening to their recorded stuff online, I’m really kind of liking it. This is fun stuff. Check them out.

Then there was an hour of no bands on stage. That is far to long, and bordering in unacceptable. Skeet came back out for the last 20 minutes or so, and he brought Vita (who was cute and bouncy and probably had a great voice under all the microphone problems) out with him for a few songs, but the crowd was getting restless and bored. There should have been a band on that stage and I don’t know who thought it was a good idea for there not to be.

Then was Cobra Starship. And oh man, those were tired kids. Can I call them kids when they’re all older than me? No? Fine. Those were some tired Cobras. Don’t get me wrong, they put on a great show, but the fact that it was the end of tour was showing. They’d looked tired before the show too, signing autographs and walking around the line, Alex Suarez proclaiming he was exhausted. Rough tour? Now they shook their asses and they worked that stage and they put on an amazing show, but Victoria was leaning up against a pole for some of the show. Alex wasn’t quite as smiley as he normally is. Ryland looked a little tense.

I don’t blame them one bit, and give them so much credit for being the kind of people who will still go out there and give it their all for us, even when it’s obvious they just want a nap.

Anyways, the set list was a little different from what I would have expected. I mean, this was the Hot Mess tour, for their new CD of the same name, and yet they only played two songs off of the album. It actually leaned a heavily on While the City Sleeps, We Rule the Streets, which was fine because it’s one of my favorite albums and I love “The Church of Hot Addiction” live, but it wasn’t what I’d prepped for. I was actually looking forward to seeing how they dealt with some of the new songs in a live situation. Hmm.

The crowd, however, was loving it. We were screaming and dancing and throwing our fangs up with everything we had. Gabe Saporta can work a crowd and he had even the Moms in the back putting heir fists in the air. That was an excited crowd.

Gabe’s voice, however, was wrecked. I noticed it when he was talking to some kids before the show, and it was noticeable when he was singing. They never should have done that tour last Fall when he had a cyst on his vocal cords. I’ve heard him sing since then, of course, and it was nowhere near this bad, so I’m going to blame it on lack of sleep and the end of tour. He’s also leaving large chunks of vocals to the crowd and to the rest of the band, and that’s a little worrisome. We love you for singing for us, Gabe, but we’d love you still if you took care of yourself.

It was an awesome night, though. Cobra always puts on an awesome show and it’s always fun. And they always throw out some wisdom to the crowd, with the general idea of “Don’t give a fuck what people say, and do what you want.” Last night’s however, was great. Gabe gave almost an identical intro in April, but I loved his wording last night:

“In life, there will always be people who want you to fail, no matter what you do, no matter what business you’re involved in, no matter what you study, they’re gonna want to watch you fall. And the only thing I want you to remember when you see those people are the three words in this song. And those words are Kiss My Sass.”