Tempted

I swore off summer music festivals in 2007. That year’s Virgin Festival was two days of persistent reminders that I’m uncomfortable standing for 10+ hours, don’t like crowds, and am quickly irritated by kids drunk on their first beer1. Add to that scorching, broiling, suffocating, torrid heat on Day 1, unseasonable chilliness and rain on Day 2, and the punch in the face that is the Smashing Pumpkins2. I had no qualms with pronouncing my festival days Over. Even seeing the Police and the Beastie Boys didn’t weight the scales. The only festival that will get me out of the house is Coachella, which I manage to miss every year. Each year about this time I swear that NEXT year I’ll remember to get my act together. Then it vanishes from my mind until the following year’s too-late month. Is it possible for events to wear invisibility cloaks? Then this presents itself: Do you see that? It’s being curated. Curated! That sounds so fancy and civilized. Like I’ll be lying on silk cushions in the cool shade sipping white wine while being fanned with palm fronds, not jostled around by beer-soaked frat boys on the surface of the Sun. And Portishead making a rare States-side appearance. And Jeff Magnum out of hiding. And Asbury Park! What other wonders will ATP pull out of their magic hat? I’m keeping my eye on you, ATP. ___________________ 1 I felt the same way at 22, so it’s less an “I’m old” thing and more an “I’m cranky” thing. 2 I mean, really. What happened, guys?! Gish was so perfect. Siamese Dream was...

Shut Up and Watch The Band

Listening to Dandy Warhols (Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia) Have a listen: Boys Better I’m not the type of person who wishes people dead.* I’m more the “live and let live” sort. To get Gandalfian about it, you can’t know a person’s full purpose in life, and I’d not want to bear the responsibility of deciding when a person’s path ends, no matter how harmful that path seems to be. HOWEVER, if I were someone who wished people dead, and had the power to make it happen, Maxwell’s on Friday night would have been a bloodbath. Maxwell’s in Hoboken, NJ has a long, storied history of hosting some of the greatest bands on their music industry ascent (and sometimes descent), and a lot of bands like to play there just for the cachet. That was certainly the case Friday night, when Freelance Whales started their first North American tour. Up to this point they’ve been the darlings of New York City, and have done well at music orgies such as SXSW. They’ve finally gotten enough press and support for a tour, and said it was an honor to be playing at Maxwell’s. Sadly, the crowd had no honor to return. It was like being thrown into the middle of a fraternity party hosted by the frat you most despise. I was penned in by a mass of 19 year olds drunk on illicit PBRs, dancing around like hippies, texting, talking loudly to their friends, and taking high-voltage flash self-portraits. I literally could not hear the band. I certainly couldn’t see the band because of the 300 pound knucklehead in...