NIN is getting old

Last night, we saw Nine Inch Nails at Grand Rapids' Van Andel Arena. It was pretty fantastic, but two brief observations:

1. Even with an almost 2-hour-long setlist, The Downward Spiral is still the foundation of NIN's live show. And that was from high school. And there have been 5 more full albums? I haven't even heard of half of them...

2. Trent Reznor's 43-year-old stage presence reminds me strongly of Richard Florida's. Which is really pretty funny.

7 songs meme

JP requests, I provide. (Don't abuse it.)

Apologizing for posting a meme is the new posting a meme, so I'm not going to apologize. I like this one.

The instructions are to pick seven songs you're really into at the moment (variations on the meme include focusing on songs that remind you of summer) and write a little blurb about why you like each.

(some songs...)

You're it.

I tend to obsess on a single album at a time, so picking seven songs with any variety is difficult. But here's what I got, heavily influenced by KEXP's online feed, for which I blame Elias. Links to YouTube, since such is life that the easiest way to link to a song is to link a music video, either official or fan-produced.

"When I lose my eyes"

I've spent about the last year and a half being frustrated that I couldn't figure out the name of this Fred Thomas song that I'd heard at a couple of shows, let alone figure out which or even whether it was on any recording.

So, imagine my pleasure when I found this, easily one of my favorite of Fred's songs, on the new Saturday Looks Good to Me album, which I got today in preparation for their Sunday homecoming concert. Granted, I learned it as the

Mistaken identity and music theory

Cara recently acquired Arcade Fire's Funeral, and, after three or four listens, I discovered, to my great surprise, that I liked it. A lot.

But I thought I didn't like Arcade Fire. At all. Interesting.

I commented to Cara on enjoying the very driving feel of a few songs, and found myself stuck in a teachable moment. You see, boys and girls, it seems the bits that I really like in "Neighborhoods 1 - Tunnels" and "Rebellion (Lies)" is called a Mannheim roller, "an extended crescendo passage typically having a rising melodic line over an ostinato [repeated] bass line". Yes, yes, I'm a bombastic sap. Now, excuse me, I've got some Shostakovich to listen to.

Anyways, it later struck me just why I thought I didn't like Arcade Fire. It seems I was mistaking them for someone else. Um. Sorry, guys.

Hipster training continues

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Last night, at long last, I finally saw Great Lakes Myth Society at the Elbow Room, and they were every bit as amazing as Dale has assured me they would be. Fan for life: check. (Not that there was any doubt - a highly talented folk/rock group signing about Michigan? Yeah, sign me up.)

I was also pretty happy with one of their openers, Minor Planets, who present a pretty enjoyable power pop. They need to brush up on their showmanship to truly support a group like GLMS, though. I know the whole shoegazing thing is hip, and half the point of indie rock is that it's safe for geeky introverts (like myself) to get up on stage and play their piece without ever looking at the audience, but, really, kids: you're good at what you do - feel free to get a little more attitude about it.

Show your Statriotism - Wear Mittens and Drink Michigan Beer.

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What better birthday present? Mittenfest, Corner Brewery, December 23.

My list of must-see performers is short, based not on disliking the rest but on my own woeful lack of "cred" (read: having seen them before): Fred Thomas, Chris Bathgate, Canada.

I'll note that "Need Based Paint" continues to be one of the best band names I've heard in quite some time. (Though still well behind "Fuck Yeah and the Rock 'n' Rolls", of course...)

Where have all the pop stars gone?


It occurred to me shortly after the midterm elections that I hadn't noticed anything like Eminem's Mosh (and with alternate ending in the run up to the election. I wondered why - was it just decided not to work? Or was it too hard to find something to grab hold of for a Congressional election.

I've now decided that, no, it *was* done - but, yes, both of those explanations are true, at least this time around:

I recalled, shortly after, Exhibit A, Neil Young's Let's Impeach the President.

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