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6 short narratives on events life-changing, piss-bound, etc.

herein lies a brief recounting of 3 spiritual awakenings of the rocking variety (black mountain, sigur ros, and the arcade fire), 2 aural candy-fests (architecture in helsinki & mates of state), and 1 severely disturbing disappointment (m.i.a.).

black mountain: stoner rock that actually gets you high without the assistance of any pharmaceutical. i wasn't fully planning on going to the show until about 11 pm that night, and i am more than glad i went out late on that monday night. the closest i've ever been to feeling under the influence of anything was during the canadians' lackadaisical yet somehow heart-drenched performance. i stood square in the middle of the moderately attended 7th street entry crowd, and i swore several times that i was rumbly hovering slightly above the cement. finally a band that can bring together a sabbath fan, a phish fan and a BSS fan under one roof without any of them wishing the others harm.

SIGUR ROS: i hadn't thought seriously about religion since the last time i sat down with a sufjan stevens record that wasn't illinois until i attended the sigur ros concert. too many things were depressing me the week leading into this event to mention, but what i did know was that i knew not how to express my mini-depression nor recover from it. when i saw sigur ros' visit to minneapolis' state theatre was nearing, i decided that it was the event that was going to turn this phase around for me. about four days before, i decided that i was going to cry at the show at some point to mark this transition, and indeed i did. call it a self-fulfilling prophecy (or just emo as fuck) if you want, but it was indeed what i needed, what i wanted, and what happened. the event and everything that led up to it was transcendent beyond citing what bands and musical movements sigur ros reminds me of, etc. looking back, sigur ros wasn't so much of a surreal experience as i thought, but rather the first real music-related experience i can mark in my memory in a long long time.

THE ARCADE FIRE: if black mountain brought me to the level of drugs and sigur ros brought me to the level of god, then the arcade fire brought me to the level of the almighty gug, or drod. it didn't really feel like an aestheticizing cloudy smile-athon nor did it feel quite like a thousand pounds of water pressing down on my emo heart, but rather brought me to the level of shock and awe that the concept of the ROCK SHOW brought me as a young child inexperienced and dabbling into rock music for the first time. i just honestly did not know what to expect. i really like the arcade fire record, but i honestly did not expect this. i'd heard of their majestic live act, but little did i know this was 100% truth. the sound was immaculate, their presence was that of mischievous warriors, the sold-out crowd was...BEARABLE. every accordion drone, every dramatic cymbal crash, it all channeled directly into the most beautiful sight and sound that's ever graced the mainroom.

in brief, the aforementioned 3 experiences can be mapped out most appropriately by the following graphic:



to be blunt, this channeling did not occur at the following three events.

M.I.A.: fuck her political bullshype. insensitive gimmickry passed off as socially aware pop music. the record's great in surface theory, but this is because diplo knows how to take the focus off the attempt of everyone saying "yeah i listen to world music like m.i.a." - she herself encourages this shit behavior. "thanks for allowing new opinions to exist" she proclaims to a cheering crowd after the dj THAT WAS NOT DIPLO weakly remixed several COMPACT DISCS of artists only Spin would call influential, including red hot chili peppers, 69 boyz, and (gasp!) george bush. all music is political but not all politics are musical. this is why m.i.a. needs to not perform live in front of me.

ARCHITECTURE IN HELSINKI: i wish i had this blog around the time i saw AIH at the turf club earlier this year. if twee pop could ever evoke pure ecstacy without a silghtly sour aftertaste, it was at that show. this was more of a rehashing of the same, with them being more confident (read: "confidence is poison," quote attributed to port smellden) and goofing around more, which is entertaining and lifts my spirits regardless, but not to the extent they had the first time around. i tried to grab on to too much of a good thing, but i learned my lesson, and cannot hold any grudges against them. they're too damn cute for that.

MATES OF STATE: speaking of too damn cute, FUCK. if whatever-the-drummer's-name-is' family wasn't at the show, they would have been gettin' horizontal on the stage together. but that's a given. kori is hard not to stare at. also a given. so what made this mates of great performance stand out? toilet water on the floor of course! midway through their set, people started leaving the standing area closest to the stage. i thought "sweet" and proceeded to get a better staring-at-kori spot. i looked down to see a large ripple when i lifted up my foot and immediately assumed i was asleep and dreaming of swimming with greats of state. when i looked back up and saw kori was still clothed i realized what was going was real...and REALLY STINKY. "you know we've made it when kids are willing to dance in piss at our shows" says whatever-the-drummer's-name-is. sure, it wasn't actually piss, but it sure was the most memorable greats of great shows i've seen. nothing life-changing, and it was the venue that made the event engrained in my skull, but still, i got to sing along all heartfelt-like, be blown away by the only REAL 2-person wall-of-sound i believe exists, and laugh a little bit in the process.

coming soon: ELIZABETHTOWN and cameron crowe get the beating they so rightly deserve.

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  1. Blogger P. Arty | 6:11 PM |  

    I got a mention in the blogulator!

    I give Chris "9/10" Polley a 9/10 on this post!

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