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no time to form any sort of expectations: a good thing?

i used to complain about not going to that many shows anymore. blah blah full-time job exhaustion blah blah depressed and wanting to stay in and watch letterman. this past week, however, i've been all about/encouraged to go see three shows. THREE SHOWS. in a week! i'm PRACTICALLY a raver. the funniest thing about all of this? i've had no time to do the usual "prepping" before going to see a show (listening to their entire discography, making up fantasy setlists - err i mean i don't do that, that would be nerdy!), so i've had absolutely no expectations in my mind before going out to see the following bands.

tv on the radio @ first avenue: more like tv on the overrated, yo. this is going to sound (and IS) very hipster/pretentious, but i was totally into their first record, but this new one? garbage. well it's not garbage, but what attracted me to tv on the radio in the first place was their diverse arrangements of numerous mellow tones (from a cappella sentimental bellowing to meditative psych-drone ballads). the idiotically named return to cookie mountain finds a bland middle ground and repeats it for an entire album. expectations: why would i be excited for blandness? outcome: i think they only played 2 songs from the first record, couldn't tell because it all blended together and the only place i could see from was behind the giant plastic wall at first ave that muffles the sound. i hate drive 105-sponsored events. yet i will continue to listen to drive 105.

red sparowes @ triple rock: the band that i believe inspired the facebook group "instrumental rock isn't just for stoners anymore...oh wait, yeah it is." once again, first record = genius, second record = not that great. but since it's a genre i'm obsessed with and have a radio show centered around, it's still pretty genius by my weak standards. expectations: i've been to so many of these freaking instrumental rock shows that believe it or not, i really don't have expectations for them anymore. outcome: wtf?!?! i'm glad i had no expectations, because they are now one of the best live instrumental bands i've ever seen, right alongside mono and explosions in the sky, with some of the best video projection work i've seen that brilliantly complemented their ridiculously pretentious semi-political songs. (yes, i'm aware how it's confusing trying to understand how instrumental music can be "political.")

casiotone for the painfully alone @ triple rock: mopey bedroom pop of the late-weekend-night-alone-with-headphones-on variety. though i'm sure that seems redundant because the artist name conveniently tells you everything you need to know about the music. i've always known about this project and have always kind of enjoyed this music and music of its ilk, but... expectations: it's one guy with a million electronics/keyboards. how can one really have expectations? outcome: yup, exactly that. i HATE leaving concerts early, but i left because it was exactly what i expected and it was 12.45 a.m. on a sunday night. i didn't think i deserved to be sleepy AND get called a retard by an 11-year-old the next morning.

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