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the speed of boredom

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

summer left your heart behind

one week ago, I ventured to the Mercury Lounge for the Home Video/Nomo/His Name Is Alive concert. it was the first time i've ever gone to a concert by myself, and while it would have been a lot more fun if i had someone to hang out with (most everyone else there was already in a group of friends and it would have been totally weird to o up and talk to anyone in that situation) it was still an amazing show and i got to talk and shake hands with people from all three bands and dance a lot and the whole experience was great.

Home Video took the stage a little late and completely impressed me and seemed to impress the other eight people on the floor during their set. their sound is somewhere between late Depeche Mode and Kid A era Radiohead, but its three twenty-somethings from brooklyn.

Nomo were clearly the crowd favorite of the night, as a good quarter or more of the audience seemed to be personal friends of the band. The nine members of Nomo took the stage shaking a wide variety of bells before blasting into a frantic and tribal set that featured the electric kalimba, bass, guitar, keys, congas, two trumpets, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, three conch shells, and various wild percussion. when all nine members of an afrobeat band from Michigan can drop the same beat at once, you know they're a well-oiled funk machine. when the audience insisted they play one more song, the band exited the stage, playing their horns and forming a circle in the center of the floor. i was right behind the baritone sax watching, clapping, and "aah"ing with the crowd.

His Name Is Alive took that stage around 10:40, by which point i'd managed to scott myself to the front and the floor was pretty densely packed. the new singer, Andy FM, certainly commands attention with her porcelain skin, rag doll dress, pointed crimson lips, shiny and messy black hair and wide eyes like an evil mannequin, but it was the fairly relaxed looking Warn who stole the show behind his Gibson flying-v, from which waves of sound distorted the stage. naturally the setlist mostly featured material from the new album, but it was a good mix altogether. i wrote it out as a text message to myself every few songs so i would remember:
  • Cornfield
  • The Darkest Night
  • Maybe Again After I Leave You
  • Hereforeveralways
  • Sometimes Screw
  • Country Girl
  • Get Your Curse
  • Mama, Don't You Think I Know
  • This World Is Not My Home
  • Send My Face To Your Funeral
  • Your Bones
  • Can't Go Wrong Without You
  • Seven Minutes In Heaven (Wolf)
  • Encore: Blue Moon
the only song that resembled its album version was "Send My Face To Your Funeral", which was a haunting ballad where the entire audience was still and samples of bird calls flittered from the far edge of the stage. "Cornfield" was just a wall of sound and confusion (very nice) and the next five songs were a complete and utter rock-out. "Get Your Curse" was still a great deal of fun and energy, but paved the way for the slow down that culminated in "This World Is Not My Home" and "Send My Face To Your Funeral", after which things began to pick up again, into the ten minute long party that was "Seven Minutes In Heaven", a large portion of which was an impromptu audience participation jam called "Wolf" where Warn told a nonsense story about finding a baby monkey when he was little and we were encourage to howl like wolves sporadically. lots of fun. Nonsense song introductions were fun too. "Mama, Don't You Think I Know" was introduced by Warn saying it's about Charles Manson coming into your house late at night and killing your whole family and you prentending to be dead so he won't kill you, but its also a metaphor for when you go out on a date and your girlfriend has to accept that you're still checking out other girls while you're out on the town.

Warn let me (actually, encouraged me to) try about twenty different handmade electric kalimbas and magic boxes before i finally settled on one that i absolutely loved, a little mahogony magic box with some high notes that rested in my sweatshirt pocket the rest of the night. i also introduced myself as "that asshole who ordered UFO Catcher and then asked for mp3s". Warn shook my hand and said "oh yeah, that was a stupid idea. why did i do that?" "because i tricked you with my internet charm?" "you fucker."
so that was nice. also, the guy next to me was looking through the whole HNIA cd catalog, wondering which one to buy. Warn reccomended Livonia Strings and i said "that version of Caroline's Supposed Demon is awesome" and Warn looked at me and said "i have no idea what your talking about. this one has entirely different track names." it was actually really cool that we could just hassle each other like that for fun.

the next day i played both Nomo cds for Heather and Dan and let them play with my magic box. they were both upset that they didn't come to the show with me after hearing about it. i think that sentiment right there was a pretty good reward for going to a concert by myself. in the future, i think i'll be more confident in the concerts i want to go to.

the initial lineup for this year's Siren Music Festival has been announced and i'm really excited for it, though, again, none of my friends are. i'll talk more about the artists involved later.

10:46 AM
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