Monday, August 21, 2006

Love musis

Lest you think all I do is walk my dogs, I'd like to tell you about how I have made good on a vow I made earlier in the summer: to see more live music, or, as my too-fast-typing sister refers to it, love musis.

The flagship show of the summer stills remains the best: Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins, at my new favorite LA venue, Spaceland, which is in Silverlake just two blocks from the apartment I should have moved to but didn't know I'd be offered a job downtown that would have meant like a 15 minute commute instead of the 45 minute commute I drive twice a day from all the way over here on the westside. I tell myself it's okay that I didn't move to that very cute, albeit amenity-less, apartment because one of the amenities it lacked was parking so Spaceland, instead of being my new fave venue for rocking out and cheap pool, would've been my new bane because parking would suck so bad every night there was a show (e.g. every night) I'd be bitter neighbor Starpower instead of rocking-out, pool-playing Starpower so all in all, it was a great show. I'm just saying.

Later that week I went to the Dreadful Hollywood Bowl to see The Shins and Belle and Sebastian. It was not fun because it was too much of a pain in the ass to be fun: driving home to WALK THE DOGS (shees, can I write a post without mentioning them?!) and then all the way out past my then workplace and into dreaded, dreaded Hollywood--naturally the home to the Dreadful Hollywood Bowl. Let me be clear: Hollywood doesn't suck because of its weirdos or street performers or hookers or movie premieres or general vacuousness (which is far worse in West Hollywood, anyway). No, it sucks because it's so hard to get to: not super close to desirable freeways and always much further north on stupid La Cienega than you ever remember needing to go. Blech, Hollywood. Which is pretty much the mood I was in by the time we got to the Stupid Hollywood Bowl and had to stupid park at Stupid Hollywood and Highland and stupid walk and in the shoes that were clearly a bad idea and then wait in line for the one stupid beer you can get and still be a responsible driver three hours later and oh how were The Shins? I wouldn't know. We got there too late. I fear I like Belle and Sebastian less because of the stupid venue. That and Stuart Murdoch's theatrical application of and purposeful smudging of mascara to better illustrate a particular song's message. Nothing against dudes in make-up, but definitely not down for theatrics at a show. Stupid Belle and Sebastian.

A few short days later (this was "show week" which immediately followed "Grand Canyon long weekend") I went to the Troubador in West Hollywood to see Built to Spill. I have been a fan since 1994 and have seen them several times. Allow me to say that I LOVE Doug Martsch. Should I ever be lucky enough to fall in the kind of love that makes you want to get married, I would likely leave my husband for Doug Martsch. I say this for several reasons and by several I mean one. He's mesmerizing, absolutely mesmerizing. For every single Grateful Dead show I was lucky enough to go to, for every Phish concert I ever saw, I always, at one point or another, got bored. At Dead shows it was invariably Space/Drums (ugh, 15 minutes later, enough already!). For Phish, it was always some rabbit hole they'd fall into mid-song. Needless to say, I was very happy once they'd find and work their way out--often with some fabulous crescndo that made me happy again. But Built to Spill, or Doug Martsch, rather...that guy can wail on guitar for twenty minutes and I am rooted to the ground watching with rapt attention, wanting more, not less, and wail is the absolute wrong word because it is something entirely different: more language than sound though it has none of that weird my-guitar-sounds-like-it's-talking crudeness, no. It's not like he's even communicating with the audience so much as communing with his guitar and we're, it just so happens, standing there, watching. So yeah, I'd leave my imaginary husband for Doug, my imaginary boyfriend. I don't want to tell you about that show because, setlist-wise it was not the best I'd seen and, musically, their new album is far from my favorite but I have to tell you my love for them has become fully-realized this summer, like the boy next door who suddenly looks hot as hell even though you know he looked exactly the same way he did last summer there's just something different and maybe it's you and maybe it's him but does it matter, really?, because there's a great blue sky and breezy breeze and the sun is just so and don't forget the tall trees and the ocean and it's all like a daytime buzz and it's all perfect and I'm not sure when it happened but I think Built to Spill is my favorite band.

That's it, no more writing. I'll tell you about Mates of State (missed'em, too late)/Spoon/Death Cab as well as The Like/The Sounds another time.


Blogger ross_vegas said...

the secrets to the bowl are: la brea not la cienaga, box seats (for the handy valet parking), and bring your own booze. no cure for the vacuousness other than my proposed billboard: "Can't you go somewhere else and not be famous?"

6:30 AM  
Blogger Madelyn said...

Have you gone to see the Oohlas yet? I dare you to shout out a request for the Bruin fight song. (Come on, I am SURE you remember all the words. And as he was in the marching band, he should, too!)

10:54 AM  
Blogger anijoon said...

As a soon to be dreadful Hollywood dweller (count 'em 2.5 weeks!) I feel the need to clarify - they are NOT hookers, they are Tranny hookers. Please get it straight!!!!

8:29 PM  
Anonymous sara said...

i can't imagine getting bored at a grateful dead or phish show :p

ps. hollywood used to be a lot worse, a lot seedier. now its really resembling disney land in tourist-trapitude.

5:58 AM  

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