Saturday, April 10, 2010

Do you like makeout party music?

Q: Seen any live music recently?
A: In the last week I've seen Machine Gun Mojo, jj and The xx

Please feel free to use the opening track of the debut album of The xx as background music while you read this post.

I have a friend, who also happens to be a coworker, that is in a local band. In an act of friendly loyalty, I purchased his band's first album on iTunes. I'm not sure how hard or difficult it is to get music onto the iTunes store. But I think it's pretty cool.

I'll link to it again, the first digital release from Machine Gun Mojo is titled Fundraising for the Devil, and only costs $5.94

But up until last Saturday, I had yet to see those kids live. I kept getting invite after invite to their shows and felt disappointed in myself for not showing. They organized a show at the Elbow Room in which five local bands would perform for the modest price of $10 in an effort to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Fund. What a great win-win-win scenario for me, because I also haven't been to the Elbow Room yet and wanted to cross that off my list of venues to check out. Long story short: I'll be going to another Mojo show, and it won't take me over a year to get to it.

Now for some awful news:
To refresh your memory, there was a NY-based band named Yeasayer I wanted to see.
I waited too long to buy tickets - their Metro show at the end of April sold out.
Worse, I actually had a friend lined up wanting to see them.
Here's the one thing that gets me - why am I always the person buying the tickets?

That disappointing news led me to buy tickets to see Camera Obscura, who were playing a show at Lincoln Hall. Do I like Camera Obscura as much as Yeasayer? -No. But I was assuming this show would also sell out and I hastily made the purchase. Then, I couldn't find a soul to go to this Camera Obscura show with me. Even when I would give albums to people - they'd hear it and decline it. It was quite the misstep.

Meanwhile, MGMT gets a show announced - I go to buy tickets just over an hour after their Riviera concert's tickets become available only to be denied from the insta-sellout. Tickets were priced in the under $40 range and there are already Craigslist ads looking to unload them for $80+. I wasn't that upset about missing out on that show. Later that day my Dad tried to further reassure me with the innocent question, "When is the next show you will be seeing?" I check my phone's calendar to look up the answer - and that's when I realize just how stupid that Camera Obscura purchase was...

Why did I buy tickets for a show on the first Monday in April?
The day that I know is always the day of the NCAA Men's Basketball National Championship?
The night I had been planning to officially unveil my new HDTV to my friends (something that will require it's own post later)?
Double whammy: The Camera Obscura show, when I made this tragic discovery 8 days before the show, was NOT sold out.

But all turned out right with the world on this one... The show sold out 5 days before the concert and I was able to sell them on Craigslist for exactly the same price that I had purchased them. That's important to me, now. Not only have I paid for more than face value for tickets on Craigslist, but I have also sold them at that inflated price. Worse, and this is bad for me to admit, I've been known to buy double the amount of tickets I want in order to "pay" for my ticket with the profit of the others. I just don't want to do that anymore. That's extra weight I no longer want on my conscience. The guy who I sold my tickets to told me I earned good ticket karma for my action (he knows there were posts on CL selling the same tickets for $10 more).

I actually ran into that same guy who I sold tickets to again after my most recent Lincoln Hall concert! That show was this past Thursday night. Speaking of shows selling out fast, the UK foursome (correction: now just a trio) known as The xx had their Lincoln Hall sell out extremely quick - but not quick enough for yours truly. Lincoln Hall even moved the time of my show back 90 minutes in order to squeeze in another sold out performance before my concert.

The opening act was jj. After multiple listens to their first album, I was looking forward to their set. What a disappointment. It's not good when the video presentation behind the act shows the song being performed with more emotion and connection than the actual live performance. It was almost to the point when I questioned their desire to even be present.

On the other hand, The xx was exactly what I was expecting. Only having one album out, I knew not only exactly which songs they would play but also that the set would be on the shorter side. The kids, and that's what they are - all of 'em more than ten years my junior, had very solid live performances of their songs that features subtle and interesting changes from the songs' album versions. Their self titled album was described by Greg Kot from the Sound Opinions podcast as a "minimalist pop classic" when discussing the best of 2009. How would I describe their sound? I call it the coolest junior high makeout party music you could ever hear. Yes, I know that's a crazy description seeing as how I have never been, and never want to go to, a makeout party.

So what's next for me?
Well, sadly - like I said before, it's not Yeasayer. But at that same venue of that show (Metro) on the very next night (Friday April 30), I'll be seeing Los Campesinos!

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