Friday, March 16, 2007

Cedar Street Afternoon

“There’s nothing like being ridiculed by hipsters at 3 in the afternoon.” – Zach Galifianakis, cracking non-received jokes at Cedar Street’s day party

March 15 – Essential Listening:
Kenna – “Out of Control (State of Emotion)”
Youth Group – “Sorry”
Cold War Kids – “We Used to Vacation”
Bloc Party – “Song For Clay”
Maritime – “Parade of Punk Rock T-shirts”
The Fratellis – “Flathead”

It was a hot, sweaty day, especially if you happened to be a band member exiled to a day stage. So when I got the invite to check out Maritime at the indoor stage at Emo’s, I happily obliged. Despite being indoors, Maritime’s lead guitarist worked up quite a sweat letting loose on the guitar and cranking out some solid tunes.

In a little below ground stone patio, the Filter party strummed along happily – the party-goers in their faux-hip brightly colored finery. I must admit that I was lured to the party to see Kenna – the unlikely pseudo-star of Malcolm Gladwell’s thin-slicing treatise “Blink.” With the attitude of a hip-hop performer but with echoes of electronica and strong rock references, Kenna might not fall into any “category,” but delivers an impressive performance. If I was an agent, I’d do everything in my power to get him a slot as a Bloc Party opener – he has the right mix of energy and dancey-ness (if I can make up a word here) to pull it off.

A skinny balding man with a big backpack and a strange accent told me he was here to see Youth Group. He looked like a European mathematics grad student, and in a crowd that became mostly female toward the front of the stage, he definitely stood out. The girls were here to see the messily-cute Australian boys, who first scored big in the US with their remake of the Alphaville classic “Forever Young.” Youth Group seem to have two speeds: dreamily awake (“Daisy Chains,” “Start Today Tomorrow”) and surprisingly peppy (“Sorry”). I prefer the peppy.

Rounding out Filter’s afternoon was sleeper-sensation Badly Drawn Boy, who are out promoting “Born in the UK.”

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