Sunday, March 18, 2007

Lost in Beerland

It was St. Patrick’s day and everyone was out in full force, celebrating their Irish pride (or at least their beer-loving pride) by wearing green, drinking beer, and stumbling from bar to bar. In an effort to avoid the maddened thousands, I attempted to explore the lesser-known options.

March 17 – Essential Listening:
Malajube – “Montreal -40 C”
Takka Takka – “Draw a Map”
The Black Lips – “Boomerang”
Kings of Leon – “The Bucket”
Spoon – “I Turn My Camera On”
The Walkmen – “Louisiana”
Classic pick: The Stooges – “I Wanna Be Your Dog”

On the outside patio of La Habana the guest list line for the Nylon party wandered up toward the street, and inside the gate there was a full house awaiting a set from The Fratellis. Performing on the indoor stage was Takka Takka, who gave a solid effort with their harmonica-infused melodies. Disappointingly, The Fratellis played a rather passionless sit-down acoustic set – meaning that only a few people at the very front could actually see the band, and leaving the rest of us to wonder if they were actually here on the patio, or if we were just listening to a recording. “Flathead,” was of course, the big song everyone wanted to hear, but for my time, it would have been better to just watch the iPod commercial again.

Emo’s was killing me with the hand stamps this week. Seriously, I’m pretty sure some of that dark purple un-washable ink has leaked into my bloodstream. I was looking for a show, so I stepped into Emo’s Main Room, and suddenly realized that I was the oldest person there. I had a good five years on anybody else in the room. Kids in all of their faux-emo 17-year-old adolescent glory packed the place to see Cute is What We Aim For – who, from what I gathered, take their place along side acts like Gym Class Heroes and Fall Out Boy. (They have a track, “There’s a Class For This” on the just-released Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie soundtrack.) The hearts of all the young girls were a-flutter as Cute’s leader remarked how hot it was with his long-sleeved shirt on, and while all the boys stood their awkwardly, I ran for the door, trying to rub the dark purple goop off my wrist.

I wound up in Beerland, a dark netherland of a club, just before Stubb’s, where the Black Lips were readying their set. I’d heard that Black Lips shows could get crazy, and when the trio unleashed their dirty southern sound, the crowd dug in. Both the band and fans slurred and threw beer cans and people in front of the stage jumped up and down, drenched in sweat. A photographer snapped dozens of pictures, and when he headed back into the crowd to grab some girls and start a sloppy mosh pit, I once again knew it was time to get out.

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