Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Mars Volta at University of Irvine

I had a buddy visiting from New York and we went to this show together. I have admired these guys for a while now and the show was nothing short of amazing. There were about 5000 people watching and the band killed it. Cedric was so engaging he somehow managed to shrink the basketball stadium to a 10x10 room and the guitars, keys, and percussion are relentless in that - I need to close my eyes to figure out what exactly is happening here - way. These guys are so true and so well schooled it is something to behold. One of those live bands that you just need to talk about but can't because there really are not words to express how innovative and huge they seem to be. So why am I still writing. I can't stop! AHHHH. The only thing I missed was Jon Thoedore behind the drums.

After the show Juan, Omar, and Cedric asked my buddy to hangout (I guess they are friends... it was news to me?). I reluctantly tagged along expecting the typical retarded backstage antics and weird comingling of groupies and industry scavenging for bits of carrion to post to their blogs or notch on their belts. HA!... irony. So anyway, we wound up hanging out with them for 4 hours after the show. It was totally normal. Just friends and family. No groupies or industry in sight. Which just furthered my admiration and respect for everything they have accomplished.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Louis XIV and Hot Hot Heat at the Wiltern

These guys have been my dirty little secret for a while now. When the CD turned up in my car I blamed it on my girlfriend... When I was humming "milkshake... milkshake..." I convinced myself it was some sort of Pavlovian tick. Then on Feb. 9th I decided to see just how glamorous I was. I bit the bullet and attended a Louis XIV show. To my horror the bill was shared by the Hot Hot Heat. But I saw it as a true test of my musical orientation. It was a crux. In my mind the pendulum would swing to ascot and white jeans or hoody and vans.

To be fair Louis XIV were pretty good. The show was entertaining they simply played the songs with very little in between. The guitars sounded amazing which I know is no small feat. I am sure they spent years dialing in their sound. They were solid. Was it like the first time I saw the Afghan Whigs? Absolutely not. Was it good though? Yes. The Hot Hot Heat were not my thing and seemed to be one of those bands that made me realize how much my feet hurt and how long I have been standing.