Thursday, March 19, 2009

March Madness

I'm not sure if charz2k still does good old-fashioned concert reviews anymore, but I'll try throwing one out there. This post involves a concert AND a decent roadtrip, hence the March Madness title. I don't like basketball enough to write about it.

I caught the Black Lips last night in Lawrence, KS, which was obviously a good show. Lawrence is four hours away, so I started out at noon yesterday. There is a local radio station that was awesome in 6th grade but not too grand these days; nevertheless, they do a "Flashback Lunch" hour from 12-1 which is pretty cool and it was a rare time that I got to hear all the old songs that you completely forget but miraculously come right back to your memory. Yesterday's program included Green Day's "Nice Guys Finish Last"; the Breeders' "Last Splash"; Eels' "Novocaine for the Soul"; and Weezer's "My Name is Jonas." It was a good start to the trip.

So the road up to Lawrence is just two lane highway pretty much all the way, which is awesome. I like looking at the country and going through all the little old towns. Check out the sweet courthouse building in Ottawa, KS; I totally pulled a Garz to stop and take a photograph:

Anyways, I got to Lawrence and found a pretty tasty Italian place to eat at, and the waitress knew of a good record store that I hit up before the show, which was at the Bottleneck, a bar/hole-in-the-wall type joint. Simply put, I'm jealous of you guys who will get to see them at SXSW, because we all know how good they are. Things kicked off with "Sea of Blasphemy," which, along with "Fairy Stories," "Buried Alive," and "Juvenile," I think sounds ten times better live than on record. The high points for me were "Short Fuse," which comes across as slightly more "punk" rather than "Nuggets" sounding like on the new album, and of course "Cold Hands," which is arguably their best song. My new favorite live song is "Time of the Scab," which is in Spanish and involves Jared shouting out Spanish phrases right before the guitars kick in with their main lick. I don't know Spanish so when I sing in the car I have to make up my own phrases ("Tostitos!"; "Arriba!"; "El Garzo!"). Other songs that I normally don't like that much, like "Hippie, Hippie, Hoorah," are completely enjoyable live by the time Cole adds all his useless, pointless sound effects and theatrics.

My only bears to give to this show were that I don't think they played as long as they normally would, because they had to get on the road to SXSW, which was kind of a bummer. Other than that, I think they remain my favorite current band. Despite their stage antics, in seeing them twice now I never have felt like they are gimmicky. It would almost seem disingenuous if Cole didn't get on stage wearing a white smock and a buckle-at-the-front pilgrim hat.

Anyways, I started my drive back to Oklahoma this morning, and what seemed to be crackling through the static on my radio right around Coffeyville, KS? Another Flashback Lunch? What luck: the Cult's "She Sells Sanctuary"; Poe's "Angry Johnny"; "Longview" and "Rock the Casbah" were the highlights (in contrast, the first song after the Flashback Lunch was something by the All-American Rejects). 4.5 anti-bears / 2.1 bears (no "Boomerang"?)


Eric said...

did they play "not a problem"?

J said...

i'm almost positive they did, i remember thinking of that guitar line on the way home and realizing i didn't have that cd