Sunday, November 05, 2006

My week in ROCK

My week in rock kicked off on Tuesday, when I headed out to Yonkers to check out the annual Murphy's Law Halloween show.



Maybe it suggests a sad state of affairs for NYHC when Murphy's Law can't even get a booking within the 5 boroughs for their Halloween show, but who knows. The show rocked pretty well though, with better than average openers for a hardcore show, reasonable drink prices, and Jimmy G dressed up like Satan, even more so than the flyer advertises. I was a little disapointed when I saw that the entire lineup had changed since the last time I saw them, Jimmy Gestapo aside, but they definitely made up for it once the performance started. I mean, how many bands open countless bottles of Jager and pass them out to everyone in the pit? How many bands follow this up by lighting fatty joints and passing them to everyone within reach? How many bands do all this while having a case of iced beers on stage, free for the grabbing? Just one, that's how many. The best thing about Murphy's Law has always been the fact that going to see them is a lot less like going to a concert and a lot more like going to a party, and this was no exception. Another great thing about them is that even though they're a mainstay in the hardcore scene, they were able to work in a 20 minute reggae ska jam and a ZZ top cover. Plus they covered "Straight Edge" by Minor Threat. Oh the silliness of the band that released the Back with a Bong album covering "Straight Edge". They pretty much played everything I could've wanted them too and even played their song "beer" twice. Some of the highlights are right here below, for your pirating pleasure.

"Woke Up Tied Up" by Murphy's Law
"Vicky Crown" by Murphy's Law
"Quest for Herb" by Murphy's Law
"Ska Song" by Murphy's Law


When I told my brother on Thursday that I was going to see the Decemberists the next night, his response was, "Oh cool, that should be pleasant." We had a nice laugh, and ya know, I figured that he had picked a good way to describe it. To my surprise, he was wrong. Maybe it helped that I had more than a few beers in my belly, maybe it helped even more that those beers were doing a two-step with a whole lotta gin. Either way, the show was the most fun I've had at a show in a long time. Colin was pretty good with the stage banter, even if some of it was repeat banter from the show NPR streamed on Monday night. Even if some of the stage banter was repeated, it was cool to see that they switched up the set list a bit, most noticeably throwing in "Myla Goldberg", which fits given the whole "unique new york" part. At one point, three of the band members went marching through the crowd, then cleared a large circle for (unfortunately, not a circle pit) a reenactment of the charge of the light brigade. There were some songs I really would've liked to hear, that I didn't, but that happens at almost every show.


I was kind of surprised at the lame crowd reaction to "Culling of the Fold" though, the crowd went crazy for it in D.C. on Monday. They were into it by the end, but it really didn't get the response that a song that intense should get. The show ended with the band beating on their instruments and running around on stage, while drummer John Moen sang "Just What I Needed" into random mics as he tried to avoid being tackled by Mr. Colin Meloy. Some highlights...


Sunday brought me to another end of the musical spectrum, when I went to the Met to see Puccini's Tosca.



When I was in middle school we had a music teacher who made us study a lot of opera. Granted this guy was a wackjob and in most respects he was a terrible teacher. He did spark my interest in the opera, however, so I have to give him that. Among my favorites were Pagliacci (which I'm going to try and see in January) and Tosca, so I was naturally pretty excited when I had the chance to go see the latter. The oppurtunity came through my great aunt Kath, who's been going to every series at the Met for the past 50 years, longer than it's been at its current location. Being a person who likes to convince myself that I know things about music, it's great to talk to her and get totally blown away by the wealth of knowledge she has in the genre. She can tell you what singers have performed which operas, who wrote the libretto, the synopsis, when it came to the met, everything. On top of all the knowledge dropping, she hooked me up with a seat in the sixth row, so I was right there for all the action. The three principals in the show -Andrea Gruber in the title role,
José Cura as her lover Mario Cavaradossi, and James Morris as the villian Scarpia- were all fantastic. Usually in opera, there aren't many rehearsals before a show. The singers are mostly familiar with the material already, so it's just a matter of them learning the direction and such. Since there's usually less rehearsal than a theatrical staging of any other kind, the chemistry can sometimes leave something to be desired. With these three, it couldn't be any more different from that norm. Their chemistry was incredibly, most notably in the second act. As Scarpia had Cavaradossi tortured, he calmly attempted to ply a confession from Tosca, and the result was one of the most chilling things I've ever experienced in the theater.


Here, Cavaradossi writes a farewell letter right before his execution, how fucking tragic!

Also, a Cigar Box Guitars myspace has been created. The douchipster and I have tossed around the idea of some blunted podcasting, so the myspace was created as a place to host those, should our half baked plan ever come to fruition. Since I'm starting a new job, there won't be any smokefests anytime soon, but if you want to go on myspace and befriend us, you'll be notified when something does happen.

Also also, I heard this new track from KRS-One today, linked up at Spine Magazine.





It's really disapointing to hear someone who claims to be as enlightened as KRS dropping homophobic rhymes. I guess being "Spiritually Minded" includes adhering to God's vision of marriage.

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