whatever happened to my rock 'n roll?

thursday night, lee’s palace, black rebel motorcycle club. two bands in support: the exploders (i think) and the carnations. mike and i skipped the exploders and showed up a few minutes before the carnations took the stage. if only we’d known, we could’ve stayed at our respective homes and watched the last period of the wings/hurricanes.

first, the crowd: brmc is heavy enough that there were skids (which, inevitably, led to devil signs), glam enough that there were teenyboppers and brooding enough to bring out the shoegazers in fake army jackets. the place was packed, though; one big multicultural family.

but let’s talk about the carnations, shall we? i first saw them some time ago, when they followed white van speaker scam onto the stage at the now (effectively) defunct el mocambo. midway through their first song we decided to leave, as they sucked it loud and hard. and when i say sucked, this is what i mean: as near as i can figure, an evil scientist has built a giant vacuum cleaner that sucks talent and flair and placed sloan in front of it. what has come out is a band called the carnations. i’m not even a big fan of sloan, so this should tell you how very vile the carnations were.

guys, that whole my-eighties-tshirt-is-so-uncool-it’s-cool, i-haven’t-washed-my-beddy-beddy-bed-bed-hair-in-days look is done. over. you want people to believe you’re cool and not just a bunch of posers? learn to play some real fucking music instead of spending all your time shopping in kensington market. this was the thought going through my head as the singer droned out, “it’s a miracle of science that you’re still here.” yeah. no fucking shit.

and guys, i’m a drummer. or, rather i was. but it’s like drinking: once you’ve been an alcoholic, you’re one forever. thus, to the chagrin of my friends and colleagues, i tap incessantly. i’ll tap along with anything that’s making a beat: loud music from a nearby car, washing machines, whores downstairs, pepsid ac commercials…you name it. but guys…last night i wasn’t tapping during your set. at all. wait, wait, that’s a lie; i did find myself tapping once, but it was to a different song. see, i wanted to psychologically withdraw from what you were inflicting on us (it wasn’t unlike a mugging, dear reader…they’d taken my money and were hurting me terribly) that i’d begun to sing frank black‘s “(i want to live on an) abstract plain” in my head, and was drumming along with it. but the horrible wailing brought me back to the abyss, and i just had to ride it out. i looked back over my shoulder at mike, and he appeared to be making a valiant attempt at transcendental meditation, but the frustrated look on his face told me that it hadn’t worked. too bad, ’cause it would’ve been cool. finally, mercifully, it ended and the bad men went away. mike’s comment: “i’ve never before seen a band that made me dumber.” well put, michael.

brmc took the stage around 11:45 and let fly with “red eyes and tears”. all in all the show was good, though unremarkable. they played each song on the cd (except “too real”, i think) and five new ones. the highlight was definitely “whatever happened to my rock n’ roll (punk song)”, and they nearly had another stunner with the final song of the encore – “salvation” – but they went on this long rambling bass solo that lost the crowd after rolling up the tempo just moments before. they should’ve just ended with that bang, but they wouldn’t let it die and the crowd mentally went home before the show ended. oh well. i think i would’ve enjoyed them more had the wanknations not opened for them.

not a bad show for $18.50, i guess. i think mogwai spoiled me. hopefully the white stripes (two weeks from tomorrow) will re-affirm my faith in things.

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