August 25, 2002

Smash Yr Head

It was time for my indie-rock flashback last night at the Knitting Factory, where I was there to see Jason Loewenstein. Yeah, he played some Sebadoh songs, but that wasn't really the draw for me even though my affinity for that band stretches back a long ways. I was there based on the strength of his new album, At Sixes and Sevens, which has been a pleasant surprise. Dang, these are crunchy, hook-fillled songs! Of course "Codes" and "Casserole" and "Circles" push all the right pop buttons, but there's even a little post-punk guitar skronk lite mixed in for good measure, as in the recurring bit that opens "Angle" (an homage to Josef K's "The Angle"? Nah...).

Live, I knew that I was in for a Rock Show. I'd seen Sebadoh enough times to know that pop would have to more than share the stage with hardcore, sludge-rock, some pointless guitar wankery and the like. And -- hey! -- some of that I enjoy. A girl cannot live on pop alone.

He opened with "I'm A Shit" then moved right into the poppiest number ("Casserole"), before mixing it up a bit later in the set. I'd nabbed one of those theater seats along the front edge of the balcony which afforded a perfect perch from which to observe the band and the crowd. One thing I gotta say: indie-rock boys, un-root yr feet from the floor! Is it just me, or does no one dance at shows anymore? Spastic arm-flailing or disco-boogieing not required here, just enough enthusiasm to show that you're digging the music. I left my seat to go downstairs about 3/4 of the way through cuz I was getting a bit antsy just sitting in my chair. I can't deal with listening to some of the really noisy stuff at home while sitting on my couch, but having it blast from the stage live in a rock club with a Woodchuck cider in my hand -- hell, yeah!

Posted by nstop at August 25, 2002 07:31 PM


(Okay, I moved this last bit here into the comments, cuz it's just too silly)

Oh, and here's a funny lil' bit that I almost missed:

Maybe halfway through, the snare drum breaks or otherwise becomes unusable, so Jason sez, looking out towards the crowd, "Bob's snare drum is no good, maybe the opening band would let us use theirs?" About a beat later, someone from the audience yells out, "Bob Fay!" Jason squints towards the person who said that and just says a short, bemused, "No." Because of course Jason's drummer is not ex-Sebadoh drummer Bob Fay, something which would be highly unlikely, to say the least. Anyway, I was probably like one of three people in the club who caught that, but I just had to share...

Posted by: nstop on August 26, 2002 12:33 AM

is "skronk" an actual term for a guitar sound, or did you just make it up? viva onomatopoeia!

Posted by: martin on August 26, 2002 02:49 AM

While I am unclear as to the exact etymology of the word "skronk," I have either read or heard it used before, probably in the context of free jazz. It just popped into my head.

Funny, just a few days ago I tossed out the word "electro" to describe in part an early Spizzenergi single (as a secondary modifier to "punk"), but apparently that one has a more precise definition cuz I got a weird response questioning my use of the term. Or maybe it was just too close to "electro-clash" (ugh, ugh, ugh! re: that label).

Posted by: nstop on August 26, 2002 02:01 PM

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