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Monday, June 4, 2007

On Mediocrity:

posted by on June 4 at 11:44 AM

posted by Jeff Kirby

I tried to convince some friends to go with me to the show at the Trashies house around 10:00 Saturday night, but everyone was too tired to want to go out. “Sorry man,” they told me, thinking they were ruining my night. “Not to worry,” I responded, I didn’t need them to come along to have a good time - I had friends I knew would already be there.

I didn’t know anyone at the show. All of the friends I was sure to see absolutely weren’t there. I drank half a beer awkwardly milling around looking for acquaintances, then handed the bottle to a Trashie (already double fisting) and took off.

I got home expecting tired friends to still be hanging out, waiting to welcome me back in my failure, but they all had left. Sulking to my empty room, I resigned my Saturday night to killing giant bugs on my X-Box and drinking beers alone. My roommate Endless Mike came downstairs to see what I was doing, and noticing my sad state invited me along with him and his girlfriend Sheena if I felt like it. They were going to “Some bar in Fremont to see a band” for Sheena’s sorority sister’s birthday. This was a tough decision: X-Box, beer, and mild loneliness, or unknown bar, band and sorority girls. I decided it had been too long since I got drunk with strangers and jumped in the back of Endless Mike’s car.

Fremont was way more happening than I would have expected. Every bar we passed was filled to capacity with lines coming out the doors. Patios were crammed, smokers virtually sharing one giant cigarette. I learned our destination was the High Dive, where KEXP was putting on some sort of a benefit show. I had been listening to the live feed earlier that evening in my car, and was shocked at how awful the band was. It was the type of music you turn to KEXP to escape from, not to hear. The band was, if this is even possible, trying to out-Sublime Sublime, fusing together reggae, funk, rock and punk like a body stitched together with all the limbs in the wrong places. I couldn’t wait to hear what the rest of the show had to offer.

We killed some drinks at the much less crowded bar next door and met up with the sorority girls. Two of them, blonde and wearing virtually the same outfit in different colors, were both named Amy. Easy enough. We got in line at the High Dive.

The headlining band had just started. The door guy let us in for half price but not for free since it was a charity event. I asked what the charity was and he said something about youth. I chanted, “USA! USA!” as I handed him three dollars and made my way to the bar. The band that was playing was instantly terrible, and it didn’t take long for me to realize that Mob Law, the headliners, were the same terrible band I heard on the radio earlier that night. Their music defied shirts, and looking at the sweaty front-men I was magically whisked away to a BOD-Man fragrance commercial from years past. During songs I was berated with a constant, “Make some fucking noise!” to which the audience was always more than willing to comply. The drummer spat out reggae flows, the occasional “Budda-bup-bup-bup-BUP!” The guitarists chanted choruses everyone seemed to know. The bar was full, people were dancing and having a great time, and it seemed me, Endless Mike and Sheena were the only people who noticed how mediocre the band was. I looked at the patrons; of the first five men I saw, three had goatees. I turned to the man next to me waiting for a drink. “What do you think of this band?” I asked. “Mob Law? These guys are fucking AWESOME!!! They’re the whole reason I came out tonight!” His goatee was full and well manicured.

Then from the stage came something I didn’t expect, but was not surprised by: “Ladies and gentlemen, MR BLAKE LEWIS!!!” He joined in on the next song, reggae-scatting, making sounds appropriate to the genre. Everyone screamed like crazy and he waved appreciatively as he left the stage. It was then that I was struck by the power of Mob Law. More people know Blake Lewis than most of the presidential candidates, and he was willing to join this band on stage and share his shining light with them. Millions of Americans love Blake Lewis. Millions of Americans would love Mob Law. They are a sorority girl’s birthday party; they are two blondes wearing the same outfit with the same name. I’ve never watched a full episode of American Idol. I drank faster.

Outside the bar Endless Mike and I made up a song called “Knife Rhythm” and danced around each other like in the Beat It video. The sorority girls asked me to take their picture and I demanded that they be jumping and hi-fiving in it. After three unsuccessful shots, blonder Amy accused me of trying to focus the pictures on her breasts. I bought a 24 of Mexican beer from the corner store at 2:03am and was driven to the after-party – at the house of the UW baseball team on Greek Row. The athletes were sprawled out on their many couches, cranking 90s R&B and watching Sportscenter with the volume off. I was out of place once again, but I rolled with it. I challenged the 3rd baseman to darts and drank until they made me go home.

RSS icon Comments


Jeff Kirby? Of Old Thunder? One to speak?

Posted by c-lob | June 4, 2007 12:15 PM

yay for mediocrity! nights like these make the fireworks chainsaw in the washing machine nights even better...

Posted by exploding high five | June 4, 2007 12:17 PM

All in the eye of the beholder, I guess.

Posted by Jeff Kirby | June 4, 2007 12:55 PM

Finally...someone speaks the truth about Mob Law and the rest of the pseudo-reggae crap that's been polluting the local live scene for the last couple years.

Posted by Sick of local pseudo-reggae crap | June 4, 2007 12:57 PM

White guys with dreads are the worst. There should be some sort of ordinance against that.

Posted by tstack | June 4, 2007 1:01 PM

It is true; The Mob Law are terrible. For what it's worth, Peter Parker, who played right before TML, were fucking awesome.* The High Dive reeked like an Axe body spray commercial; when Mona Parker asked if people in the crowd liked Axe, and bunch of people started whooping, she immediately said "please stop."

* Full disclosure: I book for Peter Parker.

Posted by matt garman | June 4, 2007 1:16 PM

Thanks for the link, c-lob. That is some pretty stuff! Yes, he is one to speak.

Posted by Levislade | June 4, 2007 1:45 PM

Who stays at a show they can't stand? He did it to himself.

Posted by Jason Josephes | June 4, 2007 3:10 PM

I'm so glad I went to the Brian Kenney Fresno show that night instead. By the way JJ, good job with the sound.

Posted by Hernandez | June 4, 2007 3:23 PM

surely u dont mean the same Mob Law bigged up on American Idol by BLAKE LEWIS?

Posted by lar | June 4, 2007 4:38 PM

deezam! i didnt see the paragraph that made my comment so redundant. awkward!

Posted by lar | June 4, 2007 4:43 PM

I went to the same show and I thought it was incredible. The mob law brought in more people than all the other acts combined (times two). Nice job booking.

Posted by rtsr | June 5, 2007 8:31 AM

Typical Stranger. Everybody digs a band, but because they are not some British emo hipster group you have to knock them. Everybody had a good time but you. Why you gotta hate?

Posted by Lumpy | June 5, 2007 11:57 AM

LOL at "British emo hipster group".
Hey Jeff, get a clue, If you don't like shitty white dude reggae, youre such a SNOB!

Posted by greg | June 5, 2007 1:48 PM

I lied in my post: I only had a bad time because I yelled out "PLAY 40oz TO FREEDOM!" and they didn't. I know they heard me, and I KNOW they know how to play it, but they didn't. Instant bad review.

I probably wouldn't have had a much better time at a Bloc Party show.

Posted by Jeff Kirby | June 5, 2007 2:09 PM

It is editorials like this that keep the unpaid intern, unpaid.

Posted by D Wolfg | June 5, 2007 3:35 PM

It is editorials like this that keep the unpaid intern, unpaid.

Posted by D Wolf | June 5, 2007 3:35 PM

From listening to your music and knowing the kind of crowd that goes to a mob law show, I doubt you were talking much smack at the show.

Posted by idoubtit | June 5, 2007 3:42 PM

Ohhh, hear that, Jeff? Mob Law's army of jocks is gonna beat you up for not liking the music they like. You have now truly arrived as a music critic.

Posted by Eric Grandy | June 5, 2007 4:34 PM

For the record, I wasn't critical of his judgement of Mob Law (though inarticulate and unfounded), I was more concerned with his poor storytelling.

Posted by D Wolf | June 5, 2007 4:43 PM

I was not implying that TML fans were aggressive types that would have a beef with someone disliking the music, quite the opposite in fact. I find the TML's fans to be really friendly and open, i was referring to the plethora of female fans that follow Danny, Caleb, and Jarrod to all their shows. What should not be lost is that Jeff did a fine job of describing his experience and that we definitely agree that TML has mass appeal. He thinks it is a bad thing. I think it is a good thing. I think that TML will be the next big band to break from seattle.

Posted by idoubtit | June 5, 2007 5:05 PM

"I think that TML will be the next big band to break from seattle."


Posted by greg | June 5, 2007 7:18 PM

Clearly, "greg," you have never been to a mob law show.

Posted by Whatever | June 5, 2007 7:59 PM

Posted by Whatever | June 5, 2007 8:02 PM

Now that i've been to their myspace and am more acquainted with their music, i apologize for jumping to conclusions and making accusations of bad reggae. i admit my reaction was based solely off of the unpaid interns description.

Rock/Hip Hop/Acoustic is the new grunge.

Posted by "greg" | June 5, 2007 8:33 PM

Hey greg, admit that you liked it.

Posted by MobLawFan | June 5, 2007 8:49 PM

i actually work for The Mob Law, and i go onto the internets and download comments and start "flame wars" so that people will defend The Mob Law, and everyone will see how many fans The Mob Law have, and then they'll like them too because everyone likes The Mob Law!

Posted by greg | June 5, 2007 9:45 PM

Jeff, it sounds like you really need a friend or two.

Posted by JJ | June 7, 2007 3:55 PM

not everyone is pleased by every genre of music, so thats understandable. but as for all you sniveling, lame-ass, whiney indie pop douche bags that constantly critique but can't pump anything better... maybe if you want to see change you should create it. cuz from what i see, your the same crowd that just stands there in the crowd, afraid to move, or dance, for fear someone other than yourself judge you for your cookie cutter indie look and comb-over hair. go ahead and embrace your witty comments and satire filled sarcasms, they are hollow just like you. insecurity is a frightening thing isn't it? and while you judge, the rest of us are having fun...

Posted by c-leb | June 8, 2007 3:24 PM

went to this band on accident once: lots of hot, boring girls. douche up your look and buy shots of garbage and it is pretty easy to score.

yes, the music is terrible

Posted by Lloyd Llewellyn | June 10, 2007 2:53 PM

holy-shit... regardless of how you feel about the music, (which leads me to believe you let your friends and colleagues choose for you) since when does anybody whine about hot girls who drink? and somehow i seriously doubt you scored...especially using a daniel clowes comic book character name... LOL

Posted by c-leb | June 11, 2007 10:04 AM


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Posted by Bill | June 12, 2007 12:53 PM


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Posted by Yfest | June 18, 2007 12:18 AM


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