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Monday, July 23, 2007

“You’re So Gangsta…I Miss You”

posted by on July 23 at 12:00 PM


Chromeo, Flosstradamus @ Sing Sing, the War Room, 07/20/07

Sing Sing’s one year anniversary party with Chromeo and Flosstradamus was every bit as insane as expected. The War Room was sold-out, packed, and hot—if you’ve never seen an electro funk mosh pit, consider yourself lucky—but it was still a total blast. Chromeo sounded superb, played tight, and looked slick. Dave 1 started almost every song with a huge grin, looking as stoked to be there as anybody. A brief scuffle broke out in the crowd, but he defused it with cool calm, reminding everyone that Chromeo was all about love. Flosstradamus delivered a fun set as well, mixing at a more leisurely pace than I remember from their last Sing Sing appearance, lingering on bits of Chicago house, and dropping the odd exclusive track or remix.


Slint @ the Showbox, 07/21/07

On Saturday night, Slint performed their masterwork, Spiderland, at the Showbox. A decent crowd showed up, but nowhere near sold-out, which was a welcome contrast to the previous night. Slint took the stage as a five piece and, without a word, ambled into “Breadcrumb Trail,” with the crowd cheering at the first note struck. The band stood stock still most of the time, singer/guitarst Brian McMahan hiding behind the amps on the side of the stage when not singing or playing guitar, and they rarely spoke between songs. Regardless, their fans went nuts, hollering, raising their fists, and even slamming around for all the appropriate crescendos. The climactic “I miss you” of “Good morning, Captain” gave me all the right chills.

Other critics have written about Slint representing an older era of indie rock, in which audiences were satisfied with less of a show than, say, the bombast and costumery of the Arcade Fire. And Slint are definitely reserved performers, but watching them, and listening to the music, it struck me that, while some bands get theatrical on stage, Slint suggest theater just with their music and their monologues. It’s a different approach, but it’s no less dramatic. Update: I had meant to mention this, but forgot until wise old Nipper pointed it out in the comments. The lack of theatrics in the indie rock of Slint’s era could be seen as both an ideological rejection of hair metal excess and just a practical issue of not having the money for such extraneous stuff. Good point, Nips.

Here’s hoping the band follow up their live shows with some new recorded material (maybe they can finally audition PJ Harvey for that female vocalist gig).

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those critics who say Slint represents an "older" indie generation which didn't need "theatrics" must not have been there to have seen the Jesus Lizard, the Cows, Unsane (w/Charlie), the Dwarves, Lubricated Goat, for the costumes, the late '80s and '90s were still washed in (ahem) punk "ethics" and most everyone involved was dirty poor, and therefore with OUT any benefit of a fucking "stylist". Costumes were left to the hair metal pricks.

Posted by nipper | July 23, 2007 12:27 PM

Nevertheless, Nipper, Slint were definitely on the cusp of shoe-gazing. Who knows, though, no one saw them before they broke up which happened before Spiderland was released.

Posted by Matt from Denver | July 23, 2007 8:43 PM

but it's the Slint "older era" that is said to have been lacking...which is bullshit, dig the short list above...MfD, did you get to see The Jesus Lizard?!? C'mon! And @ the time no one considered Slint to be Shoe Gazers, they weren't English or (ha ha!) Sonic Youthy enough...really, Slint were on their lonesome...NO ONE sounded like Slint.

Posted by nipper | July 25, 2007 3:34 PM

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