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Monday, May 5, 2008

Tonight in Music: Dream Theater, Northern State and Team Gina, and Elbow

posted by on May 5 at 11:21 AM

Elbow - “Weather to Fly”
Elbow, Air Traffic
(Showbox at the Market) Generally speaking, when words like “majestic” and “magnificent” are used to describe a band, it means they’re pretentious and bloated. Add “prog” to the mix, and you’d be excused for running to the door—or the toilet. Somehow, Elbow manage to be all of that and still make music that’s warm, seductive, and real. Their brand-new album, The Seldom Seen Kid, is a knockout: the kind of record that holds you in its hypnotic, cinematic sway from start to finish. And speaking of seldom seen, it’s rare for Manchester’s Elbow to make a stateside appearance, so don’t miss the opportunity to fall under their grand and gorgeous spell. BARBARA MITCHELL
Northern State - “Girl for All Seasons”
Northern State, the Trucks, Team Gina
(Chop Suey) Can we all agree that, in the age of Ego Trip/VH1’s Miss Rap Supreme and Queen Latifah’s Cover Girl commercials and M.I.A., we are no longer shocked (shocked!) by the idea of female rappers? Good. So, sans any antiquated shock value, are Team Gina and Northern State worth messing with? (Excuse the Trucks from the rap discussion.) Scream Club scions Team Gina get an A for punch lines but maybe a B- or a C+ for delivery (not a terrible GPA, but not great). The duo’s rhymes are clever enough, but their cadences stay invariably locked to the beat, old-school ’80s hiphop–style, rather than maneuvering more complexly around their rhythms. Northern State’s latest album, Can I Keep This Pen?, released last year on Ipecac, deservedly garnered similar criticism. Hiphop has evolved; this shtick is retrograde. ERIC GRANDY
Dream Theater - “Forsaken”
Dream Theater, Opeth, Between the Buried and Me, Three
(WaMu Theater) I recently had a conversation with the director of a rock-band summer camp. The program brings teenagers with varying degrees of musical ability together and, with the guidance of musician counselors, helps them form bands. He spoke very highly of the experience, though the conversation took a sharp turn when he asked if I was familiar with Dream Theater. I admitted a vague familiarity. “I fucking hate Dream Theater,” he continued. “Our biggest problem kids are the ones who think they’re better musicians than everyone else, and they always cite Dream Theater as one of their favorite bands.” The Stranger’s music staff frequently deals with accusations of musical snobbery, but I submit that those who have this show marked on their calendars are the true elitists. BRIAN COOK

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RSS icon Comments


Wow, that Northern State song is kinda not-so- great.

Posted by Paulus | May 5, 2008 12:19 PM

Fucking embarrassing is more like it.

Posted by shub-negrorath | May 5, 2008 1:18 PM

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