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Monday, December 31, 2007

Losing It

posted by on December 31 at 21:34 PM

In this Stranger Suggest item about BOAT, who were on the bill for Harvey Danger’s second annual last show ever at Neumo’s, I mentioned BOAT’s “let’s-just-have-a-fun-time attitude.” I was trying to describe (and didn’t really get at it) the energy of a BOAT show. They play loud and strong and true, like a lot of indie rock I guess, and maintain this attitude even when they’ve fucked up a chord progression or whatever. Matter of fact, frontman D. Crane’s way of just sort of losing it as he’s singing, shaking his face, sliding up into falsetto, as if he’s being overcome by feeling or being electrocuted—it almost suggests that losing it, fucking up, the occasional overwhelming paroxysm is part of the point.

What I’m trying to say is, their set was messy and full of gaffes and charming. “They’re fun,” the girl in front of me said. D. Crane’s microphone stand was having issues, and kept dipping toward the ground as he sang, so that sometimes he had to bend over to keep his mouth close to it. Once or twice they started a song over. Occasionally someone would hit the wrong note and someone would point to them and smile, and then the person would get it right and get the go-with-that nod. A fuck-it-we’re-just-having-fun nod. There was one point at which D. Crane stood up on something as if to jump into the crowd, and some people in the crowd raised their hands as if to catch a stage dive, but then Crane decided to jump backward back onto the stage and instead landed awkwardly on the drums.

They just kept going. Here’s a picture taken with my famously not-good camera phone.


After BOAT’s set someone I happened to stand next to in the bathroom loudly declared BOAT’s songwriting “artless,” saying that the songs could’ve been written by a computer. I didn’t say anything, but it seemed to me that (1) that wasn’t entirely true, and (2) that he’d missed the point.

Anyway, then Harvey Danger went on and, with reference to the fact that their first album came out in 1998 and we were now entering 2008, played their entire first album start to finish. The crowd roared.

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oh man, i wishi saw h.danger do that album.

"problems and bigger ones" got to me at exactly the right time. i don't normally go in for emo rock (publicly), and i know that the big guitar wash is a cheap thrill, but goddamn i love that song. i love that album.

i haven't listened to it in years.

Posted by ndrwmtsn | January 2, 2008 11:01 AM

Problems and Bigger Ones was very cool, and afterwards Sean Nelson claimed to have invented Emo through that song. I have to say, as a die-hard Harvey fan, Sean Nelson really needs to calm down with the jazz hands. My girlfriend actually said at one point that the gig was better if you didn't actually watch them play the songs. Anyway, they're apparently doing a couple of shows in March when they'll be playing all three albums back to back, which could be interesting.
And it's tragic that this article didn't address the amazing show that is/was "awesome". When seven slightly older guys take to the stage and only one of them is holding a guitar amongst the trumpets, clarinets, saxophones, mandolins, banjos etc etc etc you may panic, but it was so much fun and so funny that I will be going to see them again soon!
Boat were cool though, and they are ridiculously nice guys too, even as they got pushed around in the drug/alcohol fuelled mosh pit that started near the back of the room.

Posted by Barky | January 2, 2008 11:08 AM

lol @ jazz hands

Posted by ndrwmtsn | January 2, 2008 3:40 PM

Eh, I wasn't too excited about that first album thing. Call me a...well, I don't know what you'd call me, but I can't stand the first one, and love the third. I might try and be there again if they were playing Little by Little start to finish.

And yes, Awesome is always wonderful. I see them play whenever I can.

Posted by Lythea | January 3, 2008 1:54 AM

All the bands were fun. I think BOAT was the funnest. Dude fell down and got back up.

Posted by kingjames | January 3, 2008 12:06 PM

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