Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Why I Like the Movie Slapshot So Much: Ed Harcourt, Eulogies, and Army Navy @ Spaceland, June 4, 2008

Well, I was able to drag myself out of a dark, dark whole of work to get to a show last week over at Spaceland. If Ed Harcourt can come all the way from England to play here, then I can get myself to the club.

Here's a thought. Does Dewars own some kind of right to be the only alcohol that is offered for free or close to free around LA? It seems that ANY time I am out at a place that is their only drink special. Now, I don't mind the stuff. I have a pretty tolerable palate for most things alcohol- this coming from the person who in high school thought Rumplemintz was the shit. Anyways, I can drink the stuff, albeit mixed with some diet coke, but some of my other friends have such a negative reaction to it, grumbling phrases like "it tastes like socks" or "it tastes like band aids". It tastes like Scotch, not 60 year aged scotch, but scotch nonetheless (please feel free to tell me how little I know about being a scotch connoisseur below, really I'll totally appreciate it).

Right, so there was a show. Army Navy. I'm not sure where they are from, somewhere on this coast line I believe. My initial reaction was that they were non-offensive, happy, sunny indie rock. The lead singer had hints of Robert Schneider in his voice, although my friend who accompanied me this night stated that if he didn't remind her so much of Tobey Maguire she could not listen to him. Now, what I am about to say could, inevitably, stop all 5 of you from reading this blog anymore, HOWEVER, I will say it anyway. I was perfectly happy with the band until they did a cover of Maxine Nightingale's "Right Back Where We Started From"... then I loved them. This, technically, was the last full song listened to in my car before we parked for Spaceland. I make no excuses for loving that song so much, and they did a very nice cover, so I think it's justifiable that I sang along and decided to forget that all of them were wearing skinny jeans. If I hadn't had so much of a buzz on by the end of the night I would have checked to see if they had their EP for sale, cause I refuse to purchase anything off ITunes. I don't own an IPod so I don't see the point.

The second band, Eulogies (although I didn't catch their name once during the set so I had to go back and look it up), was hit or miss with me. Also, they kept alternating between a 3 piece and a 4 piece (one guy kept wandering off and on the stage). It was a lot darker in contrast to the first set. I am looking back at my notes now and noticing I was reference Voxtrot and Varnaline- although the latter I have no idea what I was thinking. I found I enjoyed their more energetic songs more, perhaps because it was provoking some more emotion from the band, myself, and the crowd.

My first thought when Ed Harcourt took the stage was that he reminded me of an old Timey apothecary and Josh Brolin's character in "No Country For Old Men". But then the voice coming out was British. Harcourt's music makes me think that not all piano based British bands have to suck. He is dark, funny, and a good storyteller by way of Waits and the like. Oh yeah, I'm making that comparison. Granted, there were several technical difficulties this night, but he waved them away with some chit chat. There was a 'full' band tonight as well, including a trumpet and violin. The combined effort of the 6 musicians though made it sound even 'fuller' than just 6 people. The songs were coming from his latest (although technically it was released in the UK TWO years ago) album, The Beautiful Lie, as well as other releases- I recognized "Born in the 70's" from 2004's Strangers. It was a good show, even if he didn't cover cheesy 70's songs.