Backing things up a bit, I have to mention that our Chicago getaway would not have been possible without my awesome cousin Zach and his girlfriend Carey. They were our hosts and guides and spoiled us rotten! And that's really the best way to review a show. Here goes Zach and Carey with my mini-cousin, Dearth Vader:
They are really cool and attractive. Thanks Zach and Carey!
We really had a blast both days of the festival and for the entire vacation.
On Saturday, we caught the end of the Metz set, and I really enjoyed it. I had never heard of them before, but it was a good live set, whoever they are. It was very hard rockin', which I love, of course. Generally, it was a little too energetic / effort-y for my regular rotation, but they had an endless jam at the end of the set that was full-on, and I always appreciate that.
After that we wandered over to Swans and vegetated for a while. Swans is great vegetating music. I didn't know much about Swans before I saw them, except they have been around forever and I've never seen them before or listened to them much. They used a lot of endless hypnotic riffs, simple at first and then more complex later on, and that was perfect for me at the moment. I watched the "Such Hawks Such Hounds" documentary that Dawg suggested in an earlier blawg, and there's one quote where some guy says "Sometimes you just want to play the same riff over and over again for 52 minutes," and brother, sometimes I wanna hear you play the same riff over and over again for 52 minutes, whoever you are. Fortunately this was the case on Saturday or I might have gotten irritated. Over the hypnotic repeating riffs, they had some cool tribal sounding vocals. I regret that I couldn't get close enough to see them because it sounded like they had some pretty wild instrumentation, and I was curious about whether any of it was synthetic. At one point I thought I heard a clarinet and then later on a marimba, for example. Their jams kept getting heavier and thicker, their ambient noise started screaming, and their songs just rolled into one another. I probably won't go buy their music, but it was a good experience.
Oh I also almost forgot that after Breeders we stayed to hear a bit of the Belle and Sebastian set. That was strange. I have a couple of their cd's from ancient times, and it's totally ok that they're so old now, time stops for no man, but there's something about seeing them live that made me feel sheepish. They have some lovely tunes, and their music is so positive and upbeat, I dunno... I guess it's something you can wash your car to, as my brother said, but then when you're standing there listening to them play live, you have to ask yourself, "Am I one of their fans?" And then even if you kind of are, you just don't want to be. Remember when people used to say, "that's gay," all the time? Well that phrase is highly offensive, but you get my point. It has nothing to do with homosexuality, so it shouldn't exist, but I've yet to find a suitable replacement for that phrase.
Oh and speaking of homosexuality, I meant to mention the point at which I started to feel like we were inspiring love everywhere we went. During Swans, I saw these two dudes kind of kissing in front of me, which was fine, whatever, but then Dawg pointed out to me this shirtless guy in a cowboy hat who was just Getting Down With His Bad Self. He was a dancing fool in a crowd of people sitting and standing still. Then I couldn't take my eyes off him. Until eventually I noticed that the ecstasy the dudes in front of us had apparently taken had kicked in because they were all shirtless and on top of each other making out all hard. Then I also suddenly realized that everybody probably wanted to relocate, which we did. It's fine, you know, but I don't really want to see anyone get beyond a certain level of intimacy in front of me. Unless, you know, I'm paying for it.