Beer and Pavement

Girls

Posted in Live by SM on February 10, 2010

February 8, 2010 – Girls at The Blue Note, Columbia, MO

Rock shows. I used to see a lot of rock shows back in the day. I don’t see nearly as many these days. I certainly don’t see all the ones I should, but sometimes…sometimes I make my way out of the house for a rock show or two.

I used to also go to those shows to chase girls or possibly impress them1. Once, a girl (actually, very much a woman) licked my ear clean. (Well, a dude nearly did the same at another show2.) It was all girls, beer, and rock ‘n roll back in those days.

All three of those things have completely different meanings to me now. My partner is not a girl; she’s a woman, a womyn even. The only girl in my life is only 17 months old. The beer is certainly different these days as I have traded in swill for bourbon barrel-aged, dry-hopped, Brettanomyces, etc. as my bread-in-a-bottle. Some of that has to do with an increase in income, but it mostly has to do with the development of a finer palate.

The rock ‘n roll is the one thing that hasn’t changed. I still long for new records and to see a rock show that excites me. That may explain why I hit the Blue Note3 early for this one.

Upon entering, I could tell by the empty lobby that I had made a classic, newbie mistake of going to a show too early. The openers wouldn’t go on for 45 minutes. Since I am not too young and naive to make this mistake, the only reason for my unnecessary punctuality had to be my ever-advancing age4.

At one point, I was accosted by hipsters who somehow thought I was younger than I am. They wanted to talk about bands I had no time to hear. These hipsters couldn’t understand things like being a parent, an inability to stay out after 1 am, being married to a woman who didn’t like rock shows, Girls were a rock band, and Pavement5. So, I quickly slithered away, hoping that I didn’t have to explain myself to another dude in a scarf and 12 years my junior.

Bands started playing. Memphis’ Magic Kids opened. Throughout the set, I wondered why there were so many retro 50’s/60’s acts these days. Sure, they were peppy, even poppy, but it sort of turned old and a little played rather quickly. It was like I had heard this before…I know. My parents used to program the family car/van radio to all the oldies stations in Columbus and Dayton. I know every oldies song ever. That’s what these Magic Kids sounded like except without the legendary hit-makers in their midst. At least they were happy, very happy.

The originally scheduled openers Smith Western showed up way past their curfews6 to play your favorite teen grunge band hits. They were actually a breath of fresh air as they borrowed more from 20 years ago than 50. The venue swallowed them a bit, but I have to tip my hat to any band who shows up late after many hours on the road and plays without an ounce of fatigue. This band has promise.

At some point during SW’s set, I finally found a table of friends and acquaintances to keep me company and not make me feel so old7.

Girls came on and ripped through their set rather effortlessly. They played fresh and poppy at the start. The middle had the expected lull, but they finished strong. I was most appreciative of the two-song encore. It was way past my bedtime at this point.

Girls were good but not unexpected. Although it was a rock show I sought and received, it also contained the prerequisite forgettable openers, too green to be memorable. Those things were the same.

Maybe one of these days some band will help me remember what was like to be excited at a rock show again. That would be new and the same, but it would be welcome either way.

1It was mostly to see the rock show and ogle at young girls who were way out of my league. Ah, youth.
2OK, so the lick from the woman was unwanted. She asked for my last cigarette, which I produced as I had another pack in the car. She was a middle-aged groupie/photographer at a Guided By Voices show in Dayton, OH. The dude who licked my face was Eric Davidson of New Bomb Turks who were opening for…yes, you guessed it…Guided By Voices. However, this time it was the year prior at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus where Dime-Bag Darrell was shot.
3The Blue Note is the big rock show venue here in Columbia, MO, my current home.
4Which continues to advance in years come Thursday.
5A 23-year-old guy thought that Pavement was a super group of some sort. Well, if mean that they were super awesome and could conjure Satan in a young virgin’s womb by simply playing a single note, he would have been wrong. They aren’t a super group by any definition. They’re my favorite band and you may have heard something about a reunion tour this summer.
6Rumor had it they were all seven and that they had to wait for their mom to get back from the grocery to take them to the gig.
7They were all people who work with my wife and a spouse. They all get out more than I, so I’m not sure who made whom feel young.

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6 Responses

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  1. carriethewade said, on February 10, 2010 at 5:40 am

    This post makes me sad for you and those 23 year old idiots you ran into (1).

    of course, it was a Girls show, so what were you expecting? (2)

    1-This is why I feel I have to fight so hard to be credible, because most of the people my age–quite frankly–listen to music with no reference points (also note: I had a moment of swelling pride today when a 40-something guy on one of the online forums I frequent told me my musical depth gives him hope)
    2-I don’t care for Girls. (in multiple contexts)

  2. doublewordscore said, on February 10, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    I have tickets to see Girls on Friday. It’d be a long drive to get to the show–they’re playing in hours-and-hours-away Salt Lake City.

    Help me with my cost/benefit analysis. How many hours of driving would you put in to go to the show?

  3. builderofcoalitions said, on February 10, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    There are several factors to consider.

    First, how much do you like Album? If you love the record enough, there’s a chance they’ll play all your favorite songs from Album and that should make it a worthwhile show. Especially worth it is that “Lust for Life” song (not to be confused with Iggy Pop’s song by the same name). Sure, they don’t sing into penises like in their NSFW video, but it does make you think of a Super Bowl ad stealing another great indie song, aside from the boyfriend part…

    Second, it’s a dude who sings decent indie rock songs about liking boys. That doesn’t happen very often. Unless you’re homophobic, this makes for a good time.

    Third, the guy really reminds me of Dave Pirner and his wannabe dreadlocks. If you liked 90’s alt.country-turned-grunge-turned-back-to-alt.country, then you’ll enjoy this fact.

    Fourth, sometimes an epic trip to a concert through the snow is worth it for the potential blog posts. Case in point.

  4. doublewordscore said, on February 11, 2010 at 2:07 am

    I do like me some Girls. I bought a dildo to sing into Lust for Life, just in case.

  5. builderofcoalitions said, on February 11, 2010 at 2:20 am

    Well, then you should go if only for the opportunity to sing into a dildo.

  6. […] been some good talk around these parts lately. That hipster who hadn’t heard of Pavement struck a collective nerve. It seems young folks are as unaware of the context surrounding their […]


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