June 4, 2010
I heard an interview with the Futureheads on KEXP back when their first album was released in 2004, where they said that they figured the way they could make the most noise as a band was to have each band member sing each song at the same time. I’m not sure many groups outside of the a capella ghetto try that approach but it certainly lends itself to a big sound. While not a sell-out, the Futureheads drew a pretty good crowd to the Black Cat and were able to keep people interested in the new shit, although it seemed pretty clear, given the enthusiastic reception of the crowd to 2004’s “False Conversation” (from the self-titled album of the same year) that most of the audience was, like me, attending because they wanted to hear the old stuff. The band seemed to enjoy one another’s company, which is a rarity given that two of them are brothers. Also lead singer David Hyde has a early 1980s alternative British guy look about him that you don’t see too much anymore, like he could be one of the extras in the video for “Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before” and could bore the living shit out of you by complaining about Margaret Thatcher for a few hours straight if you had the misfortune to be stuck in a corner with him at a party. And more than likely the food at the party would suck balls because the hosts would be vegan, and consequently you would be like, Jesus, I need new friends, because look at this lame-assed party I ended up at.
Potsy and I noted that the area around the Black Cat continues to change rapidly and we’re starting to see the sort of people on 14th that you previously would only see south of Dupont, or in Georgetown maybe. I don’t get as up in arms about gentrification as others do—it’s a free country and people can live and hang out wherever they like—but you definitely get the sense that some essential shittiness that made the area interesting has been lost forever and that the Black Cat is probably on its way to becoming some sort of museum piece, like CBGB or something. Potsy even thought he saw a bro get iced while we were in there, which was fucking demoralizing to hear. Nevertheless, I was impressed that the Futureheads were able to energize the audience the way they did, because not only did it include the aforementioned 2004 nostalgiacs, but also a good amount of pikers and summer intern types who likely had no idea who the band was. Well done, Futureheads.
Going back to 2004, does anyone else agree with me that 2004-2005 was a golden age of music? I think we’ve gotten a little distance so I can make a grand, ridiculous statement like that. Look at the albums that came out in that period and tell me they weren’t awesome:
Sufjan Stevens, Illinois
The Futureheads, The Futureheads
Spoon, Gimme Fiction
Arcade Fire, Funeral
Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand
Air, Talkie Walkie
Mark Lanegan, Bubblegum
The Libertines, The Libertines
The Black Keys, Rubber Factory
Wolfmother, Wolfmother EP (am I a jackass for liking this? Someone tell me)
Neko Case, The Tigers Have Spoken
Fiery Furnaces, EP
New Pornographers, Twin Cinema
Maybe this is a symptom of my advancing age, but every time I hear new releases from the bands above, I find myself hankering for that 04-05 sound, and I keep not getting it.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010