The toll of a month of concerts really hit hard in the last week. That is to say, it's never
a good thing when you diet consists solely of Taco Bell and energy drinks. With that said, I found that cheesy bean & rice burritos go rather nicely with raspberry turbo tea.
September 26th presented an unforeseen problem: my radio show, which runs 10pm to midnight on Wednesdays (on WMRE.fm...tune in!). With none of the late night venues having shows, that confined my concert-going-time to earlier than ten. So, I took one for the team and went down to the Variety to see Animal Collective....'s opener, Tickly Feather. I was not exactly impressed. I wish I had seen the Animal Collective show, though, as we've gotten wildly conflicting reports, ranging from "selt-indulgent" to "transcendent." Were you there? What did you think?
Regardless of what you thought of it, I can guarantee that my radio show was better!
Shameless, delusional self-promotion aside, I still had four concerts to see, starting with one final September trip to the Drunken Unicorn for Deerhunter and No Age. Ironically, given the lack of late-night music the night before, Deerhunter came on too late for me (you can become immune to energy drinks apparently), but No Age provided me with enough chaotic rock for one evening. Noise is the new guitar solo, and No Age's intense set showed off how cool that trend can be when done right. With their Sub Pop contract freshly inked, these guys are one to watch.
By the 28th, my exhaustion and lack of proper nourishment were plainly apparent. Fortunately, a cure was in sight. No, not the end of the month...Akron/Family! Even though it required a flight to Boston to see them, Akron/Family did not disappoint, rejuvenating me and absolutely bringing down the house at Harper's Ferry. Akron completely enthralled a crowd that was far and away the biggest I'd seen them get. Even the stoic indie kids were dancing and jumping by the end of the set. Miles, Seth, Dana and their pals Megafun and Greg Davis ended the night at 2:30 am, singing, a capella, the Dead's "I Know You Rider." And I do miss Akron/Family now that their tour has gone from the U.S. You don't have to see them seven times a year like I do, but, seriously, folks, go see this band. They're not for everyone, but if they do click with you, it's positively joyous.
In the wake of that fabulous show, I received bad news, the Mountain Goats show I was planning to see in Northampton was canceled! Bummed about missing one of my favorite bands, I was heartened by the ease with which I found a replacement: Fujiya & Miyagi. So, after taking in a Red Sox game, I made my way to the Middle East. After having to present 17 government-sanctioned forms of identification, undergoing a retina scan, and facing strict interrogation by a C.I.A. agent, I was allowed into the club just in time to catch Dirty on Purpose, who are a lot like Slowdive without the interesting parts. Their hazy daze is entrancing live, though I'd imagine a record of theirs would be rather dull. Fujiya & Miyagi had a bit of a tough time reproducing their songs, but the post-krautrockers (how's that for music geek terminology?) really impressed me with a handful of cuts from their upcoming release.
On the 30th, I found myself back in the familiar confines of the Eyedrum, for the multinational noise trio, the Konk Pack. I was not drawn in by the inclusion of a former member of Henry Cow, but rather by Thomas Lehn (above), a mainstay of the EAI scene. Konk Pack utilize more percussion than most groups in their style and are better off for it, as it really spices up Lehn's mesmerizing synthesizer. A relaxing end to a chaotic month.
And, on the 1st of October, he rested. Check back soon for a final wrap of the month, including all the startling numbers and a full list of bands!