I hate autumn. Erase it from the calendar, please.
Oh, they try to sell it to me every year with visions of nubby tweeds and riding boots. Pictures of some LL Bean-created autumnal utopia of pumpkins and Indian corn, where rosy-cheeked children drink apple cider whilst diving into piles of beautiful leaves, where everything smells like apple pie (again with the goddam apples!) and all God’s people are off on a hayride!
But it’s all a lie.
Autumn is the last hurrah before winter and Mother Nature tries to put on a fabulous song and dance so we won’t realize we’re on our way to the slaughterhouse. She fools us into believing summer will last all year long, or at least until we’re in the mood for snow when Christmas rolls around, and damn, we wake up and it’s the ruins of January and the Most Miserable Time of the Year. I used to believe in harvest festivals and Halloween. Until I figured out it was it was the carrot on a stick before the jackass’s eyes.
You have been warned.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
I’m too old for some of this shit, I suppose. I probably should’ve sat on the balcony, but there I was on the fifth row. Can I be blamed for buying tickets the day they came out? The Like opened to a mostly empty house. I was predisposed to like them, considering their drummer is the daughter of EC’s drummer. Her name is Tennessee, and they were playing in Tennessee, so, according to their singer/guitarist, that made the show “special.” Special enough to do the same lame joke twice, even! Tennessee can bang the absolute hell out of her kit. I know nothing about drumming, but to watch her, with her head bowed and her hair all in her face like Cousin It, just rocking out, it was quite apparent she inherited way more than her fair share of talent. I liked the singer’s voice, kind of husky and dainty and ethereal but raspy all at the same time, and somehow reminding me of Tommy James & the Shondells doing Crimson and Clover. Meant to buy their cd on the way out, but they were mildly besieged signing stuff. Check them out here: http://www.ilikethelike.com/main.html
The Followill Brothers + Cousin, a/k/a The Kings of Leon, took their sweet time getting to the stage. Sure, The Like’s stuff had to be removed, and the guitars tuned (3 times a piece, by my count), but anything past 30 minutes is pushing my patience envelope and it’s not something I have a lot of. But when they finally appeared, they were firing on all cylinders from the first note. They only have 2 cds out, so not a bottomless Elvis well from which to draw. I think they played it all, but there was one new to me. Clocked in at just around an hour and a half. A two song encore. I did not chase their bus.
The bass player (Jared) is gorgeous AND good, so maybe I should have. I mean, they’ve all got the stuff: good looks and talent, but I have a thing for bass players. The drummer (Nathan) shaved the beard and took off his glasses, so he looks a lot more 21st century. The singer/rhythm guitar player (Caleb) grew out the goofy bangs and pumped some iron. To his stylist: dump the white pants or get the boy some flares to hide them bowlegs! Lead guitarist/cousin Matthew did a good Ramones impersonation with the black leather. He’s the one with the Normal Ears. I think the audience was about 60/40 male/female, and definitely skewed young. I felt ancient amongst all this vital youth but I tried my best to overcome it. Alcohol helped, but jeez louise - $5 a beer! They ain’t a chatty bunch, these Kings of Leon. They let the music do all the talking. Or shouting! My ears are still bleeding.
A lot of the kids were throwing those death metal signs at them and doing what I call the 8 Mile Dance: one arm up in the arm and doing a slight bow to the rhythm. It struck me as funny. I wore sensible shoes: the platform sandals with that wide and stable heel. The boots, even with a kitten heel, were just too wobbly (or was it me?). It was about 95 degrees (in October!), so too hot for the black leather (how does Elvis stand it?). I tried about seven different combinations of shirts and belts, which all made me look fat and frumpy, so I just went with the jeans, wife beater and over shirt I wore to work. I did add a little more muss to my hair, some eyeliner, silver earrings and my stained glass necklace. Felt like I was dressed to kill, probably looked like an idiot. Good thing I am blessed with a delusional nature.
They can play. And they haven’t succumbed to Rock Star Excess with the guitars and assorted stuff, although Caleb kept tuning his. During the songs even. A good evening out. I can look back when I’m 90 and know that most of my hearing damage came from that night.
If you’re interested -
same show I saw/heard, right down to kicking over the mic stand. The sound at my show was better.