Thursday, March 23, 2006

Let's take this Slow, EARL

By d-mac
no disassembleSlow Runner @ The EARL
with Blankety Blank and Vaya

Doors weren't until 9pm, and there were two openers so Willson and I decided to hang out front for a couple of PBRs and some food before we headed back to the stage. Ginger met up with us for a beer and we sat around and discussed how we were probably being looked down upon for not wearing shirts with ironic names of mechanics embroidered on them or t-shirts from bands so obscure that they haven't even heard of themselves yet. We tried the fried alligator tail, which I was surprised to see that they served, but not surprised to find out tasted awful.

We got inside just in time to catch the last few songs from the second opener, Blankety Blank. This was a real treat. It didn't take long for me to recognize this band's biggest fans in the room... they were the guys on stage playing the instruments. After a couple of rock-cliche-laden verses and self-aggrandizing choruses, the frontman handed it off to the lead guitarist for a signature ninety-second-minimum guitar solo (probably not the first of the night, and certainly not the last). During this interlude, the singer kicked on the strobe light that he'd placed on stage next to his monitor, put on his Oakleys, and began twirling around the stage doing his best impersonation of Bono ala The Fly (double the ego, but hold the musical talent please). As if this wasn't enough, he decided to kick it up a notch by - and I'm not making this up - tearing open several mini bags of m&m's, pouring them in his mouth and then spitting them out in a colorful, confetti-like spray of chocolaty goodness twinkling in the gloriously strobed luminescence. I'd be lying if I told you this part didn't bring a smile to my face. How rock-n-roll is it to spit chocolate candies all over the stage during the guitar outro? Beat that, Kiss and Ozzy, with your... blood, and... bats. They continued with a couple more songs and ended with a guitar-shredding cover of Van Halen's version of the Kinks' You Really Got Me. It was actually pretty damn good thanks to the pristine, if gratuitous guitar riffs. But the best part of Blankety Blank's portion of the evening was when they were breaking down their equipment, and someone handed the lead singer a broom so he could clean up all the crushed up m&m's he'd been stepping on during their show. I wonder if they melt under the stage lights, as well as in your mouth?

Slow Runner, opening with their song Happy, didn't bring any gimmicks on stage with them, although they commented tongue-in-cheek after one of their songs that it would've been much better with the strobe light. The lead singer, Michael Flynn "gave it up" for the The Blankety-Blanks for their performance, which I'm convinced he intentionally pluralized as a slight in return for BB's frontman announcing them in charades, mimicking Steve Austin running in slow-motion. They followed with a great mix of songs from their new album, No Disassemble, as well as a few gems I hadn't heard before. Despite a horrific turnout, embarrassing opener, and the incessant drone of drunken conversation being carried on by the two drunk girls in the back of the room, the band brought their A-game. The drummer was tight and the bass player seemed to be having a good time. I enjoyed every song they played -- there were no "time to go to the bathroom now" songs. They finished their set and two of the seven people in the crowd yelled out for an encore (except in East Atlanta, they don't use the word "encore", they just say "play another song"... encore is too bourgeois). So they agreed to play a couple more, including something new they had been working on that they hadn't played at a show before, and a cover of Bjork's Hyper Ballad. I was impressed. Strange song to cover, but interestingly I'd seen Glen Phillips cover the same song last year when he played at Variety. Very cool.

Ya'll missed a great show. It was worth being out way too late on a school night. Hopefully next time they'll come on a weekend and we can all go. There may be free m&m's involved.


So, Lamkini and I are starting this blog on a whim and we haven't really worked out exactly what it's going to be just yet. I'm thinking of sticking to things aesthetic, like new music or concert reviews and maybe movies too. I'd like to see if I can post some mp3s of stuff I've been listening to lately, sort of like an mp3 blog, but there are technical and legal ramifications there. I'll see what I can do. Hopefully this will just evolve into something neat over time that people might actually enjoy reading.



Anonymous k lynn said...

I dare say I think someone (or maybe two somebodies) have a little too much time
on their hands. Luckily for you, on occassion so do I. So, I shall read your
blog as soon as one of those occassions occurs! Looking forward to you keeping me company on a lonely Monday
or Tuesday for that matter, maybe a Wednesday or sometimes a Thursday, but not Friday,
Satday or Sunday (I usually am pretty social on those days unless of course by some
freak coincidence all my friends ..all four.. are out of town) evening:)

Blog: Embiggen Your Mind

1:09 PM, March 27, 2006  
Blogger Ingrid (McDonald) Wilson said...

Dude, there are things going on in the world that I am clearly oblivious of...perhaps for good reason, but I had no idea that you spent your time writing all this cool stuff about all kinds of cool music. I must say, little brother, you turned out pretty cool in spite of me! :) I love you dearly! xo

9:37 PM, March 29, 2006  

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