Dinosaur in Trouble: proudly serving Twin Cities music geeks

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The State I Am In

During my search for procrastination assistance, I stumbled upon this fascinating survey via Ellie’s blog. This is far more informative than my current Blogger profile. In fact, I think I’ll bolster my job search by using this as my new résumé.

OK, are you ready to unravel the mysteries behind Lee Barnett!?

Describe yourself using one band and song titles from that band

Created by naw5689 and taken 28530 times on bzoink!

Choose a band/artist and answer only in song TITLES by that band:Belle & Sebastian
Are you male or female:Legal Man
Describe yourself:The Boy With the Arab Strap
How do some people feel about you:The Boy Done Wrong Again
How do you feel about yourself:I'm A Cuckoo
Describe your ex girlfriend/boyfriend:She's Losing It
Describe your current girlfriend/boyfriend:Seeing Other People
Describe where you want to be:Asleep on a Sunbeam
Describe what you want to be:Like Dylan in the Movies
Describe how you live:I Could Be Dreaming
Describe how you love:I Don't Love Anyone
Share a few words of wisdomFuck This Shit

Create a Survey | Search Surveys | Go to bzoink!

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought about doing Belle & Sebastian but I had this nagging feeling that you'd want to do it. Good to know you're still reading my blog (because I'm still reading yours). Excellent job, by the way.

Brag away; I'll survive without seeing Architecture in Helsinki. I'm jealous, but the cookie crumbles that way sometimes. The Turf Club though? Wild.

Also, I had a ridiculous dream about you that made me laugh rather loudly once I woke up. I'll tell you about it if you're interested.

-Ellie

12:04 AM

 

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Monday, May 23, 2005

The Circle Is Now Complete


Geeks, from left to right: Chris, Paul, Katie, me, Tricia, Karin

I don't know why I didn't blog about this earlier. It's definitely worthy of mention. Last Thursday, I dropped everything to go see Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. I know; a truly dedicated fan would have gone to the midnight showing. I’m sorry. I guess I’m just getting old. For real – can you believe that I was a senior in high school when Jar Jar Binks first graced the world?

Episode III has been a long time coming – especially for people like me who grew up with Star Wars. I remember having dreams about Darth Vader coming into my room and invading my playpen (those were freaky dreams – as Darth Vader approached me, the room would start spinning around really fast. As I got dizzier and dizzier, everything would become a blur except for Vader’s heavy breathing.) But don’t get me wrong; my positive memories of Star Wars greatly outnumber the nightmares. Star Wars pretty much defined my childhood (heck, it defined the childhood of an entire generation). I remember playing with the toys (which are worth a fortune now), coloring in the coloring books, and fantasizing about Sy Snootles (fuck the Special Edition song-and-dance routine). I even remember seeing Return of the Jedi in the theaters back in 1983.

The prequels will never be as culturally significant or as classic as the original trilogy, but at least Episode III justified the existence of the first two episodes. I thoroughly enjoyed it. This time around, it actually gave us a character to identify with; a character we could actually give a shit about. Thanks goodness for Obi-Wan Kenobi. And ooh, was it ever dark (the way a Star Wars movie should be)! Even though it’s, like, 100% CGI, it wasn’t nearly as cartoonish as the previous two. I’ll most likely go see it again this weekend. Maybe I’ll catch some more of the subtle references included for the sole purpose of satisfying old-school geeks like me (my favorite was when Obi-Wan killed General Grievous with a blaster and said, “how uncivilized!”)

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Sunday, May 22, 2005

The Haves Have It


Portia, Dustin, and Jenn of The Haves Have It

The hype starts right here.

I was fortunate enough to witness the live debut of The Haves Have It during a house party in the Seward neighborhood last night. Up until last night, The Haves Have It had been little more than a rumor. For all I knew, they could have been conjoined twins playing polka covers of TV jingles. Well, they weren’t. Turns out, they were an honest-to-goddess rock band. And boy, did they ever rock! In fact, they blew the front of my pants right off! I feel stupid for not bootlegging the performance. I guess I’ll have to seize the next opportunity – Friday, August 12 at the Triple Rock, when they open for Tin Horns. What? A Friday show at the Triple Rock!? With the Tin Horns!? Well, you can’t say that The Haves Have It are wasting any time.

lazer.forever, a band featuring Dustin, the drummer from The Haves Have It, also played at the party. They rocked as well (even though the audience insisted on calling them Laser Tag or Lasik Surgery). They’re a very new band too, so it’ll also be interesting to see where they go.

Overall, I had a great time at the party. It was a lot of fun hobnobbing with “big shots” from the local scene (including Lori Barbero from Babes in Toyland). And talk about hospitality; they even provided non-alcoholic beverages just for me (in an attempt to embarrass me, Jenn marked giant X’s on the backs of my hands). Can’t wait for the show in August!


Portia and Jenn prepare for a monster riff.


Lazer Foreverrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.....


Safety is a cootie wootie.

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Sunday, May 15, 2005

New Picture



I figured it was about time I posted a new picture for my profile. Here's me posing with the three greatest albums of all time. I feel honored to be in the same room as them.

5 Comments:

Blogger Jenna said...

i <3 minnesotans!

9:46 PM

 
Blogger Lee said...

Right back at cha, New York!

1:20 AM

 
Blogger Katie said...

Dude, I blogged about tonight--check it.

11:02 PM

 
Blogger Sofi said...

I recognize/adore the first two.

But what's behind door # 3?

6:04 PM

 
Blogger Lee said...

Don't you recognize the big "9"? As in "69"? As in "69 Love Songs" by The Magnetic Fields? As in 69 of the most ingenious songs ever written!

8:43 PM

 

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Saturday, May 14, 2005

Let the Kids Experiment


Deerhoof photo by Verity Smith

I feel sorry for people who insist on being fashionably late to concerts. First of all, by missing the opening acts, they get less for their money. Second of all, latecomers rarely experience the satisfaction of “discovering” new and exciting bands. Last night’s Deerhoof show at the Triple Rock was a perfect example of why it’s so very important to arrive on time.

Dawdlers missed out on perhaps the most bizarre spectacle they would’ve seen all month. Local noise-rockers/freaks, Quad Muth, stole the show with their über-experimental music/performance art. Like any good experimental band, Quad Muth came complete with homemade costumes and monster masks to augment their “stage” show. Now, I put “stage” in quotation marks because Quad Muth never actually set foot on the stage. All of their “instruments” were set up on the floor of the Triple Rock. Yeah, “instruments” gets the quote treatment as well. How often do you see bands playing a wired-up Clorox bleach bottle, or a guitar consisting of twigs and a car’s side view mirror glued to scraps of metal? The drummer was interesting to watch as he kneeled in front of his makeshift drum set, pounded on various metal objects, and threw his shoe into the audience. The “singer” entertained us by sliding around the floor in a milk crate, and by running around carrying the monitors over his head (and you thought Deerhoof was weird…). The most amazing thing about their set, however, was the audience’s reaction. Even if people didn’t know what to think about the music, nobody dared to turn their attention away from the “stage.” Quad Muth maintained the focus and curiosity of the audience throughout their entire set; everyone wanted to see what was going to happen next. The early-comers were definitely rewarded.

Deerhoof’s Kill Rock Stars label mate, Nedelle, played next. I’m not really sure what a quiet singer/songwriter was doing sandwiched between two crazy experimental bands. But I guess a little diversity never hurt anyone. Especially when the diversity is an adorable, puppy dog-eyed songstress (as she was asking for less vocals in the monitor, someone in the audience let out a big “awww”). After playing half her set alone, she was joined on stage by another acoustic guitar player/backup singer. Her performance helped us collect our wits (which were scattered about from Quad Muth’s set). As Deerhoof’s Satomi Matsuzaki put it, “Her songs are very…catchy.”

I’m glad I was finally able to see Deerhoof. For some reason, I’ve missed them the past twenty times they’ve come through the Twin Cities. They didn’t have the stage props that I’ve heard about, but they didn’t need them. Their music is interesting enough without them (interesting might be an understatement). It was really cool to see Deerhoof pull off the fractured arrangements and intricacies of their songs live. Some people just amaze me. The definite highlight of their set was their explosive performance of their song, “Milking.” During the song, Satomi was able to set aside her bass guitar and dance around the stage, which effectively whipped the audience into a frenzy. But no one in audience could match the energy of Greg Saunier, Deerhoof’s spastic drummer. It was quite a sight. But the real treat of the night was the relatively unknown, left-field opening band. Quad Muth made it a night to remember. [Click here for some excellent photos of Quad Muth performing at this year's No Fun Fest in Brooklin.]

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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Melt-Banana [Insert Sinister Laughter Here]



Melt-Banana…muuhahahaa! I can’t say their name without laughing like that. Some bands are so extremely intense that their name deserves to be followed by sinister laughter. The first time I ever heard Melt-Banana, I thought for sure the DJ was playing the record at the wrong speed. I refused to believe that it was humanly possible to make those noises at that velocity. Well, believe it or not, it is possible – I saw it with my very own eyes last Saturday at the 7th Street Entry.

It was very appropriate that Birthday Suits opened. The two members – Hideo (guitar/vocals) and Yuichiro (drums) – were bandmates in the now-defunct Sweet J.A.P. Sweet J.A.P. served as the Twin Cities’ insightful connection to the Japanese garage/punk scene (they even did a split 7” with Das Boot). The five members are now distributed among four different bands, and forever must live in the shadow of Sweet J.A.P.’s award-winning, incendiary live shows. Despite the pressure, Birthday Suits played a great set. Yuichiro’s drumming was something to be marveled at, and Hideo kept the crowd on its toes by performing the last song in the middle of the audience.

Breather Resist was the non-Japanese act of the night. Their set took me back to my late teens; back when I’d get all sweaty and bruised at metal shows. Their sound, however, was slightly updated from the metal of the late-90s; it was a bit more intelligent – more informed by punk rock (which is necessary for alt-metal bands that wish to avoid the tainted nü-metal label). I’m still amazed by metal vocalists who are able to go on tour and consistently scream/growl night after night. I’m pretty sure I would lose my voice after the first five minutes of the first show. Breather Resist held my interest for about four songs, after that, I was ready to see Melt-Banana.

Muuhahahaa! Melt-Banana was awesome! I was foolish to think that I’d be able to keep my spot next to the stage. As soon as they started playing, things started getting a little pushy. I can’t keep up with that stuff like I used to. For some reason, I no longer get a kick out of sweaty bodies knocking me around. Plus, I actually wanted to focus on Melt-Banana, not the drunken crowd, so I decided to step back a few paces. I didn’t mind giving up my spot in order to watch the caffeinated noise-rockers in comfort. And boy, did they rock! I thoroughly enjoyed everything, from their suite of ten 15-second songs to their effed-up cover of Devo’s “Uncontrollable Urge.” The band’s stage presence was very entertaining as well. Agata, in his hood and surgical mask, was just as mysterious as the noises that he makes with his guitar. And Yasuko O. is so dang cute, I really hope she'll be my girlfriend someday. I was almost disappointed that they didn’t play my favorite song, “Shield Your Eyes, a Beast in the Well on Your Hand.” But they didn’t let me down; they wisely played it for the encore. I left completely satisfied.

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Saturday, May 07, 2005

Satanic Panic in the Triple Rock



I’ve always been a fan of Of Montreal, but Satanic Panic in the Attic surprised the shit out of me. I am not exaggerating when I say that it was 2004’s best album. Now, stop for a minute and consider what I just said. Yes, an album full of light-hearted, sugary pop songs by a band that wears its influences on its sleeves one-upped Xiu Xiu’s Fabulous Muscles, Architecture in Helsinki’s Fingers Crossed, and Arcade Fire’s Funeral. That is quite a feat.

The line they walk is very, very thin, but Of Montreal succeeds where so many bands have failed. Many bands have tried the quirky, playful indie pop thing, and although they can be fun, most of them can’t be taken seriously (e.g., The Polyphonic Spree). Many bands have worked really hard to assemble and modernize bits and pieces of previous generations’ musical styles, but most do not have the ability to make the sum greater than its parts (e.g. The Strokes). Of Montreal draws from a large palette, but the end result is so brilliant that it is capable of influencing its influences. Even Brian Wilson could learn a thing or two from Of Montreal. Some bands are extremely innovative and approach pop music from zany directions, but unfortunately, they lose the attention of the general population along the way (e.g., The Unicorns). Satanic is just as innovative and off-the-wall as anything The Unicorns have ever done, but at the same time, it’s as immediate and accessible as Weezer’s blue album. Yeah, Kevin Barnes is an exceptional composer, and his craft was definitely perfected with Satanic Panic in the Attic.

But the goodness doesn’t stop there. Of Montreal is also an incredible live band. And they proved that fact last Saturday at the Triple Rock. They were touring in support of their recently released album, The Sunlandic Twins. A new album? I wasn’t even over Satanic Panic in the Attic yet. But I guess you can never have too much of a good thing. It’s unfair to compare the new album to Satanic, but it is on par with all of their other albums (which means it’s really, really good). The Sunlandic Twins really expanded on the dancier moments of Satanic Panic in the Attic, and last weekend’s show definitely reflected that. The audience came ready to dance.

Askeleton was the first opener. I swear, they have a different sound every time I see them. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that they have a different lineup of band members every time I see them. Or maybe it has something to do with the tendency for synth-pop bands to morph into guitar-rock bands for the sake of an interesting live show. Either way, their set was very enjoyable. I’m looking forward to their new album.

Next up was the Omaha-invasion band, Tilly and the Wall. I feel compelled to dismiss Tilly and the Wall as another gimmicky novelty act (they use a tap dancer instead of a drum set). But I just can’t bring myself to be “too cool” for Tilly and the Wall; their show was way too fun. The tap dancer worked very well, and she ensured that there was never a dull moment on stage. Every single song was memorable and entertaining. During one of their songs, they invited a couple audience members to come on stage and play the mandolin and bass guitar (they said they met them on the internet – as one of the band members remarked, “How 2005.”) They ended on their song, “Reckless,” during which they invited the entire audience to dance on the stage. It was a sold-out show, so obviously, not everyone could fit on the stage. But it did seem like more people were on the stage than on the floor. It was quite the spectacle.

It had been about a year since I saw Of Montreal at the 7th St. Entry. Since then, I’ve probably listened to Satanic Panic in the Attic about 3682 times. So I was pretty excited to see Of Montreal again. I think a lot of other people were too, judging by the audience’s uninhibited dancing. It was the natural response to the energy in the music. Of Montreal mostly played songs off of Satanic and The Sunlandic Twins, but during Kevin Barnes’ wardrobe changes, the rest of the Elephant 6ers in the band got a chance to play some of their own stuff. Very good. I was still sweating like an ape from dancing by the time Of Montreal came back to play an encore. During the encore, they played an awesome version of Supergrass’s “Alright.” It’s a gutsy move to cover a contemporary band, especially for an encore. But they’re Of Montreal – if anyone can pull it off, they can. And to please the geeks like me, they ended with some old-school Of Montreal: “You Are an Airplane” (OK, maybe 1997 isn’t technically old-school, but it’s all relative). Ahhh, I love Of Montreal.

Oh, but there’s more. When I got home from the show, I could hear music coming from down the street. This is what I heard: “I am still livin’ with your ghost. Lonely and dreamin’ of the West Coast…” I decided that I might as well go down the block to see Everclear. Even though snow had been falling throughout the day, there were still tons of people partying outside for the U of M’s Spring Jam festival. I guess cheesy, burnt-out alt-rock bands can have that effect on people. I arrived in time for Everclear’s last two songs – both covers (Bruce Springsteen’s “Pink Cadillac” and Tommy Tutone’s “867-5309/Jenny”). It was really interesting to see the crowd (and the riot police), but I can’t write a serious review of the show because very few bands could be expected to successfully follow Of Montreal.

I’ve gotten into the habit of writing about shows a week after they happen. Sorry about that. Maybe a week from now, you can read about the Melt-Banana show that I’ll be attending tomorrow night!

3 Comments:

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9:00 PM

 
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7:12 AM

 
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5:35 AM

 

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