Dinosaur in Trouble: proudly serving Twin Cities music geeks

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Why? Did I Forget My Camera?

I think it’s safe to say that I go to a lot of shows, yet there are hundreds of local bands that I’ve never had the opportunity to see (which is a testament to the extreme depth of the Twin Cities music scene). Some of these bands I have no interest in ever seeing, but there are others that I greatly adore and even own all of their records. Take Andrew Broder’s Fog: they’ve been around for a long time, they’re well known outside of the Twin Cities (I always see their CDs in European record stores), I love, love, love-a them, and several of their songs are mainstays on my illustrious mix tapes. But I had never actually seen Fog in concert until they played with Why? at the Cedar Cultural Center on Saturday, October 15th. Turns out, I was missing out big time.

And the prize for the most impressive opening act that I’d never heard of goes to…San Francisco’s Thee More Shallows! [Maybe the reason I had never heard of them is because everyone always gets their name wrong. They were listed on the ticket as Thee More Shadows, and the Cedar’s MC announced them as Thee More Swallows.] Their set was astonishing. As soon as their eerily beautiful experimental music filled the Cedar, the audience was silent. I immediately forgot about my surroundings, and was completely taken by the band. So here’s my advice to you: pick up their new album, More Deep Cuts, and flaunt it in front of your friends so they will know that your taste in music is far superior to theirs.

Thee More Shallows (as seen through my cell phone)

Finally, I can check Fog of my list of bands I need to see before I become old and fat and bald. Shit, they were flawless. Maybe that had something to do with the fact that Andrew Broder always surrounds himself with A-1 musicians (in the grainy cell phone photo below, you can make out Martin Dosh on drums – another Anticon favorite). Most of the songs they played were off of Fog’s excellent new album, 10th Avenue Freakout, but due to the live backing band, the songs all had a very different, organic feel to them. Fog also satisfied me by playing some older classics such as “The Girl From the Gum Commercial.” Perfect.

Fog (as seen through my cell phone)

Now, we all love Why? Why? Because Yoni Wolf’s work in Anticon groups Greenthink, cLOUDDEAD, and Reaching Quit put our faith back in hip-hop. His band, which operates under his nom de plume, leans more toward the experimental indie rock side of the Anticon spectrum. Their recent album, Elephant Eyelash, is also a gem. But their recorded work does nothing to prepare you for their incredible live shows. These guys know exactly what they are doing, and like the other two bands on the bill, aren’t afraid to make extremely creative music. Plus, Yoni is so dreamy. Anyway, I was so very impressed by their performance.

Of course, Andrew Broder joined Why? onstage to perform a couple of songs that they recorded together as Hymie’s Basement. [By sheer coincidence, the day before the show, I was digging around for records at Hymie’s Records – Hymie’s Basement was recorded in, well, the basement of Hymie’s.] To my surprise, Andrew and Yoni even pulled off the crazy vocal interplay on Hymie’s “21st Century Pop Song.” It was awesome.

Why? with Andrew Broder (second from right) (...as seen through my cell phone)

Definitely a night to remember (which is fortunate since I can’t rely on the pictures taken with my cell phone). Nevertheless, I’ll make sure not to forget my camera next time.


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