Dinosaur in Trouble: proudly serving Twin Cities music geeks

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Fallout

Over the years, I have become slightly more open-minded. But I admit, the idea of faith-based organizations reaching out to “hip” youth culture still kinda creeps me out. And I still let out a little shudder when I hear “Christian” and “indie rock” uttered in the same sentence. I know, I know, I’m a bloody horrible hypocrite (especially since these organizations and bands aren’t the ones giving Christianity a bad name…and they’re definitely not voting Republican). But I am getting better: I can admit that I like some of Pedro the Lion’s stuff, and I gave Sufjan Stevens a chance, and it turns out Illinois is one of my favorite albums of the year (OK, so maybe Illinois isn’t really a Christian-themed album). Oh, and bands like Low don’t really hide their beliefs, but I’ve always loved them. But still, I can’t help but be a little skeptical when something that makes no sense to me (religion) mixes with something that makes perfect sense to me (indie rock). This is part of the reason I’ve never (until recently) stepped foot in The Fallout Urban Art Center (an art gallery that doubles as a rock venue sponsored by a local faith-based organization). Well, that, and I also heard that Calvin Johnson played there once and he wasn’t very well received.

On November 4th, I caught word that Saxon Shore was playing at the Fallout. I had been listening to Saxon Shore a lot, and I regrettably missed them the last time they came to town, so I decided it’d be worth it to brave the Fallout. It was a neat little place. I really liked a lot of the artwork hanging on the walls, and I was impressed that so many young people showed up to see Saxon Shore. But I soon found out that Saxon Shore wasn’t even headlining, a band called Anathallo was. Hmm…

After a rather drab performance by emo band, Braille, Saxon Shore hit the stage. Ever since I discovered Godspeed You! Black Emperor, I’ve been on the lookout for other epic instrumental bands to spoon-feed me my emotions. Although nothing will ever compare to Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven, I always have one or two instrumental bands in rotation at any given time. Saxon Shore is currently my instrumental band of the moment. On the post-rock spectrum, they’re more akin to Explosions in the Sky than they are to Godspeed, which is totally cool with me.


All the kids I thought were there to see Saxon Shore weren’t. I had plenty of space near the stage to rock out in peace, which turned out to be important since Saxon Shore really did rock. Their set was chockfull of loud, sweaty moments, even more so than on their albums. I thought to myself, “Shit, if that’s the opening act, I really have to see what’s coming next! I don’t know what could possibly follow that.”

Saxon Shore

I almost forgot, local band Wes Burdine and the Librarians were playing their farewell show next. Wes was moving to Philadelphia where he’d have to find a new set of Librarians. I decided to sit down and enjoy their pop rock from a distance. I have no complaints about their show.

Wes Burdine and the Librarians

Suddenly, the area in front of the stage became very crowded. Ahh, all these people were here to see Anathallo. But who the hell is Anathallo? How could a band I’ve never even heard of be so popular? Oooohhhh, I get it! They’re a *gulp* Christian band.

Turns out, a bunch of the “youngsters” I noticed earlier were actually in the band. There were eight of them in all, all multi-instrumentalists. That could only mean one thing (dare I use the term?)…hyperprog! Well, they can thank my current obsession with Architecture in Helsinki for me not just passing them off as a high school Christian youth group. I was even able to overlook the pretentious Biblical references and admire Anathallo for their exceptional creativity and unfettered experimentalism. Anathallo was obviously heavily influenced by Danielson Famile, but they were way less annoying. In effect, I thoroughly enjoyed them. So what? You see, I’m not completely closed-minded; I don’t “throw out the baby with the bath water.” And you know what? I even bought a couple of Anathallo’s albums.


By the way, the whole time I was in the Fallout, not a single person asked me if I was happy with my life, or even attempted to hand me a questionable slip of paper. So I think the Fallout is safe for us non-Christians. Just don’t ask them about Calvin Johnson.


Blogger Jess said...

I can understand your skepticism...

11:14 PM

Blogger Chris said...

I have got to see Saxon Shore. You said they're like Explosions In The Sky, and you know I would totally renounce Jesus...I mean, reclaim Jesus...I mean, ok...nevermind...if I saw a band that's akin to Explosions, or that brings about so much emotion. Lucky.

9:38 PM


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