Today is an errands day: I’ve gotta go to a make-up class, Radio Shack, a music store, my bank. Then the fun begins: dinner with jcliao and yayu at the Cheeseboard and then we’re going to Yoshi’s. Yay!
In my last entry I hinted at how bad The Whirlwind Heat, the opening band for the White Stripes, were. I’m going to be more explicit this time around.
The band was made up of three guys: a drummer, a bassist, and a singer. The bassist never played two successive notes (what we like to call a “melody”). He was content to make his bass sound like someone repeatedly clearing his throat into a megaphone. Naturally (and this goes without saying for most indie bands) the singer couldn’t sing; instead he used this half-barking, stentorian delivery voice that was Cake-esque but nowhere near as cool.
So we got to the show about 15 minutes late and they were playing a song. By that I mean the drummer was laying down a straightforward beat, the bassist was making sounds like a dump truck shifting into first gear, and the singer dude was literally repeating the phrase “decal on my sticker” over and over.
The singer had this Moog keyboard that he finally turned on halfway through the song. Of course, he didn’t play a melody on it. What happened was this: he turned it on, and immediately started having a seizure. At least, that’s exactly what it looked like was happening. His entire body was convulsing, torso twisting, legs flailing. Somehow he managed to brace himself against the synthesizer stand and at the same time smash the keys and turn the knobs at random. It’s really impossible to describe what this sounds like — describing what it looks like is hard enough. It just sounded terrible. Random bass, and absolutely insane keyboard blips for which the best metaphor is “aural tornado”.
That was bad enough. Luckily the song finally ended. I figured that his keyboard performance was some kind of gimmick for that song. Nope — turns out that he did that on every song. Convulsed, beat the crap out of the keyboard. Now I’ve seen some weird avant-garde music, including one piano piece that involved clobbering the keys with stuffed animals — yes, this is true — but nothing sounded this bad. It was so bad that it was funny. I was laughing out loud for most of the performance.
Two noteworthy occurrences: once, the singer lifted up the Moog with one hand, the better to pulverize it with his other hand, one presumes. This was an admirable feat, as at the time it looked like his legs were trying to move in two different directions, and his torso a third. When he lifted it up, though, the cable came unplugged. This was just too funny: guy looks like he’s having a seizure, cable falls out, suddenly he stops moving, calmly bends over to plug the cable back in, and immediate resumes his demonic dance. You had to be there, I guess.
Then on one particularly spastic song (and that is saying a lot) the singer ran over to the bassist and jumped on him, piggy-back style. The bassist somehow managed to play with the singer on his back, but not for long — the singer wrested the bass away from him and started banging on it with greater abandon, if that is even within the realm of possibility, than he did the Moog. The funny part was that the song sounded exactly the same. There was no appreciable difference in sound between the beginning of the song, which one would imagine was composed in some fashion and performed by musicians (at least nominally), and the end, which involved a guy who doesn’t know how to play bass playing bass while riding piggy-back.
I just realized that the first letters of each paragraph of this entry spell “TITSTTTTI”. Or, backwards, “Itttt’s tit”. Not sure if this is Freudian or what, but I take it as a sign that I need to eat lunch.