Do you like to listen to live music? : LUSENET : Xeney : One Thread

I really wish they'd put in some reading lamps at music venues, because I can't keep my entire brain occupied for four hours of just listening to music, and it's always too hard to talk. I'm also heartily sick of being shoved around, which is one reason I like the band we saw last night -- no one ever shoves me at their shows. They have very polite fans.

How about you? Do you like live music? Do you like big shows, little shows, local bands, or what?

For that matter, what kind of music do you listen to?

-- Anonymous, February 07, 2000


Once upon a useta-was, I would listen to live music every weekend. My friend Rob and I would head out to the Westside Station (in Salem, Oregon, for those that are keeping track) and would listen to local bands.

One of our earliest shows was for a band called Chum. We begged copies of their demo tape and bought t-shirts. Whenever we'd go to see them, we'd wear the shirts and immediately doff our jackets upon entering. It would honestly help to get the crowd moving to see fans of a band that were that loyal. The lead singer and bassist would come up to us at the bar, put his arms around us, and thank us from the bottom of his heart.

I think it was the sense of comradeship we loved best about it.

I have two stories that I'll tell at the drop of a hat about clubbing like that. The first involves a punk band that we'd never heard of, but we decided to try out. A bit harder than Green Day, say, but no Sex Pistols to be sure. They rocked the house, and then pissed off the sound man when the lead singer leapt into the drumkit, and onto the mics.

A week later, we saw that band on MTV. It was Goldfinger. We felt so very avant.

Another time, I actually ventured out onto what was technically the dancefloor during a set of one of my favorite Oregon bands, Floater. I had owned their first CD for ages, and knew all the songs. During one song, on the CD, there's a bit of an echo effect on the singer's voice. In concert, he can't duplicate it. He sang the line "...he loads his rifle..." and the crowd, me included, gave him the echo effect "...loads his rifle..." and he just stared at us, and then grinned like an idiot.

There are days, when I really feel those memories, that I miss live music. But I don't miss the smoke, or the Rock Chix, or the drunken assholes. So I guess I'm just more nostalgic than anything.

-- Anonymous, February 07, 2000

Oh, I like live long as it's not country...but rarely get to go to any of it.

I'm not fond of rap, for all that Brian is, but I can go along with most any other kind of rock, from the Grateful Dead to the Goo Goo dolls. I've got a sentimental attachment to James Taylor and Bruce Hornsby and Tori Amos, though, and I especially like Sheryl Crow.

Al of Nova Notes

-- Anonymous, February 07, 2000

For me, there is nothing like seeing a good band at a small-to-medium-size venue. As I get older, most of my concert-going friends have gotten sedentary, but I can usually scare up someone to go with me - I don't like going out by myself.

I like seeing bands at The Palms, a not-so-converted barn in the middle of nowhere, both for the strangeness of the venue and because they book an eclectic range of music, from traditional Irish accordionists to a dreaded X reunion show (okay, it was The Knitters, but who's kidding who, and I didn't go anyway). The only time I went to the Capitol Garage, the lead singer made rude remarks about me.

Most of the bands I like play at Bottom of the Hill, Slim's, GAMH, or the Starry Plough. I notice Xeney coyly refrained from mentioning the name of the band she saw.

-- Anonymous, February 07, 2000

Oh, I guess I didn't. I've mentioned them before -- it was the Decibels.

I'm way too old to go to shows in San Francisco, that's for sure. The last SF show we went to was ... oh, hell, I can't remember; it was at Bimbo's, but I'll be damned if I can remember whether it was Big Sandy or Big Bad Voodoo Daddy or one of those other Big Somebody bands. It was a long time ago, in 1997, maybe. At this point I can't really imagine a show so amazing that I'd be willing to drive all the way to SF to go to it, although I used to do that once in a while.

-- Anonymous, February 07, 2000

Oh. I just realized that you were probably trying to figure out who was the band with the cute drummer. Well, okay, I'm not going to tell you that, although it would be pretty easy to figure it out.

The Val Kilmer/David Duchovny lookalike was Tim Foster from the Troublemakers. He's dreamy.

-- Anonymous, February 07, 2000

Yes, I like to go to a live concert once in a while, but no more will I go to any show where you have to sit on the ground. I did that last summer for the *last* time, breaking my own rule about it, but never again.

And I never leave SF anymore to go to a show. I've been to Berkeley a few times for shows, and to Marin, and to Mt. View once (never again), but never to Concord, and never ever ever to Sacramento.

Last concert I went to was in October - Etta James and Joe Louis Walker at Masonic Auditorium on Nob Hill - probably my favorite auditorium- size place. Before that it was Elvis Costello and Van Morrison, and before that, Boz Scaggs.

It must have been a busy year, because I only go to a concert maybe once a year now, and usually not in a "nightclub" kind of place. I hate large arenas though, so it has to be a sort of medium sized concert hall to please me.

-- Anonymous, February 07, 2000

Okay, I just need to say this real quick: DO NOT say bad things about the Knitters (especially if you didn't go to the show). I drove to SF to see them at Slims and they were awesome. Don't press my buttons, man. <--humor

I really love seeing live music, especially local bands. We've got quite a few decent bands around Sacramento in the punk/pop genre that I try to check out as much as I can. It seems that the hard part is always getting anyone else interested in going.

And you know what's really cool? When your friends don't flake about going to shows. Here a situation that actually happend:

Friend X and her boyfriend J on my porch. We are planning to go see music at a place within walking distance.

X: "We need to run home first to let the dog out."
Me: "So do you want to meet at the show?"
X: "Okay, we'll meet you there."
Me: "You guys aren't going to flake, are you?"
X: "No way."
J: "No. We'll be there."

...they flaked.

-- Anonymous, February 07, 2000

Yes, we did in fact flake that night. I don't even remember what our excuse was, although I do know that we tried to call you but you'd already left. I think it is just not in the cards for us to ever see Go National ever again, even though we like them well enough.

I am really ashamed of us, though.

Here's what we can do: we were going to ask you and Dave to go see the Troublemakers with us on March 4 (I think) at Old I. If you like, you can flake on us. Of course, you'll have to do it three or four times before we're really even.

-- Anonymous, February 07, 2000

Wait, how did you know I was talking about You????

Troublemakers, eh? Sounds cool! I will Definatly be there. I swear. In fact, please buy me a ticket. (heee heee).

Since you were nice enough to reformat my message I won't bring up Friday night's flake.

Incidentaly, if you live in the Sacramento area, go see LITTLE ELVIS. They rock!

-- Anonymous, February 07, 2000

I, too, have been struggling with the whole live music thing for years, which is complicated by the fact that I run a punk zine/website - although lets face it, it's always been much more of a political zine than a music based one.

See, I think my dislike of shows originally came from my zine. There is nothing like putting hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars into creating something only to have people refuse to even look at it as they elbow past each other to lay down $10-20 to become human billboards for their favorite entertainers to make you get really fucking depressed.

Eventually I got bored of shows for a lot of the same reasons as Beth, there isn't much to do there and I feel no stimulation. The only shows I have really liked in the past year were one's where I spent the majority of my time outside talking to folks. But because of my zine, first selling it and then reporting for it, I felt an obligation to go to as many shows as possible, and I would often go to two or three a week. I've seen well over a thousand shows in my decade+ of punk rockness, and frankly, it gets a little dull.

Now I no longer work in print so I don't feel as much of an obligation to be there to sell stuff, and honestly there are not that many bands that interest me enough to want to go see them. I find most bands sound the same after a while, and I still have to listen to two or three new CDs a day to review them. I find the CDs I really like are the ones where the bands have really good lyrics and/or take the time to write really interesting liner notes. Again, just listening to music bores the crap out of me, I need something more to feed my brain.

The shows that I like going to are either ones where you can talk to folks or where you can actually *understand* what the singer is saying, which is rare in punk. One of the reasons I have been getting into folk music so much lately is that I don't need lyric sheets and liner notes to understand the words and their meanings. David Rovics doesn't really need to introduce "Henry Ford was a Facist", he just has to play it. That, and the fact that Joe Hill, Woody Guthrie, and Phil Ochs wrote more radical songs than anything I have ever heard come out of punk rock.

But the wierd part is, because of Retrogression, people seem to assume that I still know every band out there, have heard every CD and have gone to every show.


-- Anonymous, February 07, 2000

I've never been much of a live music chick, mostly because they're Too Loud. And Too Smokey. And now, unfortunately, Too Late. I guess I'm really getting old. I actually like the shows where you can sit in the grass, since there's more space and fresh air, you can play if you get bored, and it's not quite so loud. And you can get a tan!

I did try the live thing when I was dating the band guy. Nothing, and I mean Nothing, is more boring for a cronic multi-tasker than sitting through ANOTHER show alone.

-- Anonymous, February 07, 2000

Oh, you can go ahead and bring up Friday night, because that was all J's fault. He really was feeling sick, even though I know you didn't believe me. If you saw the pictures of Jeremy and Doc in Saturday's entry, those were taken at the time we were supposed to be at the show with you guys. He was asleep a few minutes later. He was crabby and headachey and generally unhappy to be alive, so it was all for the best, really.

-- Anonymous, February 07, 2000

Well, I'm glad Beth missed the show, because that meant I got to see more pictures of Doc.

-- Anonymous, February 07, 2000

I enjoy myself whenever we go out to shows, but I always find a million reasons why I don't want to go to them beforehand. They're always on weeknights and I have to get up at 6 the next day. It'll be too crowded. Too smokey. Nobody I like ever comes to town. I don't know how to get tickets so if my spouse isn't interested, I don't know how to get there myself. I don't like to go by myself.

But the fact is, I love to go out. However, there actually isn't that much that I like to see. I hate to hear bad bands and there's no shortage of those. There are a few big name groups I like but of course they don't come around all the time - the Squirrel Nut Zippers is the only one I can think of. I guess it's true that there isn't much I like.

I like bluegrass and a lot of Celtic music, so we've gone to a few festivals of that kind of thing. And there's various kinds of ethnic music I like, like afropop, from listening to KALW in SF where they have a lot of shows that play interesting stuff. But I don't know who all the artists are in order to go see them.

-- Anonymous, February 07, 2000

Deeply into live jazz & blues but I will not travel farther than Berkeley. I go to three or four concerts every year. I'd call them medium size shows. I went to Joshua Redman Quartet last month at the Sac. Civic Center. He plays a mean sax. The concert started at 8 (on time) and we were home by 11. Afro-Cuban All-Stars was a highlight of last year in Berkeley.

I've also seen Joe Louis Walker one too many times at the Palms in Davis. The band was absolutely smoking last December (my fourth show so I'll probably go again).

-- Anonymous, February 07, 2000

It's been a very long time since I went to a concert, I find that I don't like the crowds anymore, and I hate the smoke. I used to love live music, in fact a lot of my favourite memories have to do with going to concerts. There was the time during the summer before I went away to University when we saw the Ramones, then stayed up all night because we had to leave really early the next morning to go to the first Lollapalooza tour and there was no point in sleeping. And seeing the Beastie Boys in Varsity Arena (Toronto) which was bizarre because I had written a final exam in there not too long before. For our six month dating anniversary my now husband got us fourth row tickets to Simon and Garfunkle, which was wonderful, except for the chick who sat behind us and sang along (very loudly) with every song.

The very first concert I ever went to was a triple bill of Echo and the Bunnymen, Gene Loves Jezebel and New Order. A few years before that I had begged and pleaded to be allowed to go to a Duran Duran concert, but my parents wouldn't let me camp out for tickets.

-- Anonymous, February 07, 2000

I've got nothing against live music per se, I just normally prefer to hear music at home and I hate crowds, especially when full of drunk Australians. I'd like to get out to see more live music but the thought of being stuck in a confined space with a bunch of drunk Aussies normally puts me off. That and the expense of tickets, difficulties getting to and from venues, etc. Actually I've only ever been to seven concerts in my life: 1) Metallica w/ Kyuss, 1993; 2) The Tea Party w/ Andy Prieboy, 1995; 3) Massive Attack w/ Endorphin, 1998; 4) Paul Kelly w/ Bic Runga (two local singer-songwriters); 5) DIG (local acid jazz band); 6) Placebo w/ Killing Heidi; 7) Twelve24 (local band), all 1999.

My listening habits tend to wander all over the shop, though they usually focus on something rock-based last few albums bought were "Xtrmntr" by Primal Scream, "Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables" by the Dead Kennedys and the first Suicide album. Which, funnily enough, now includes some live material which I haven't listened to yet but which promises to be literally riotous. That might give a bit of an indication but probably not really.

Tonight We Sleep In Separate Ditcheswhere the music never stops

-- Anonymous, February 07, 2000

Oh my, it's been over six months already since I've last seen a live show, but at least it was a good one. I took my 13-year-old son to see Aerosmith and the Black Crowes, doing an open air show in the Netherlands. It was a beautiful, hot summer night and Aerosmith was in a particularly playful mood, which meant lots of bluesy jams. One of the best shows I ever saw them do. It was also my son's first ever live show, and he loved every second of it.

I like live music of any kind, from classical to hardcore punk, as long as the musicians are worth their salt. But at 35 I think I've spent more than enough time watching people who barely know how to hold their instruments, so I don't visit that many small shows anymore. Besides, the Dutch music scene these days focusses primarily on electronic Dance music, and if there's one thing I despise.....

So it's mostly the Big Names nowadays, and since Dutch promotors tend to focus on Dance acts in that area as well, it's getting increasingly difficult for me to see good bands practicing their craft anymore.

What music I listen to? Anything from classical to hardcore punk. It all depends on what mood I'm in. Well, lately it's been mostly Sheryl Crow's live album - the best party record of 1999 if you ask me. But in general I just like good melodies, memorable lyrics and decent musicians, never mind the genre - I admire craftsmanship, same as I always did, and I don't think I'll ever grow too old for that.

Speaking of age - I have been playing an awful lot of seventies hardrock lately. Looks like a severe case of nostalgia, I'm afraid.....

-- Anonymous, February 08, 2000

One of the most annoying shows I've been to was a few years ago when we went to see the Firesign Theater. It hadn't occurred to me that they wouldn't be doing new material, but they didn't. It was a reunion type thing. So that was dissapointing. And then it also hadn't occurred to me that everyone else there would be obsessed fans who recited the routines along with them. When they made changes to make the jokes more topical you couldn't hear it because of everyone else saying the old punchline. I came to hear them, not the people around me.

We were similarly annoyed at a They Might Be Giants show. everybody there was so into the cult and chanting the words with them and stuff. it was too weird for me.

-- Anonymous, February 08, 2000

I couldn't stand around for 4 hours and do it but of course I have not really been to many.

-- Anonymous, February 09, 2000

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