Thursday, May 27, 2010
It’s Wednesday, and 10:30 p.m. is past the point of the night's being young. The night is old. An old old man, slouched over on his floral sofa, glasses askew and falling asleep to the mid-morning news with his gray-muzzled Terrier doing the same on his lap. Alas, I’m going out anyway because sometimes you just gotta live life on the edge. And if the night is old, then I may as well not be. So, off to the Union I go.
I smoothly hand the man at the front door a five-dollar bill. No permanent marker tonight, Ba-bee! It doesn’t matter, though. It’s Wednesday.
Alone, I walked up the stairs and stood pretty awkwardly in front of the stage, which was taken up by three young men playing some punk rock-y tunes. The Ghost of Asa Phelps were they (Yoda?), and it was my first time seeing them after hearing their name so many times around town.
Although I’m not quite that into punk rock-y tunes, I still found them entertaining. They brought me back to my earlier days. Before one of their songs, the singer/guitar player said, “This is a song about getting drunk and fucking up. I think I’m getting a degree in that here in a couple weeks.” It was funny. I laughed internally because I had no one to share the humor with at the time.
After those guys, Stomp the Condor came on, and me -- oh my -- were they a goofy group of dudes; lots of goofy dudes, at that. Their music reminded me something like Man Man mixed with ska and punk, and -- quite honestly -- I can’t think of a genre to perfectly squeeze them into because I’m bad at that.
One thing’s for sure, though: They moved in peculiar ways, sometimes taking their saxophones and other brass who-nots and strumming them like guitars. Sometimes they bounced up and down and distorted their faces. Basically, they were perpetually being weirdos.
I left for a moment to step outside with my friend Danielle (HAPPY BRTHDAY!), hardly expecting to miss much. Upon return though, it appeared that the men had removed their shirts, which I’m assuming happened either because the crowd (probably mostly the guys) requested it, or maybe they just got hot and bothered. Or just more goofy, which I didn’t think was possible (more on that later, though, because turns out it’s entirely possible). Regardless, they were playing shirtless. And they were playing wildly. And they gave me a free CD. Thanks, guys!
And next was the one-and-only, lovely lady, dollface, peach, cupcake, sex-kitten (wait. sex kitten a synonym for cutie? I don’t think so, Thesarus.com) Laura Stevenson, and of course the four men with her who made up The Cans, I’m assuming. I’m finding myself becoming more and more in love with Brooklyn bands, and these guys only heightened the infatuation.
They were SO good. That’s my lazy way of putting it. In more detail, Laura’s voice was charmingly adorable. She could fluctuate it from dainty falsettos to coarser yells. She could pluck around chords to make them sound entirely unique and then, without hesitation, turn it into a harder, fuller strum. There was a man on a squeeze box and if that statement alone isn’t good enough, too bad because I don’t know how to describe one of those.
Beside the music itself, Laura had such a delightful-ness about her. She was so kind, very thankful, and downright hilarious, able to literally turn anything said into a comical relief even if the songs she was playing were sort of sad. I could sit here and name all the jokes and wits she threw at us, but I won’t because communicating it through a blog will make it lose all its appeal. Besides, you should have been there anyway.
Last but not least were She Bears. The crowd, unfortunately, had dwindled by then. But those who chose to stay were not disappointed, because they got to hear a new song, if not, two (I’m not sure).
Oh, and about the Condor men, I noticed two of them were choreographing dance moves to the songs She Bears were playing. That’s where they proved they could be stranger. I sort of got distracted by it for a while even, and cracked up a lot. On top of that, there were a lot of jokes about Stephen’s drunkenness and a lot of mentioning the set’s dedication towards Shea, as it was his last She Bears show for a long while.
It was like watching a friendship show. In fact, the entire night was like watching a friendship show! Aw, how nice.
2:00 a.m., and the night is on the verge of death it is so old. But when it happens, it will be a peaceful death. The sort of one we all hope for.
--Hannah Cook, Live Reviews Editor