You read the colour supplements, the tv guide

Before I get started on what has already promised to be a day filled with hellaciously terrible music, I figured I oughta blog a little bit.

Went to the Pink Spiders secret show at the Basement last night. It was not nearly as populated as I thought it might be. The Pink Spiders have just returned from making a record in L.A. with Ric Ocasek and haven’t played live in a while. They’re about to head out on the road so I guess last night was a sort of warm-up gig.

Hands Down Eugene and Imagine Asians opened which may have contributed to the lack of people there. A more diverse bill, it could not have been. Each band attracts a completely different crowd. If I had been a little unsure that it was actually a Spiders gig and walked in and heard HDE, I might have left.

I guess it’s official that Hands Down sound like Built to Spill since two people made that comparison to me within a matter of minutes. They have interestingly-constructed songs. I like how they end. Which is a great bon mot, but I honestly mean I like the way the arrangements end the songs–none drag out a chorus to the end. They had even more people on stage last night than I’ve seen before. It made for a weird mix. A lot of the background elements (shakers, keyboards, etc) were in the foreground and the rhythm was largely in the background. This is the reverse of how I’d like to hear it, but when you’ve got seven or eight dudes onstage, I don’t know how you manage the mix.

I cannot remember a note of Imagine Asians, but I’d happily check them out again and pay more attention.

The Pink Spiders were their own bad selves. In what may have been unintentional comedy, they had roadies even on the tiny Basement stage. They were a little loud for my taste. I mean it’s one thing to have a great mix and punch it up a couple of notches to kick people in the chests, but it’s another to be so loud that the PA speakers keep shorting out. They could have turned down a little and still kicked ass in that tiny room. But standing in that room with earplugs in felt like being underwater. I went outside for the last couple of songs and the level was much better.

I talked to Matt Friction for a short bit after the show. Hilariously, he told me that he’d thought for a while that the talk of my novel was just sort of a practical joke, as if I hadn’t actually written a book. Well, okay, that’s not so funny to you, but I was amused.

I hung around til two talking to Todd K, Andy, the Caboose and her boyfriend. So I’m functioning on little sleep but my “no beer after midnight” rule has left me in much better shape than I’d otherwise be. I’ve got to listen to some bad, bad music over the next eight hours or so. I don’t need any other aggravations.