Only two important things happened in the world of music the last week of July: Paying customers hurled debris at Fred Durst on Sunday and at Justin Timberlake on Wednesday. Now, I know the former example is like throwing feces at an orangutan, and I know the latter was during a cameo at a Rolling Stones concert (what, those AARP honeys with the 'staches don't wanna "put on his jacket, baby, and then . . . "?); I also know that JT is inexplicably cooler than a cockeyed trucker hat with six ironic one-inch buttons and two cup holders' worth of PBR. Irrelevantthis is a new dawn. The day that Radiohead and the White Stripes get bottledand that day is comingmy electroclash/ nü-metal octet S.T.A.I.N.Z. on Speed will strike, changing the face of rock forever.
But let's retract from the inevitable future into the bitter, thankless present. As I have no bloated all-day summer fests to report on (recap: It was hot, the bands sucked, and I was too good for all the ladies), I'll regale you with tales of another wanna-be- decadent, semiconscious, metrosexual week gallivanting about town in search of the Rock.
The quest should've begun and ended at Year of the Rabbit's highly touted (by me) Easy Street Records in-store in Queen Anne on Thursday. I don't know if it was the flunky who promised pre-set that "if you're nice, the band will stick around and sign posters," the grotesquely adult-alternative Mac rearrangements of YOTR's normally punchy space-pop, or hearing frontman Ken Andrewslong one of my hard-rock idolscroon, "You are the one who holds me up when I fall down," without laughing, but a sizable chunk of my rock 'n' roll heart rotted and retracted into my colon that day.
The next evening a successful transplant occurred. I showed up far too early for the Divorce/Lashes babe-fest at Graceland, but watched opener Radio Berlin play to 15 people and incur a friend's instant-classic assessment: "It's like Hot Hot Heat . . . without the hooks or stage presence." At 10:30 p.m., I had to bolt to the Crocodile to meet some friends for a little Cex (boo-yah! That joke wasn't employed too many times last week!), but a preponderance of evidence suggests that the Lashes' third tune was entitled "Death by Mixtape," which either (a) proves the pervasive dominance of this brilliant column after a scant seven installments or (b) means the song is oppressively self-indulgent and confusingly facetious. I missed it, but I'll take it.
Nothing compares to hoofing it a mile to the Croc, running smack dab into the double-acoustic, Dr. Moreau discord of N.Y.C.'s perfectly named Animal Collective, and drunkenly mimicking their two discernible English-language refrains in 45 minutes of "BLEARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!" Well, almost nothing. Just as the United States of Electronica starship disembarked, I galloped into the showroom with water for a friend, only to have her promptly dump it on my head, kick-starting USE's Flashdance-style, vocoder-spiked boogie party, highlighted by bar none the sexiest woman I'd seenum, in the last hourbreaking off wicked robo-go-go dancing on stage left.
After all of this somehow populist esotericism, Cex leapt onto the floor clad only in jogging shorts, boxer briefs, and boots, instantly bumming out half of my party, despite coercing many to perform nursery school calisthenics set to NIN-inspired emo-rap. I still have his cell numberprovided by his publicist in case I wasn't on the guest list, which in my life is second in importance only to postwar Iraqi infrastructure. Maybe he'll strip at my birthday party.
If Friday was a "the Bonz: He drinks excessively and occasionally rocks the party" triumph, Saturdayback at Gracelandwas a "the Bonz: He drinks excessively, bums everyone out, and submarines his tentative romantic life" setback. Accessory: Les Savy Fav, Williamsburg, N.Y.'s favorite post-post-post-whatever quartet, whom I relate to only on the level of grizzly bear frontman Tim Harrington's inspired onstage antics and am otherwise totally befuddled by.
Instead of watching openers SPRCSS bust out their spunky "Mirror in the Bathroom"-style grind, I inhaled about 10 cocktails, sucked at Ms. Pac-Man for two hours, and ended up balancing on a garbage can during the Fav, pointing at friends and moaning "I don't get it." This is the third consecutive time that this band has ruined my evening (nice revisionism, Andrew), and I'm happy to report that a measure of revenge was ascertained when my buddy J got hammered, hung out with Fav bassist Syd Butler afterward, asked him what he thought of the show, not knowing that Syd was in Les Savy Fav, and proceeded to decimate the band.
On Monday, the Mars Volta performed Phantom of the Afro at the Showbox. Two wishes: That I didn't have to bum that flawless, end-of-story line from a friend, and that the Volta will get huge enough for a bottling. Make that three things, then.