adrian is rad


no TV day

Filed under: — adrian @ 5:40 pm

I decided that I wasn’t going to watch TV today.

It’s weird. There are many times that I turn it on and I don’t think I notice. I was like “what am I going to do while eating lunch?”

I decided to read, but something else came up, which I’ll blog about later.

Eric, Jon, Mark and Ben

Filed under: — adrian @ 5:36 pm

So I went to the tsunami benefit concert at Great American last night. Four men and their guitars. Usually I’ll go to a concert so I’ll miss one or more of the opening acts. Here is perhaps the first concert where I wanted to see everyone that was playing.

First up was Eric Bachmann (Bacchman? Bachman? I’ve seen all these spellings on the internet) of Archers of Loaf and the Crooked Fingers. He fingerpicked a classical guitar and sang in a somewhat strained voice that bears some resemblence to his voice on the Archers records. From the first song, I was impressed. It was nothing like the Archers of Loaf. It was gorgeous, sad music with more than a nod to traditional American music with songs like “Death Train.” If I’d heard any of the Crooked Fingers or Barry Black (which I just found out is his solo project), I would have been more prepared for his “new” style (the Archers of Loaf haven’t done anything since like 1997). I’ll have to check them out now and play them on my show.

Next: Jonathan Richman. I was very familiar with the name and familiar with a couple of his songs, but I don’t know very much about him. I know he was in Something about Mary. And apparently he was the front man for the Modern Lovers. Live, he’s quirky and goofy. He moves his body and plays his classical guitar without a strap (just sort of holding it against his body). He does this goofy bow at the end of a song that reminds me of a someone on the Ed Sullivan show. Sometimes he basically fingerpicks and sometimes he almost plays in a flamenco style. He sang in Spanish, Italian, French and English. He would interject strange things in his songs (“the English part!” before a bunch of “oohs-ahhs” or “guitar!” before a guitar solo). I had a huge grin on my face the whole time because he’s just so entertaining to watch.

Mark Kozelek of Red House Painters (who were active 1992-2000ish) and Sun Kil Moon (the last year or so). I was really excited to see him solo. I’d heard a lot of the RHP and SKM but his solo stuff is what I like best. He came out and asked the fairly young crowd “So when does the school bus come to get you guys?” He also repeated referred to Ben Gibbard as “the guy from the post office.” Then he started playing. Oh my gosh. I don’t know if there could be a better combination of voice, guitar style and songwriting ability. He could really do no wrong solo; he could sing about killing little babies and I would probably think it was the prettiest song ever. He did a “funny” song, as he put it: a cover of “Neverending Math Equation” by Modest Mouse. Done in Kozelek’s style it’s not quite the same.

The man all the girls were screaming for: Ben Gibbard. Sporting an unkempt beard, glasses and scruffy hair, he was definitely the crowd favorite. And he was definitely really good, but I don’t think the best of the night. He opened with a cover the of Archers of Loaf song “Web in Front”. He also covered the Monkey’s song “Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)” later in the set. He did a number of solid versions of Death Cab for Cutie and Postal Service songs, including, of course, “Such Great Heights” (which he called a cover of a song he wrote) but also “the Dream of Evan and Chan” (technically a DNTEL song). He said he was intimidated playing guitar after the previous three “of the best guitar players I’ve seen.”

Overall, it was probably the best acoustic concert I’ve seen.

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