Thursday, August 14, 2008

Opinions on Ariel Pink, Titus Andronicus, Jaguar Love, and La Zona Rosa

Dear underground music scene,

Please forgive me for knowing absolutely nothing about Ariel Pink. I went to his show on Saturday having never listened to any of his recordings, and I walked away wandering why there were so many people there. At home, on the vast internet, I discovered that he is a California Institute of the Arts Alumni that has recorded over 500 songs, mostly on cassette tapes. I listened to some of his songs including "Among Dreams" and I realized the significance of his music.

His recordings are beautiful ensembles where his voice coos in soft waves over a scratchy buzz. The live shows are an entirely different animal with the enlisted help of a drummer, keys player, and bass player. Instead of a delicate hum, you get a peppier indie rock...which is fairly average aside from his yelping vocals. So I would encourage you to check out his albums, and then think about going to a live show.


Dear Titus Andronicus,

You were exactly like I thought you would be. Young. Loud. Passionate. Loud. Thank you for playing with so much energy. Jumping up on the speaker, ripping the strings out of your guitar, and dissing Seether. I can't get over the angst in your clangorous pop songs. More people should listen to you, and they will. But for now, I'm glad that I can go crazy in the front row.



In case anyone was wondering about Johnny Whitney's voice, yes, it really is that amazing. I had to go to the Jaguar Love show to find out just how playful, sassy, and electric they could be live, and I was not disappointed. They actually exceeded my expectations in how completely appropriate the name Jaguar Love is. Johnny pranced the stage and screamed 'thank you' into the mic with so much pizazz, that some of the audience members were taken a back. In addition, Cody and J-Clark contributed their fair share of twists, shouts, and flair (clothing that is). However, despite all the energy from the stage, the majority of the fans were just waiting to see The Faint (and thus obstructing dance space).

Maybe I'm annoyed because I like smaller venues...maybe I'm annoyed because the speakers block the stage from a lot of different angles...maybe I'm annoyed that Jaguar Love does not have more fans...maybe I'm annoyed that La Zona is borderline multi-purpose room...but in any case...La Zona Rosa is about my least favorite music venue in Austin. Every time I see a show there, I find myself strangely troubled by the performance. Not the quality, but the experience. No matter how well the band plays, I just wish it would have been somewhere else.


Ajay said...

I totally agree about Jaguar Love. I saw them in Dallas. J Clark is fantastic on drums. Awesome energy and stage presence from the band, but too many people just standing around with their arms crossed and blank expressions. This isn't a Kayo Dot show, people. Let loose a little!

desperate bicyles said...

Haha, yeah! I realize not everyone likes to dance, but if this music does not make you tap something...I question your humanness.

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