05 April 2006
YOU MIGHT SEE RIFF IN DESIGNER UNDERWEAR
Download: Jonathan Richman's "Cosi Veloce"
Show morning, J emailed me bits from an amNew York interview with Art Brut's "wacky frontman":
AMNY: It's such a different sound. Was that a conscious effort among the group to sit down and make something new?
AMNY: The name Art Brut, I think, kind of helps with that perception of you guys positioning yourselves as outsiders.
Show start, AB played "Enter Sandman" for Argos's entrance music. We laughed, the German kids and sub-18s next to us went berserk beating the shit out of each other, and I spent the rest of the night totally fucking vexed by the fact that both reactions were not only equally legit, but somewhat symbiotic. Art Brut's gonna be popular for one reason (if this actually happens; not sure Downtown's throwing the big bucks down if Atlantic's not pushing the record a la Gnarls), and cult for the same set of observations. Both sides will scream "they just don't get it"; both will be right.
Look, I'm entering Douchebag Territory and I know it. There's no wrong way to eat a Reese's, right; still it's not like each of us hasn't tried to, like, light a peanut butter cup on fire and straw-sip the fumes up the butt or whatever. Art Brut does the "magnificent banalities" thing way too well for people not to be hit eight different ways, nine different times by lines like "Why don't our parents worry about us?" or "Can I get you a cup of coffee?" Every song this guy writes is as universal as 'Happy Birthday', and I feel like he knows it, at least by now.
So yeah this was a fantastic show like they'll always be, so visceral but so personal too. I just hope Argos will leave it like that. Dude does not need to stop "Emily Kane" mid-song to spell out for the fans he's accrued since November that it's not about (to paraphrase) "a guy named Eddie Argos still in love with his first girlfriend, a girl named Emily Kane" but really it's about "being 15 years old in love with being in love." He doesn't need to play the cool considered Zach Morris figure timing out the stage while Jasper Future prances around, rocks out like a little brother who just discovered rock and roll during, ahem, "My Little Brother." Same song, he doesn't need to bring up the guys from Little Brother and have them rap about how they only listen to bootlegs and b-sides. I fucking know those guys, and they listen to a lot more than that.
Yet I saw people actively benefit from Argos spelling it all out, and others need more, so I really don't know. All the German kids yelled "LA sucks!" during "Moving to LA" and kept on moshing with big fucking grins on their faces. Next to me an old man was wearing a shirt with no sleeves; his buddy was banging his chest with extreme strength and precision, double-time. I didn't know what to tell either of them.
I'm really jealous. This band's a fave and they still don't make me mosh; they don't even make me want to rock out. I like them as artistes, anti-academics by choice not by stupidity, and inevitably I get hung up on how fucking smart these songs are, how finely tuned the delivery, how "These Animal Menswear" sounds like "Where Is My Mind?" and how Argos winks at me before singing "Where is my mind?" I'm jealous because bumping into me was a guy with a pretty ridiculous hat, one of those fedoras people buy at Urban Outfitters that everybody looks OK in but nobody ever looks that good, and I would have loved to slam an elbow into him and call it good fun. The encore was "Good Weekend"; right in the middle of the pit a guy and his brand new girlfriend started making out like they were 13 years old and watching Ghost Dad; I wished I wasn't so self-conscious.