The Austin music scene through the eyes of a programmer/music enthusiast/show-goer

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Peristroika + Hamlet + Badgers = good times

Tapes 'n Tapes, joined by Figurines and Cold War Kids brought their traveling road show to Stubbs' indoor stage Tuesday night for what turned out to be a good time had by all. Well at least by me (and my lady). I'd seen Tapes 'n Tapes before when they played for the KEXP SXSW broadcast at ACL studios in March. It was enjoyable, but not the same feeling as seeing them live. As for the Figurines and Cold War Kids, it was a new experience, and a chance to put the hype to the test.

I'd say I'm a "Cold War" kid. I grew up w/ Gorby (that's Gorbachev -- yeah the dude w/ the funny spot on this head). I'm all about "glastnost" (which means "openess", at least according to my 6th grade history teacher). And who could forget "peristroika" (economic "restructuring"). Those were some good times. I can't really say if you bottle all that fun up you'd come out w/ Los Angeles based Cold War Kids' brand of off-beat rock, but I am convinced. My pre-show prediction was that at least one of the 2 hype-a-thon bands would deliver and Cold War Kids did that. They were legit. I was on the fence about em after a few listens, but after seeing them totally get into what they were playing and hearing the songs much louder and in the flesh, I have a whole new appreciation for the EPs. Listening to the Up In Rags EP again today brought back all the stompin', dancin' around the stage, and buckets of sweat they were leaving all over the Stubbs' stage. Good times. I recommend listening to show opener (maybe ... there were drinks) 'Hang Me Out To Dry' at high volume levels. It was in my head all night and the day following the show. The uncontrollable urge to bounce your whole body to the beat is natural. Go w/ it.

Back to my pre-show prediction: one band would succeed, while the other would falter. I'm gonna come out and say that I was right. Figurines didn't do it for me. But I guess following a much more energetic Cold War Kids, they didn't really have a chance. Hailing from Hamlet's (it's a play; a good one; look into it) home of Denmark, the Figurines just didn't convice me that they actually enjoyed playing their music. Everyone pretty much stayed in their places for the entirety of the show, until they finally got into it during the last songs' post-thanks-for-coming-out encore jam session. But it was too little, too late. I think the pretty boy bass player (in pic on far right) did them in for me. He seemed like he cared more about how he looked than rockin' out. Tsk tsk. It wasn't all bad. I dug a couple of tracks, like their opener (which I couldn't tell you what it was), because it evoked a Neil Young quality that was quite good. Unfortunately, the entire package was lacking. (note: this pic was taken in front of KEXP studios, which is pretty cool. the KEXP sign is anyway.)

But alas, I knew our friends from the land of 10,000 lakes (that's Minnesota) were up next to bring life back to the party. And that they did. Tapes 'n Tapes put on a raucous set which opened w/ most of their rock-out loud songs (see Insistor, Cowbell). I'm in. Get the crowd hooked, then bring it down a notch. Then bring the Cold War Kids' singer and guitar player up for some indie-mega-band sing along action (can't remember which song, but it was dope). And close it down w/ some Crazy Eights. After seeing the live show, I can safely say that I will indeed be their badger. No idea what that means, but I'm doing it.

ps. seriously Kelly ... who's the logger?


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