March 19th, 2005


(no subject)

So Lucas and I went to NYC. Notable events, the Metropolitan Museum, Ulrich Schnauss, Slint.

I love the Met. I love the cafeteria at the Met. If you think cafeteria food always sucks, they do such great food that anyone who has a crap cafeteria should hang their head in shame.

Ulrich Schnauss -- Soupy, monotonous in the beat department. Every track was some sort of minor-chordy progression that was pretty enough, but at least on the Rothko sound system, everything was so layered and reverbed and such that every track sounded the same. One or two tracks in that style has a certain MBV wall of sound appeal, but I felt it was kind of annoying.

And he appeared to be playing a keyboard of some sort, but A) the sounds he was playing never emerged enough out of the murk that you could link what his hands were doing with the sound coming out of the speakers and B) he just seemed to pound chords in a steady 16th note pattern throughout the whole set. WTF?

Slint -- if you were paying attention in the late 80s to what was called Indie Rock, before Nirvana, and before it became a major label marketing pigeonhole, Slint was pretty much the shit. The whole start-stop, math rock, mumbled spoken word vocal thing, that is still pretty current today, owes its existence to Slint. The various members after splitting up in the early 90s have gone on to play in or form dozens of other well-thought-of groups.

So one might wonder if Slint regrouping for a US/Europe tour was a purely cynical money-grubbing move. If it is, I don't care. I didn't see them play back in the day, and the way they played the other night was so awe-inspiring, majestic and perfect was probably better than they would have sounded 15 years ago. Practice makes perfect, innit? Their songs sounded essentially identical to the recordings, but then their songs were always carefully constructed pieces that went a certain way and had no room for Johnny-B-Goode jamming.

I knew that something special was going on about 8 songs in when they finished a song, and the stage went black for instrument changes and tuning, and 800-odd people were so quiet it was if everyone was holding their breath.

My only regret about hearing them 15 years on is that after 3 days of walking several miles, and on my second night of standing up at a show all night, I kind of hurt all over, and had to push through fatigue and physical discomfort to pay attention.

Dear Irving Plaza -- ever hear of a coat check? Or a SEATING AREA? There were about 20 tables in the balcony with chairs but they were ALL RESERVED FOR SLINT. No fair to the aging rawk fan base!

I'll put up some pictures after I unpack and such. PS while it's kinda cool to get home before 1PM, a 6:20AM flight is pretty hard on the system, what with getting up at 4 about 3 hrs after going to bed. I was, as they say, knackered by the time I got home.

OK one picture: