Thursday, April 2, 2009

Undergrads vs. Inmates

Few random thoughts / observations (not necessarily re: the above, though I do encourage you to take the time to check that out).

My first go at Sonotheque in five years wasn't what I expected. The setup was a bit janky - the feet of the decks were positioned precariously upon cigarette ashtrays with rubber bands tied round - and the main console wasn't an option for some reason. I had a hell of a time using the pitch sliders on both decks, as every time my meaty hands got hold of the pitch it would cause the record to skip. I guess the lesson here (in many ways) is that I do not play out often enough. Kind of sucks to know that the practice I'm constantly doing at home doesn't have much real world application, though - my best nights of late have been at the Let's Go Deep nights at Cafe Lura, where I usually end up bringing my own 1200's and am fairly comfortable with them. Excuses are like assholes...

Steve asked me about the SXSW trip and mentioned that I hadn't written about it. I really don't know what to write, for a number of reasons. I feel like my relative ignorance of the cultural context for a lot of what we saw allowed me to enjoy the shows without the burden of any kind of active, in the moment, metaphysical analysis - most discussions I had with Eric at the time, re: the music/crowds/etc. was limited to what was actually seen and heard, with some rote extrapolation. Knowing, now, just how much hype surrounds some of those bands makes it somewhat difficult to get my thoughts in order. I'll try, sometime.

(It doesn't help that for as much fun as I had going out to the shows, I still feel that the best parts of the trip involved getting to hang out with our dear friend / host, Will, which would make any honest, written discussion of the trip less of a critique and more of a diary entry.)

Finally got to meet Jake last night. Hey, Jake! I picked a URL at random.

A link to a Youtube video of Thee Oh Sees playing one of the shows we attended down in Austin gives me an idea - I think my SXSW roundup (get it? I mean, do you get it?) will consist of videos from shows we were at. It should be relatively easy, given the amount of iPhones present wherever we went.

Final note: discussion re: the label Troubleman Unlimited (relevant, again, in 2009) led to an immediate connection, one of the finest examples of the mid- to late-90's "emo" sound. What a loaded term that is. Indian Summer did it best/earliest, and the Canadian band Shotmaker ran with it. Troubleman released a great double-disc discography of the band's output sometime in the early 00's (which I bought from a bandmate's mini-distro on a Buy Nothing Day, which means I got it for free dollars and never followed up on my promise to pay him), and for reasons possibly limited to nostalgia / the amount of times I listened to those cd's, I think it "holds up." Those of you who are both curious and have loose morals can check out the complete discography here.

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Chicago, IL, United States
Writer, DJ, and a few other things surrounded by scare quotes.