02 December, 2006

Fridays are for live music; Star Trek

I saw the Slip twice yesterday, once at noon and once again in the evening. Both times were at the Electric Factory. The first set was decent, at a little over 50 minutes. They played six songs, five of which were from Eisenhower. The set list was as follows:

1. If One of Us Should Fall
2. Airplane/Primitive
3. Even the Rats
4. Children of December
5. Sleepy Head (Labeled The Original Blue Air on the NPR site)
6. Paper Birds

They played really well to a crowd that was there to see The Slip and not another band. Each song was about 9 minutes long. I was particularly glad to hear Sleepy Head, since that is the only one of the bunch that I don't have on my computer in any form. The NPR site where the concert is posted for streaming lists Sleepy Head as The Original Blue Air, which is incorrect. The whole set is available on NPR's website (it cuts off mid-Paper Birds), linked here. I checked it out, and it's actually a decent recording. It kind of fades in and out in places, and obviously the fact that it cuts out mid-song isn't really that appealing.

The show tonight had a similar setlist of newer material. I say new only in the sense that the songs are on their most recent album. They have been playing these songs for a while now, so the live performance is already fully developed and up for musical experiment rather than development. The evenings lineup was as such:

1. The Soft Machine
2. Even the Rats
3. ?
4. Airplane/Primitive
5. ?
6. Children of December

I missed writing down what the two songs there were, but oh well. They weren't the same as in the first set, I know that.

Having never seen The Slip live, and having heard that they are one of the better live bands out there, I had high expectations. Those expectations were met, certainly. I have quite a few live sets on my computer which I have listened to a lot, but seeing (hearing?) their meandering song structure evolve on stage is amazing. Drummer Andrew Barr, who was wearing a wolf cap, doesn't play with his eyes open, he seems to feel the sound and evolution of the song, following it on instinct rather than visual clues.

Their connection through the music was especially apparent at the crescendo of Children of December during both sets, as it played nothing like the album. The three came together on stage (or rather, guitarist Brad and bassist Marc converged on Andrew) and played the soaring finale to one of the more popular tracks on the new release.

If it weren't for the pseudo hippies who wish they were from Tennessee dancing around and swirling the scent of hemp and unwashed liberalism everywhere, it would have been 'the best.' As it stands, hippie girls need to shower and shave, and hippie dudes need to..umm... do the same I guess. I left midway through the second band. I didn't feel like sticking around for My Morning Jacket. Not that I really detest them or anything, but I don't really like them all that much, despite people at the concert saying they're the best live band ever. Yeah, if you pay $25 for a ticket they damn sure better be good live. Good thing I didn't pay for the ticket. Also, I think that there are too many effects on Jim James' vocals, making it hard to listen to him singing.

I didn't get to take pictures, unfortunately, which is kind of shitty. I wish I had been able to, especially at the first show today, where there weren't that many people. The evening show was sold out, and the whole place, balcony and floor, was filled with people. Kind of amazing, really. I wish I had a job as a bartender there. You get paid to serve overpriced booze to people and see bands every night, too. Granted, you have to see some pretty shitty bands, but still.

On an unrelated note, there really isn't much I like doing better with my afternoon than watching the 3-hour block of Star Trek: The Next Generation on Spike TV. The show is so ridiculously cheesy sometimes, so of course that's one draw (for me anyway.) One of the episodes on Friday afternoon happened to take place on "Captain Picard Day," and there were all these children's drawings of Picard. I'm wondering who had the good fortune to have to make a few of those as part of their job? I wonder if it was just an intern or some production assistant. I kind of hope they were random things that real kids sent to the producers of the show, but I'm sure they aren't.


Blogger Steve said...

I just found out The Slip's "Even Rats" is in Guitar Hero 1 under the bonus section. Not a bad tune.

10:11 PM, December 02, 2006  

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