Tacoma’s Bid for Dominance from Seattle Met

Cyndi LauperI wrote a humorous little thing for Seattle Met about the idea of Tacoma’s concert scene overtaking Seattle’s this July. Check it out.

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Going Solo: The Art of Seeing Shows Alone

It’s insane how much we let monophobia dictate our lives. The fear of being alone has essentially made it weird and unacceptable for people to go to restaurants, movies, or — for our purposes — concerts without toting along a companion. The lamest excuse that I consistently hear is that friends bailed on seeing a band they dig because, “I didn’t have anyone to go with.” Having flowN solo for 90 percent of the shows I’ve seen, I can say with confidence that there are, in fact, benefits to traveling alone.

Freedom of Movement

Not being tethered to the anchor of a companion is an underrated positive. If it’s a crowded show, there’s no push to reconnect with your pal if you get separated in the mass at the front of the stage. You’re free to move back if things get rough, get in the pit if things aren’t rough enough or head to the bar anytime. The venue is your oyster.

Freedom of Time

Attending a show alone lets you set your own schedule. Want to get there super early for an opener you like? Fine. Want to leave early because the headliner is singing off-key? Done. Time management is especially important at festivals, where not being dependent on a friend’s tastes allows you to catch every act you want to see, while avoiding the disaster of having to try and meet up again amongst the crowd at a certain point in time (which never works as planned). Continue reading

Seattle Met Fall Arts Preview: Secure Our Boarders!

As part of Seattle Met‘s Fall Art Preview issue, I wrote about the terrifying invasion of Canadian musicians coming to Seattle. Witness the horror.

Barboza Set to Open Under Neumos

I wrote about Seattle’s newest venue/club over at Seattle Met. Check it.

Going Solo For Art’s Sake

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Art impacts each one of us in a different way. No two people see a painting, hear a song or watch a movie and get the exact same thing from it. Which raises the question: Why are people so hesitant to experience a concert alone?

Recently one of my friends had one of her all-time favorite bands come through town but didn’t attend the show. It wasn’t because she couldn’t get a ticket. It wasn’t because she had to work that night. It was because she had no one to go with.

She was even considering just hanging outside the venue (not a smart idea in Spokane) during the concert because she cared so much for the band, yet going alone was unthinkable.

The situation may seem rather extreme, but this type of thing occurs quite often. Probably the most common situation for this refusal to digest art alone is movie-going. No matter how much they have been anticipating a film, people are reluctant to go solo.

Individuals will convince themselves that waiting to see it later with friends is the best option. It’s odd because watching a movie with others does not change the product in the least. If you watch the film alone or with a slew of friends, every frame is still the same. Every joke, scare or tear is still shows up the same way on that projector screen. So, what is it that drives this tendency in people? What we really desire is not the companionship; what we crave is social discussion of art.
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Modest Mouse Trek Through Spokane

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Isaac Brock hates his job.

Now I’m not quoting him on this, but after seeing Modest Mouse for the fourth time last Saturday night at Spokane’s Kitting Factory it’d be hard to argue otherwise. His disposition is the number one thing holding Modest Mouse back from being a really good live band. It doesn’t seem like he wants to be there. It never seems like he’s enjoying himself while playing. He seems like he wants to be a grumpy curmudgeon and acts the part. Because of it, despite a tight sound, the band never achieves anything special live.

Opening the show was The Night Marchers, led by former Rocket from the Crypt frontman John Reis. The group did a solid job of mixing punk rhythm with blues leads for a fairly straightforward rocking experience. At times their set brought to mind elements of Springsteen or even Against Me! Reis’s stage banter was the only real drawback. He came off like an old guy who was a bit to juvenile and trying to force a goofy, cocky, fun-all-the-time demeanor down the onlookers throats.

Modest Mouse came out of the gates with “3rd Planet.” The set mixed songs released since Good News For People Who Love Bad News with a surprising amount of material off of The Moon And Antarctica (including “Gravity Rides Everything” and “Wild Pack of Family Dogs”). The band sounded about as on as they could be. Yet Brock’s bitterness seemed to cast a harsh cloud over it all. In his defense, he claimed to have suffered a broken jaw while on tour. Still, he didn’t seem pleased at all to be playing. When a fan shouted out, “Cowboy Dan!,” he agitatedly spouted something along the lines of, “Sure, this one’s called ‘Cowboy Dan’…only it’s not,” before launching into “The View.” While it’s fine to ignore yelling fan requests, there’s no real reason to be a dick about it. Continue reading

How To Attend A Concert

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*The following is was my English 101 final from a few years back which was an expository how-to essay, which took about 45 minutes to write up. It should also be noted that one of the comments my professor wrote on the paper was “ROFL,” which is painful modern irony at it’s finest.*

The lights go out. The crowd roars with tense anticipation. The first chord is struck. It rings clear at a dangerously high decibel level.

A good rock concert is a thing of beauty, but through my travels to shows, from Seattle to Chicago and almost everywhere in between, I’ve noticed a growing problem. People do not know how to “properly” attend a rock concert. It is an incredibly depressing revelation.

But fear not (!), for I am fully prepared to lay down guidelines that will allow you and your fellow concert goers to make the most of every concert you attend.

The first thing that comes to many minds when they think of a rock concert is the mosh pit. Many critics claim that it is violent and unnecessary, but in reality, when done right, it is no more dangerous than its forefather – pogoing. (For the unfamiliar, pogoing was basically just jumping done be fans at early punk shows. It eventually progressed into jumping into each other and then became moshing.) The first rule of the mosh pit is that it isn’t a fight. If one is looking for a place to beat people up, go elsewhere. The mosh pit is intended to be more like human bumper cars. People release energy by bounding off one another. If someone falls down, the pit stops until the person is on their feet again. No one wants to get hurt. It’s a concert for goodness sake – it’s about fun.
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