I went to Portland, and I saw Beirut

August 27, 2015 at 9:56 am (A Misanthropist Goes to the Shows) (, , )

… And then I came back and couldn’t think of any clever post titles.

Anyway! This last week, I went to Portland, Ore., and saw Beirut, my current favorite band.

Here they are, in a boat, with musical instruments.

Here they are, in a boat, with musical instruments.

Portland was nice, especially the part where I got hit on while riding the train.

Pictured here: A swingin' singles club, apparently.

Pictured here: A swingin’ singles club, apparently.

But Beirut was awesome. They were all like: Flugelhorn this and trumpet that and here’s some accordion, y’all!

They also whipped out this little number, which is probably a ukulele, I think.

They also whipped out this little number, which is probably a ukulele, I think.

They opened with Scenic World, and then they played Elephant Gun, which I mistakenly called Postcards from Italy, and then they played Nantes, and I was like, oh, oops, that’s Postcards from Italy, and then later they played Postcards from Italy, and I was like, how am I such an idiot I can’t remember the names of songs by my favorite band except for Postcards from Italy?

Also, they played three songs off their soon-to-be-released new album, which were awesome and I can’t wait, and there was this nice couple in front of us (I brought my daughter and my mother) who made sure nobody blocked our way, so I could see Zachary Francis Condon flugel his little horn out!

No, you're the dirty one, thinking that's what I meant.

No, you’re the dirty one, thinking that’s what I meant.

So it was quite lovely, and then the next day I got up at 5 a.m. and drove for eight hours.

And then the next day I drove some more, and now I hate cars.

And then the next day I drove some more, and now I hate cars.

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A love letter to Eric Elbogen (or I got to see Say Hi and you didn’t)

September 7, 2009 at 6:47 pm (A Misanthropist Goes to the Shows) (, , )

Dear Eric Elbogen,

There's still something sexy about this picture, Eric Elbogen, and it might be the disembodied feet or the bondage, I don't know.

There's still something sexy about this picture, Eric Elbogen, and it might be the disembodied feet or the bondage, I don't know.

Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for opening your show at Bumbershoot with “These Fangs.” I know I’m always going on about Blah Blah Blah, but “These Fangs” is actually my favorite song on that album, and it is also Gabriel’s theme song. (“Who is Gabriel?” you ask? Well, soon I’ll finish my real novel, and then you’ll find out.)

Also, thank you for playing “Toil and Trouble.” I love that song. It’s a really fun song, and I think it is the best song about love potions ever, Eric Elbogen, even if my mother says it’s no “Love Potion No. 9,” which I think is actually a good thing, Eric Elbogen. Also, you played “Oh oh oh oh oh oh (I lost track of the ohs, I’m deeply sorry, Eric Elbogen)” and that is a fun song. Also, “November was white, December was grey” is like my theme song, because you say “I’ll feel better when the winter’s gone (or perhaps done, I can’t tell for sure, but I blame my hearing and not your enunciation, Eric Elbogen, because you are my hero and I love you)” and I always feel better when winter’s gone. We can hate winter together, Eric Elbogen!

And “Northwestern Girls” you also played! And “Sweet Sweet Heart Killer,” which I can’t ever tell if it’s about a sweet sweetheart killer or about a sweet, sweet heart-killer, but it’s still a great song, and I love you, Eric Elbogen. So that was two vampire songs in one concert! (“These Fangs” was the other, for those of you reading this and not quite getting it.) You are amazing, Eric Elbogen.

And you had a cold! You were performing with a cold, Eric Elbogen, and you sounded great, and I think you are wonderful, Eric Elbogen.

As an aside, Eric Elbogen, I would also like to thank you for not falling victim to the whole skinny pants fad. Your baggy jeans were very cute and looked comfie, plus your longish hair was very flattering, and I wanted to hug you (or whatever) all along, Eric Elbogen.

I know I’m overusing your name, Eric Elbogen, but I’m really hoping you’ll Google yourself and find this post. We are meant to be, Eric Elbogen! (Note: I’m not actually stalking you, Eric Elbogen, I just like your music a lot. I’m not even sure where you’re based, city-wise, so you don’t have to worry about waking up and seeing me standing at the foot of your bed. But if you do wake up and I’m standing at the foot of your bed, I will be humming “Blah Blah Blah.” I love you, Eric Elbogen.)

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I saw Matt & Kim and Telekinesis, and you didn’t

September 5, 2009 at 10:45 pm (A Misanthropist Goes to the Shows) (, , )

So, Day One of Bumbershoot is over (well, it is for me anyway; not for the people who stuck around for Sheryl Crow, which I, as anyone who knows me, obviously wouldn’t do), and here are my impressions:

Matt & Kim, outdoors on the Broad Street Stage.

Don't they just look Californian? I mean, why would you think otherwise, you know?

Don't they just look Californian? I mean, why would you think otherwise, you know?

I have never wanted to punch so many teenagers in the face in my life. Now don’t get me wrong: I always want to punch teenagers in the face, just not usually in such quantity. (There just happened to be more teens at the Matt & Kim show than anywhere else I’ve been in my life, which explains it.)

I did learn that Matt & Kim (which happens to also be the names of the people in the band Matt & Kim, but don’t ask me their last names, because, as I am soon to reveal, I don’t know much about them) are from Brooklyn, N.Y., and not California, as I thought they were. Yes, it was something I could have easily discovered through the inspired usage of Google, but I just assumed they were from California because they seem so cheerful (not that people from New York can’t be cheerful, I just think of people from California as being the most cheerful because California is nice and warm and sunny).

I also learned that white people like Matt & Kim quite a bit, and that white people also like jumping up and down and they think they’re dancing. (Incidentally, on Monday, I plan to see the gent who does the “Stuff White People Like” blog.) Jumping up and down is not dancing. It’s called hopping. Bouncing maybe.

Also, it smelled quite a bit like pot, and not old pot, like people smoked a bowl and then got on the monorail, more like they were lighting up right there at the Matt & Kim concert! I was shocked, as pot smoking was clearly prohibited in the Bumbershoot official rules, as was my flask that they confiscated. Ha, ha, just kidding. I don’t have a flask and if I did have one, it certainly wasn’t confiscated. Had it been (had I one), I would have totally narced on the the people who were smoking pot, especially the guy with the accidental white-man dreads (you know, from forgetting to wash, not from planning for ’em). Yeah, I won’t be the only one not getting wasted, you damn hippies!

Telekinesis, indoors at the EMP stage.

He didn't wear glasses at the concert. I wonder if he has contacts, or if his legions of teenaged fans are less terrifying when blurry.

He didn't wear glasses at the concert. I wonder if he has contacts, or if his legions of teenaged fans are less terrifying when blurry.

Later, I got in line for the Telekinesis concert 45 minutes prior to its beginning, as it was an indoor concert and there was no guarantee I could get in. No guarantee, people! You don’t know the terror that struck into my heart. So I got in line 45 minutes early and endured the idle gossip of a group of teenaged girls (never before have I wanted to etc., etc.), and one of them was all, “Oh! My! God! You wouldn’t believe the lame thing that happened to me!” and she was obviously the leader teenage girl, so the other girls were like, “Oh! My! God! What happened, chick who is cooler than us because teenage girls have a hard time if they don’t fit in and that creepy lady should stop glaring at us because it’s not our fault, it’s society’s!” So 45 minutes of that, except with less social commentary, more “Oh! My! God!”s and more teenage girl lingo that I just don’t get.

Eventually, they let us in.

Thank God, I thought to myself. Now I can get away from the teenage girls and boy, this venue is awfully tiny, isn’t it? I wonder if I’ll have a panic attack or just get really crabby. Probably crabby. It’s my natural state, after all. Why are so many people texting? What’s that smell? Has that guy showered? Why is that teenage girl chatting on her cell phone while Matthew is singing “Great Lakes”? Doesn’t she know that’s one of their best songs and also that I want to punch her in the face?

Despite the presence of teenagers (all right, I hate them because they make me feel old and occasionally overweight), the Telekinesis show was excellent, and Matthew Lerner played all the songs that I like, and finished up with my absolute favorite, “Coast of Carolina,” and it was wonderful, and I hope they will play in my hometown someday. (They won’t.)

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