Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Oh yeah? Well I just flew in from Antarctica, and I can sing if I want to...

Laura Viers/Mirah
Logan Square Auditorium
July 17, 2007

Caveat: This has the potential to piss just as many people off as the now-infamous "A John Henry Memorial is a douchebag" post from the ifucktyrmam days. And believe me, the word "douchebag" will be thrown around often.

I went with Matt. We ate Mexican food beforehand, which was a big mistake, so we were both not feeling all that great...oh yeah, I'm supposed to be writing about the show. Oops. But I think the ill feelings were a mere precursor for what was to come.

We got there about twenty minutes before the scheduled time for the start of the show, and shock of all shocks Laura Viers mounted the stage promptly at 9:30. Viers is not a great songwriter--she's too self-consciously literate for my taste--but she gave an able and endearing performance, especially considering what she was up against.

And here's what she was up against: Apparently most of the people who showed up have ABSOLUTELY NO FUCKING MANNERS, because they talked throughout her entire set. I was standing within 20 feet of the stage and I could barely hear her over the social drone. The venue's setup didn't exactly help--the lack of any sort of acoustics and the rounded shape of the ceiling made the talking travel forward, right in Viers' face. She was very polite about it but obviously frustrated--I personally wouldn't have been so nice. She eventually had the soundguy turn up her mics and did some loop stuff to drown everyone out. Nice try, but you could still hear the buzz.

By this point I turned to Matt and said, "If this continues during Mirah's set, we're fucking leaving."

But once Mirah came onstage, the place was so packed you could barely move and people shut the fuck up. Thank god. Mirah is, as expected, charming and lovely in both her banter and performance style, and as I typically do at any show I started singing along.

After the second song, some bearded bespectacled person turns around and says, "Excuse me?"

I have been summoned! I look up, being the nice person that I am, and acknowledge his existence.

Then he says, "I drove here from Missouri, and your singing is way too loud. It's right in my ear."

How the fuck do you respond to that, other than by either rudely laughing in someone's face or apologizing profusely even though you've done nothing wrong?


I nudge Matt over a few feet, and after Mirah played her new song (the one that says something about "love as an economy/I don't believe in property"), I continued singing, albeit a tad bit quieter than before. That should have been good enough, right?

As the show progressed, a very adorable young woman standing behind me started singing along as well--loudly and joyously, while dancing around in her spot. We bonded in the way that kindred spirits do in times of adversity, and I had never been in a crowd so hostile to people enjoying the show. (Seriously, where the fuck were these people in 2002? Or even 2005? Jesus Christ, I remember the days that when you weren't singing along or moving around you'd get mean looks!)

Well, Missouri Douchebag (or MD from here on out) turns to me while Mirah is talking to the audience and yells, "Can't you see this is a quiet show? You're being very disrespectful right now!...I know you can hear me!" Yeah, I could...sorry, pal, I WAS TOO BUSY BEING FUCKING ENGAGED BY THE PERFORMER TO PAY ANY ATTENTION TO YOUR LAME, UPTIGHT ASS--a performer who was, I might add, playing an amplified, distorted guitar and was accompanied by an electric keyboard player and a drummer...and there was nothing "quiet" about what Mirah was doing last night. There are two things that piss me off more than almost anything: people using sprinklers to water tiny lawns and having most of the water run off into the sidewalk and street, and self-righteous fuckfaces who have no sense of show etiquette, especially in a scene that supposedly (or used to, I'm not sure which applies these days) places such emphasis on artist/audience interaction. He should count his blessings that I'm not completely tone deaf like everyone else in my family! (Someone after the show even came up to me and said I had a pretty voice that went along well with what was going on onstage--ha! Validation!)

The encore started with just the drummer and the keyboardist, who had a killer voice, doing a cover of some popular R&B song...I would label it as "ironic" if she hadn't been singing her ass off. Then Mirah came back on for a "live remix" and a few other songs, including the built-in singalong of "Apples in the Trees." Man, it's like she fucking KNEW!

Okay, enough about the shitty audience--Mirah played mostly songs from C'mon Miracle and Advisory Committee, with one song from the first album and a "guessing game" with her singing verses from some of the songs from Share This Place and having the audience guess which insects she was singing about. Her guitar playing was excellent, and she was in incredible voice--there was nothing quiet about the nuance and depth she can convey, which I was aware of before...but not THIS aware of it. It just amazes me after seeing her perform that she's still diminished and treated like a novelty in an "indie" culture that prizes the novel and precious more than sincerity and hope.

This all leads to two decisions on my part:
1) I'm never going to a show at the Logan Square Auditorium again. It has a cool vibe, but if they aren't going to do something about the cavernous ceiling to help with the acoustics, I'm going to avoid that frustration at all costs.
2) I'm singing as loudly and as lovely as I can at every show I go to (unless it's instrumental or I don't know all the words yet, and then I'll probably just make shit up). I don't know what's happened over the last six months or so since I've been to a show, but I hope this is the exception and not the rule these days. People sang along at Deerhoof back in December, and people sang along with Yoko Ono this weekend--and that's why I go to shows, to participate, to be engaged, to be moved, to exchange and spread love with and to everyone around me. If you just want to listen to the artist without the prerequisites that go along with attending live concerts, stay at home and listen to the record or watch a DVD or a clip on YouTube. People like me (and even people like Matt, who may not get crazy at shows but still have a good time minding their own) made this fucking scene, we constructed the entire culture, and if you're unwilling to build on that and participate in a manner that's more meaningful than spectatorship and propriety, save your money and fuck off.


Richard said...

Well you were singing too loud at the Evens show- haw haw haw

que ferions-nous sans vous pour nous guider? said...

you should have asked mirah if she was okay with it, and she surely would have said yes sing your heart out. that would have shut ol' md up.

Jackie said...

i sing at shows a lot! i love it. i try not to annoy people, but it's hard to do when you a guy like MD in front of you. but i get real rowdy during white stripes and gossip shows. so i can understand why some guy told me to shutup during "hotel yorba" one time. i'm just having a good time!

Richard said...

when exercising, i usually keep the tv on for background noise. exercising in total quiet is kinda weird to me. sometimes i have on local government council meetings, telemundo, food network and so forth. Last night though was VH-1 classic. And Kanye was playing either at live earth or the concert for dianna, it doesnt matter. But seriously, he is literally the worst live performer EVER. he ran around like a fucking spazz dickhead out of breath panting and missing his lines. back and forth across the stage. like a duck on crack. pathetic. but wait theres more i went upstairs and on MTV Hits they played huis new single. its awful! he rhymes klondike with blonde dyke! he wears those stupid 80s "horizontal blind" sun glasses. I loved that first single he had out, the "shes got a light skin friend looks like michael jackson" one. I have either disliked or ignored everything else. but now i think im starting to just hate the guy.
he fucking sucks so hard.

anyway, yeah

que ferions-nous sans vous pour nous guider? said...

well, the uic's letting me take some class i don't think i could normally take via enrollment as an independent study. i checked her name on some professor rating site and two out of three people hated her, so yay! it also means i have to do the same thing i did my first semester in the art school: go to class from 9-noon, wait four hours, then go to class from 4-7. why did i miss so many sculpture classes that semester? because waiting for four hours to go to class was hell!!

Richard said...

im sorry to hear that hon, that sucks

D said...

I was not singing too loud at the Evens show, because everyone else there was singing along too!

D said...

So neener.

que ferions-nous sans vous pour nous guider? said...

i didn't hear you singing at the evens show.

check your e-mail hon.

Richard said...

but uhhhn you were right in my ear and thats uhn you know its not very chill

D said...

Yeah, it was so disrespectful because you drove ALL THE WAY FROM WESTCHESTER to see them...uuuuhhhhhhhhn.

Richard said...

and i dont even get me started on how innappropriate it was/is!

D said...

So inappropriate, like beating up grandmas.

Richard said...

or umm being a dueche. right.

Richard said...

im back from lunch, lets chat it up motherfuckers

Richard said...

or not!


D said...

Morning all.

My friend Anna is coming into town today! Yay!

Richard said...


i get to leave work early! double super!

oh man, remember when i said i had gotten everything for the lennon project? HAHAHA. Got a bunch more stuff yesterday. The whole thing just grew about 3 more discs.

D said...

The Mt Eerie book is out, for $64 the whole world can be yours. I hope they still have copies after I move...

I also need to order the Fugazi book, that sounds pretty awesome and it ain't very expensive.

Richard said...

awesome and inexpensive, like everything fugazi has done, right?

what does the mt eerie book consist of?

Richard said...

I just got off the phone with a guy who totally referred to Mexico as "Mexicali"

D said...

I think the Mt Eerie book has photos and other forms of visual artwork and a 10". That Fugazi book is only like $30 or something.

Richard said...

for fucks sake:

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - A Marine convicted of kidnapping and conspiring to murder an Iraqi civilian who was killed by troops looking for an insurgent will not serve a prison term, a military jury decided Friday.

Cpl. Trent Thomas was sentenced to a bad-conduct discharge and a reduction in rank to private, which carries lower pay. He could have received life in prison for his role in the April 2006 killing of the retired Iraqi policeman in the village of Hamdania.

Thomas, of Madison, Ill., was among seven Marines and a Navy corpsman accused of snatching 52-year-old Hashim Ibrahim Awad from his house, marching him to a nearby ditch and shooting him after they botched an attempt to capture a suspected insurgent.

Prosecutors said squad members tried to cover up the killing by planting a shovel and AK-47 by Awad's body to make it look like he was an insurgent planting a bomb.

A military jury of three officers and six enlisted Marines deliberated Thomas' sentence for less than an hour before returning its decision.

On Wednesday, the jury convicted Thomas, 25, of kidnapping and conspiracy and acquitted him of other charges, including the most serious, premeditated murder.

Prosecutors had recommended Thomas be sentenced to 15 years in prison with a dishonorable discharge, reduction in rank and a fine.

Thomas' attorneys argued that their client was only following orders from his squad leader and asked that he be credited for the 519 days he has already served in the brig and be returned to active duty.

"We failed him as a Marine Corps, because under good leadership, this Marine would not be here today," Maj. Haytham Faraj told the court. "Consider where the responsibility lies."

Thomas had agreed in January to plead guilty in the case, but withdrew the guilty pleas on the eve of sentencing in February. His attorney, Victor Kelley, said that pretrial agreement had called for 12 years in prison.

On Thursday, Thomas told the court he wanted to continue serving.

"I've never been good at anything until I came to the Marine Corps," said Thomas, who served three combat tours in Iraq and was awarded a Purple Heart for the 2004 siege on Fallujah. "It's pretty obvious Michael Jordan was meant to play basketball. Tiger Woods was meant to play golf. The Marine Corps, it's me."

The final terms of Thomas' punishment are subject to review by Lt. Gen. James Mattis, the commanding general overseeing the case, but he can only reduce the sentence.

Four other Marines and the sailor charged pleaded guilty to reduced charges in exchange for testimony. A court-martial began Friday in a Camp Pendleton courtroom for Thomas' squadmate Cpl. Marshall L. Magincalda. Proceedings are scheduled to begin next week in the case of squad leader Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins III. Both are charged with murder, kidnapping, conspiracy and other offenses.

Tom Umberg, a former military prosecutor, called Thomas' punishment "pretty outrageous" and suggested the jurors might have been swayed by their own combat experiences.

"I have never heard of a court-martial that convicted someone of conspiracy to murder and kidnapping and not adjudicate some kind of (prison) sentence," Umberg said. "Obviously there was some sympathy, maybe even empathy, because all of the panel members had served in Iraq."

Richard said...


Bush cedes powers to VP for screening
By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press Writer 39 minutes ago
CAMP DAVID, Md. - President Bush transferred the powers of the presidency to Vice President Dick Cheney on Saturday just before being sedated for a routine screening to detect colon cancer.

With a signed letter to the leaders of the House and Senate, Bush temporarily transferred his authority at 7:16 a.m. EDT to Cheney, who is at his home on the Chesapeake Bay in St. Michaels, Md., about 30 miles east of Washington.

"The vice president is now serving as acting president," White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said.

He said the temporary transfer of power will end when Bush transmits a second letter to the congressional leaders advising that he is resuming the powers of the presidency immediately.

Bush relinquished his authority by implementing Section 3 of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution. The amendment — approved in 1967 four years after President Kennedy was assassinated — has been used only twice before.

The first time was in July 1985 when President Reagan underwent surgery and turned over power to his vice president, Bush's father. The other time was in 2002 when Bush relinquished his presidential powers to Cheney for more than two hours during a colon cancer scan on June 29, 2002.

Dr. Richard Tubb, the president's doctor, was supervising Bush's colonoscopy, which was being done at the Camp David presidential retreat. The colonoscopy was being performed by a team from the National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda, Md.

"Although no polyps were noted in the exam in 2002, age and history would suggest that there's a reasonable chance that polyps will be noted this time," White House press secretary Tony Snow said Friday. "If so, they'll be removed and evaluated microscopically."

Two polyps were discovered during similar examinations in 1998 and 1999, while Bush was governor of Texas. That made the 61-year-old president a prime candidate for regular examinations.

Snow, himself a cancer sufferer, said results would be available after 48 hours to 72 hours, if not sooner.

Snow had his colon removed in 2005 and underwent six months of chemotherapy after being diagnosed with colon cancer. On March 26, he underwent surgery to remove a growth in his abdominal area, and doctors determined that cancer had metastasized, or spread, to the liver.

For the general population, a colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer is recommended every 10 years. But for people at higher risk, or if a colonoscopy detects precancerous polyps, follow-up colonoscopies often are scheduled in three- to five-year intervals.

Deanna said...

Tammy Fae Messner dies, and Dick Cheney is president of the free world for two whole hours.

What a surreal weekend.

Jackie said...

the internet is lonely and boring today.

Richard said...

aint it though?

jackie tomorrow i gaurantee itll be lively and excitin

D said...

Yeah, especially when some jerk ruins the ending of the last Harry Potter book for you. I'm gonna be grumpy for the rest of the day now.

Jackie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jackie said...

i hate harry potter, blech.

and i kinda just want to die a little because i'm a. in a wedding on friday and b. im being forced to get my makeup done professionally. life suckkkkkkkks.

D said...

Okay guys, time to pool your resources: We MUST buy SFTRI. It's only $625000. Surely we have that amongst the six or so of us...Anonymous, you can join in too, and be like a silent partner or something. Rich, TELL EARL. That bastard's packing some cash, I just know it.

Richard said...

D, I couldnt agree more!

Richard said...

good morning everyone, hows it going

everyone said...

It's alright. How are you, Rich?

Richard said...

Well everyone, I'm great. I was dehydrated and nearly passed out on sunday, but Im here Im hydrated, im fed, fucked and well slept and things are moving smoothly.

Is anyone following the flooding of the River Thames? I hope it doesnt get as bad as what happened in India a few years back.

D said...

Wow, that's fucked dude. I'm glad you're feeling better, and pray for the Anglophiles.

Richard said...

Yeah I got worried when everything when black

D said...

Seriously...what were you doing? Or do I even want to know?

Richard said...

I was exercising pretty seriously. Problem is I had only 4 hours sleep the night before amd I hadnt really eaten anything. I kept pushing myself, even though I thought I could take it. I did around 200 situps and boxed 9 rounds at full out top speed. I estimate I threw over 1000 punches. I lost about 3.5 pounds in water weight during the exercising. I lost about a pound of fat. All said and done I'm now two full pounds lighter (after re0hydrating and eating several full meals, and getting alot of sleep) than i was on friday afternoon.