when i woke up for work this morning, i turned my alarm off and listened…

there it is.

all i could hear was: zzzzzzz….

‘yeah, last night was awesome,’ i thought.

queen elizabeth hall, london is not a conventional venue for a ridiculously loud rock concert, but there’s something about experiencing mogwai’s live set that makes is perfect. the soundscape of this 5-piece from glasgow is lush. moving from zero decibels to ‘i’m definitely going to be deaf after this AMAZING set’, their music often, but not always, swells gradually from a single guitar line to a full, sustained climax. seeing mogwai live is like being thrown up against a wall of sound, but the impact is sublime.

because one would never dance to their music (a look around the audience reveals a range somewhere between ‘i probably look asleep except the ridiculous grin on my face’ to a few air drummers, some head very low-key head bobbing to the extreme: two boys flailing their arms and heads to the music in what looks like an epileptic fit) , it’s perfectly acceptable in my mind to have a sit-down gig. throughout the set though, i got the impression that it might even be preferred as i watched the aforementioned boys making aggressive gestures like the annoying pricks who always end up spilling beer on me.

the evening’s performance was both a preview of their forthcoming album, the hawk is howling, and a celebration of the reissue of their re-mastered first record, young team. playing a mix of new and old material (a few tracks from the eps and lps in between were also thrown in for good measure).

while i thoroughly enjoyed the set, the one thing that makes seeing mogwai such an interesting experience is that i feel clean after a mogwai gig. even if it’s sticky and stinky, as gigs often are. it’s as if hitting that wall of sound just cleanses your innards… as it completely blows out your eardrums. perhaps the more apt analogy is that seeing them is like facing a tsunami head on: you’re standing on the beach, you watch the calm as the water seems to disappear before you… you know it’s coming and it’s gonna come hard… only you know mogwai’s not going to kill you.


new year.

May 9, 2008

of course this is not the start of a new year… technically….

but it seems strangely appropriate to consider it so….

in addition to finding myself in yet another existential crisis (too typical, too frequent, too fucking lame for words really), i went to see death cab for cutie the other night.

i may have enjoyed and been completely blown away by portishead and bjork gigs in recent weeks, but i’ve not danced and sung like a mofo in ages…. thank you death cab!!!!

i have always (for as long as i can remember) been of the belief that there are two categories of people: those who are defined by their work/job and those whose work/job are simply a means for their ‘real life’ outside of their ‘real job’. i am still struggling to figure out under which of those categories i belong.

either way, i’m at yet another crossroads… so i guess, for better or worse, for defined or undefined reasons, i can mark this period as yet another new year i’ll celebrate this year…. because what is new year’s really? a time when we’re asked (if not forced) to reflect on what’s come before and what may possibly before us…. and so i turn to death cab:

(re: death cab gig at the electric ballroom – i always enjoy seeing a band i love right before their new album is released. it’s a good time for them to get back into the groove of live gigs, so they tend to play a good mix of old stuff – which typically spans their entire catalogue, not just their most recent record – and a few of the newbies for practice – ‘long division’ was one that particularly sticks out in my memory from the other night. as a petite asian chick who had to arrive just before the headliners – after picking up a last minute ticket off a stranger, thanks paige! – i couldn’t see shit for most of the show, but i danced and i sang along with every fucking word i knew and didn’t know… which made me realize just how simple, predictable yet utterly brilliant ben gibbard’s lyrics really are… my only criticisms from the other night: not enough people dancing – london, get over yourself!!!! – and it wasn’t loud enough – i think the poor suckers three-people deep in front of me could hear me singing along more clearly than they could hear the band… anyway, VERY much looking forward to seeing the death cab boys at latitude festival and maybe brixton academy too in july!)