Help save the youth of America

I always get a kick out of seeing bands that have been performing for many decades…it’s all too common to see young, newly-formed bands with firecracker energy on record and in concert, but bands that have lasted the years and maintained their original attitudes are always a pleasure to see…usually, they aren’t promoting any new recordings and are just touring to have a good time and relive their musical past…I felt this way when I saw Stan Ridgway, Lou Reed and Was (Not Was) (although they were touring in support of a new album, their show was a showcase of their whole career)…over the past few days, I’ve added two more legendary bands to the list of concerts I’ve been to…

Friday night was Mission Of Burma, the Boston post-punk pioneers, who played an ear-shattering set comprised mainly of their debut EP, Signals, Calls, And Marches…mix together Roger Miller‘s manic guitar work (and almost knocking the microphone stand into my face at least a dozen times), Clint Conley‘s controlled but unusual bass style (he uses a lot of chords and other uncommon tactics) and Pete Prescott‘s explosive drumming (along with the band’s distinctive tape loops coming from the mixing board) and you have an evening of guys who look like your dad making music that might scare your parents…there were even a few haphazard sing-alongs (most people only know the choruses to their songs), especially on “Academy Fight Song”, “That’s When I Reach For My Revolver” and “This Is Not A Photograph”…they also did one of my favorite songs of theirs, the non-album track “Peking Spring”…on top of all that, the basement of the First Unitarian Church (the same place where I saw Vampire Weekend) was like a freakin’ oven…

Day 318 – June 27th, 2008 I'm not judging you, I'm judging me

Yeah, it was really hot in there…and outside, the sky couldn’t decide if it wanted to rain or not, so everyone had umbrellas that didn’t end up getting used…

Yesterday, I went to work at the Y-Rock table at the second day of the Paul Green School of Rock Festival…I’m pretty sure I’ve expressed my disdain for the whole ‘School of Rock’ thing in the past, so I won’t get into it too deeply…pretty much, I have a hard time believing that ‘Rock’ can be taught or learned, and after seeing the bands of kids that performed throughout the day yesterday, I have even less faith in the future of music…if there was one telltale sign that something is wrong with the ‘School of Rock’, it’s when a kid no older than 10 took to the main stage in KISS-esque facepaint and shouted “Are you ready to rock??…Do you like metal?!?…I hope so”…at least he was courteous enough to ask before launching himself into a screamy, bangy frenzy that was more noise than music (and not even the good Sonic Youth noise)…there were some bands that were performing inside the tent where the Y-Rock table was set up that were so grating that Adrienne and Erin (who were also helping out) and I just had to leave…

Now, no one in their right mind would subject themselves to an event of this nature unless there was some big payoff at the end…luckily, some real bands were booked to play throughout the festival’s three days…Friday featured the Butthole Surfers, today’s guests are The Dropkick Murphys and Less Than Jake, and yesterday’s headliner was Devo…as if to not only make up for all of the lousy bands I had seen throughout the rest of the day, Devo‘s set just about made up for every bad concert I’ve ever been to (okay, so maybe not Adrian Belew opening for They Might Be Giants, but it came pretty close)…of course they did their best-known songs, like “Jocko Homo”, “Girl U Want” and the iconic “Whip It”, but also dug a little deeper for “That’s Good”, “Blockhead” and “Smart Patrol/Mr. DNA”…it’s very funny to hear the audience chanting “We Are Devo!”, clearly unaware of what the band’s main message is…as bassist Gerry Casale said in between songs, “it’s been a long way down since the Constitution was written here 200 years ago, huh?”…no truer words have been spoken about this fair city…

Day 319 – June 28th, 2008 I'm tired of the soup du jour

Naturally, there will be more pictures of Mission Of Burma and Devo (including an appearance by Booji Boy) in my Concert Gallery

Tonight’s Folk Show will feature a “Live Radio Concert” from local zydeco (?!?) band Zydeco A-Go-Go…tune in and bring your dancing shoes…

E.

Lyric of the Time:
Time’s a-comin’
When a new breed say
Welcome tomorrow
Instead of yesterday

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~ by E. on June 29, 2008.

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