We interrupt your normally scheduled program to bring you today’s special, live music review. Please tune in again next week when New Wave Wednesdays returns to its regularly, scheduled time… probably.
The following is a live music review… with an introspective look at my own musical tastes… It contains no nudity, violence, nor any truly foul language… probably.
Kaiser Chiefs – El Rey Theatre – February 25, 2014
I have been accused, by those who shall remain nameless, of liking certain music and bands in order to stay young…
Rather than running off with a 20 year-old and buying a Porsche, I listen to and go see specific bands in concert, in order to hang onto my youth… A musical mid-life crisis, if you will.
The fact is, I like what I like… and I believe that while my musical tastes are extremely diverse, eclectic and all over the map, they reflect excellent taste. I do not put an age limit on my music or listenings.
I tend not to be overly critical… Partly because, unless something really rubs me the wrong way, I want this to be a celebration of music. I would never sell myself or this blog as musical criticism. That was never its intention. I purposely pick bands, concerts, songs and albums that move me, and Marc’s Muse has always been a starting point to discuss what brings us all closer together, musically speaking… to give you my very personal points of entry into a band or a song or a record and give it a very specific, historical context. This is what was happening to me at the time… This is what I was thinking, feeling, etc.
It was and is also my hope that this will inspire you to share similar, personal stories about your own experiences and loves for certain groups, etc. Based on the amazing comments and dialogue this has created, I would say the goal has been achieved. Heck, my buddy Patrick can and should have his own music blog!!!
So now a much larger readership is the goal. Music is meant to be shared, and I am happy to be a conduit.
I have learned that I still have a lot to learn about music… but this is an exciting thing. Life must be a constantly evolving journey, one in which we are always discovering and growing. I love that friends can still surprise me and toss out a band that I have never heard before. This week brought me the Brit band James… Thanks, Alan and Rob. They were shocked that I did not know them. Well, I do now… so thank you.
Unfortunately, this sometimes leads to those “too late” moments, such as the case with Paco de Lucia, who passed away today. I will admit, I did not know this world-famous Flamenco guitarist, but I am in queue at the library for some of his CDs… I am reading and listening and will know him soon enough… Bad timing, I guess. But thanks in advance to Paco for the musical gift that awaits me. Read about him here. Or watch this breathtaking video. Dang! And only 15 million hits!!! Way too many under 70 deaths recently… I am still in mourning over Harold Ramis… Which leads me to my own mortality… and this… last night’s fantastic show.
First off, the opener Avid Dancer was great. We missed most of their set… my bad… but what we heard was really good. I will definitely be following this band.
Second, the Kaiser Chiefs are a high energy, post punk, Indie band clearly inspired by The Clash, The Ramones and Joy Division. Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart” and David Bowie’s “Heroes” played before they hit the stage. They are not Scottish… my bad… but are from Leeds and AllMusic compares them to Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian, Franz Ferdinand and The Futureheads, another band I do not know!
They rock almost non-stop for an hour come back for a 20-minute encore… and range from screaming punk, to pretty poppy tunes like my favorite “Ruby” and the new single “Coming Home.” I personally like the range, and it fits perfectly into the genre I claim to have created, “Power Punk Pop!”
Lead singer, Ricky Wilson is quite charismatic and will do whatever it takes to make sure the crowd is participating, whether that’s getting us to clap, raise and sway our arms, or jumping into the crowd and making everyone sits on the floor with him for an Otis Day And The Knights type sing-along. He will pose and posture and pound the mic on his chest, and broke at least one mic stand, in what some might consider mic stand abuse (He basically treats it like a band leaders baton.) But they are infectious. Is Ricky dramatic? Yes… but I liked it… I liked the dedication and energy and passion that too many “cool” musicians lack these days. Hell, he even climbed up on the lighting rig to the side of the stage. Come on… that is fun and kind of daring… and the guy is engaging. And they all look really young… I mean, they are, but dang… young.
So third… yes, third… This was an enthusiastic, fairly diverse crowd. Yes, I felt part of the upper end of the age spectrum… but not uncomfortably so. Sort of. The only time I really felt “old” at a show was The Boxer Rebellion at the Avalon in Hollywood last spring. My buddy Alan and I were definitely the chaperones of the lot… though us 40-somethings seemed to find the same corner to sit/stand in.
Last night was mostly young… 20-somethings, who can still vertically jump up and down without back pains the next day… And while I did look around the room and see enough of my kind… we were in the minority for sure…
But the realization I had was this… At one point I looked over and saw a woman who was probably my age or at least closer than most. She was having a good time, but not as into it as others. She was moving and clapping, but not as crazy as some of the young ‘uns. In fact, it seemed, at least according to the movie that played in my mind, that she was probably with her daughter. (I saw her with a younger looking gal… granted she was in her 20s, but still… )
So here she was, essentially chaperoning… and here I was… her age or older… bouncing and singing along. For a moment it gave me pause… made me feel like perhaps I was out of place… and then I realized we are all as old as we are in our minds. So hold onto your youth, love what you love and always proceed and live with passion. And above all, live a musical life… whatever that means to you.
Thanks to JS for taking me to the show!!!
The Factory Gates
Never Miss a Beat
Everything Is Average Nowadays
Everyday I Love You Less and Less
Bows & Arrows
You Can Have It All
Ruffians On Parade
I Predict a Riot
The Angry Mob
Oh My God