10.03.08: culture blotter {echo & the bunnymen @ radio city music hall}

lone 3rd mezzanine perk

the 'salute to dinosaurs' portion of rocktober continued apace with last night's radio city, orchestra-backed performance of echo & the bunnymen's ocean rain, an album released when i was six. goofy glowing drinks aside, radio city's not a bad place to take in a show, and i quite liked getting to kick back in a seat like the old woman i am. i wasn't as excited about being in the third mezzanine: sure, i bought the cheapest seats, but i bought them a twelfth of a second after they went on sale. at the other end of the spectrum, due to some infernal algorithm i don't want to know about, ticketmaster failed to release a bunch of the seats near the stage until yesterday morning - and they sat empty all night. the night's lessons: cough up the extra $10 or $20 per seat when possible (as rocktober comes but once a year), and ticketmaster is still the devil.

the show began (on time!) with glasvegas, a bunch of adorable scottish feedback enthusiasts who gave us post-punk via the brill building. we heard a grand total of two of their songs, but they were both catchy (particularly the doo-wop "daddy's gone"), and i'm a sucker for self-effacing weegies. seriously: when the second depression becomes official and the ladymag goes under, i'm going to scotland to be a roadie. or to apprentice with timorous beasties. i haven't worked out the details yet, but glasgow is in there somewhere.

the main event was all over the place, mostly in a good way. rumors of ian mcculloch's ferocious egotism (he's said to have called ocean rain the greatest album of all time shortly after it was released) appear to be true: he's quite the strutter, and his many comments about how much he was enjoying himself started to seem like straight-up cues for applause. rumors of how his voice has given out seemed exaggerated, at least for the first few songs of the "greatest hits" set (about a dozen songs, played before ocean rain): "lips like sugar" was fabulous, and "rescue" was pretty great. "bring on the dancing horses," on the other hand, was a hot mess: the vocals had clearly been tweaked for ian's abbreviated range, and he sounded rough anyway. he sounded a lot like lou reed when i saw him in 1997, actually, which became ironic when the band launched into an horrific medley of "people are strange," "walk on the wild side," and "in the midnight hour" (?!). i think they were going for sinister, and joe said he liked the effect with "walk on the wild side," but as simon cowell would say, mac was like some ghastly singer in a hotel lobby. the ocean rain set, in turn, was unequivocally wonderful: hearing "silver" with the orchestra was thrilling, and "the killing moon" is devastating in any setting. sung by muppets; performed in semaphore; doesn't matter. it was the last song on our wedding playlist: wildly inappropriate, sure, but too awesome to omit. hearing it live gave me chills: take that something, my bloody valentine!

imaginary reading group discussion questions

01 how goes your rocktober, internets? seen anyone zesty since last we spoke?

02 what's the worst cover you've ever heard?

03 what will you do when america collapses and we all have to wear barrels with suspenders? aside from wearing a barrel with suspenders, of course.


sara said...

worst covers? has to be that album tori amos put out a few years back. i only listened through once, but that initial experience left a very bad impression...

tom said...

Worst cover? Has to be the Beach Boys' cover of "California Dreamin'," circa Kokomo era. Beauty of the original, and the talent of the cover band, should not lead to pure crap like what was produced. Don't believe me? Look at this, and weep:


Absolute dross.

mari Webel said...

worst cover, dunno. hmm.

but radio city is like being inside of sunset! pretty!

eric said...

iceland is like 25% off right now. Time to stop worrying and enjoy the financial meltdown with your own meltdown in the blue lagoon

lauren said...

i'm gutted about the iceland situation. yeah, it will be slightly less horrifically expensive when we finally go, but think of the pufflings!

in other iceland news, the halldór laxness novel i'm reading for background research is all about witches and ovine indigestion. which is fine, really, but unexpected.

eric said...

dunno, its actually 40% off since last year, and 25% off since last month.


way to make lemonade out of an economic crisis.

lauren said...

dude, you just want to feel better about coming over from london and treating new york like tijuana. i will not validate your predatory tourism with my own!