Speaking of American comics, if you happened to attend Nan Desu Kan a few weeks ago (Denver's local animu convention), I wound up doing a panel with gookachu on the topic of "Manga vs American Comics" which was more or less intended to tell fans of one about the other. She intended it largely to educate parents of manga-readers about what their kids are reading and why; she felt that a lot of older Americans are familiar with, you know, superheroes and Archie and such but don't "get" manga. I thought she had a great goal, but I also wanted to come at it from the other direction: my POV is from fandom, and I am SO SICK of manga fen who won't even give AmeriComi (as the Japanese call them lol) a chance. I've just realized I was about to recap the whole panel and it should be its own lj entry (or at least share an entry with some comics reviews), so look forward to that, I guess.
One thing I did in the last few months which I wanted to write about was see The Faint in concert at the Ogden. The Faint are this sort of darkwave/emo/electro type band that I am quite fond of (as you can see from my listening stats on my last.fm account), and the last time they came to town, I had tickets and then wound up missing the show because there was a blizzard. That was a few years ago and I was always sad about it, so when I found out they were coming here at the end of July I was all excited and was like DAMMIT I AM GOING TO IT THIS TIME.
However, on the night of the show, I languished in apathy (not unusual for me >_>). I kept thinking, "argh, I've been looking forward to this show for like 2 months!! I have to go!" But I was just so... meh. About 10pm, I said to myself, "Self, you have been looking forward to this, and planning on it, and you will want to kick yourself if you don't go, so just get the lead out and stop being sucky for once!!" I then dragged myself out of bed (recent favorite activity: napping >_>), got dressed, and biked 3 miles to the Ogden Theatre, where I proceeded to buy a ticket off a scalper. (He explained I could trust him because look! This security guard is right here!)
The band was just coming on stage as I walked in (I'd missed the opening bands, sadly), which I felt was fate, and I elbowed and shoved into the crowd in front of the stage. The attendees were largely youthful-looking so I felt very elderly and decrepit, but I danced my butt off anyhow and even got rubbed against/groped alarmingly by a random young guy (probably not over 20?) taking advantage of the sardine-tin conditions and my shapely backside (his shamefaced look when I turned to raise an eyebrow at the end of the song was total lol). I didn't really care. I guess I could have felt violated and all THIS IS SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND I DON'T HAVE TO TAKE IT!! but honestly I'm just not the kind of person who gets all upset about random gropage as long as I don't feel threatened.
The crowd was not as... uh... eclectic as the last time I saw a group of Faint-concert-goers (read: less hilariously gothemotastic). I did not see any torn black tutus, stripy leggings with combat boots, kitty ears, etc, although there was still a more than fair amount of fun Hot Topic fashion and hair in attendance. XD Of course there were a few obnoxious moshers and crowdsurfers ruining it for everyone (as there often are), and also this girl standing right in front who was VICIOUSLY elbowing anyone who DARED run into or push her. I think she may have been pregnant? But I made sure I gave her back a few running elbows, because I don't care if you ARE pregnant, you shouldn't stand in the friggin' front and center at a crowded dancepunk type show if you're offended or upset by having your personal space violated.
I hadn't been to a show for a while where dancing mainly consisted of shoving away the suffocating crowd around you so as not to be crushed (done in time to the music of course). Most of the shows I go to nowdays either do not involve much thrashing about and shoving, or else they don't have the attendance to really squash you like a hot, humid fist (you are even likely to have space around you in which to move freely!). The Health show at Rhinoceropolis was crowded enough (tiny room) but it was more of a "undulate en masse" type of thing; the Midnight Juggernauts show at the Hi-Dive was enthusistic and bouncy enough but lacked the necessary crowd density. The Ogden packed full of enthusiastic emo kids, on the other hand, was a very classic sort of concert-going experience. XD
Anyhow I had a lot of fun, got really sweaty (my own & other people's >_>), and obtained a very stylish t-shirt, so it was a good night. My roommate J was there working security next to the stage; when he first found out a while ago that I like the Faint he was like "eh" because he had listened to an album or two, I guess, and not been particularly interested. Afterwards he said he really liked their live show and thought it was one of the better rock-electronica-dance type shows he'd been to. So I guess that means if the Faint is touring near you, you should go see them, because not only did I enjoy it, but it is also J-approved! (Unusual if more than 100 people are there!) For the information of sucky Puuz, they did not play "Southern Girls In London Sing" but they did play "Take Me To the Hospital" (I was a little surprised) and I believe they did "The Conductor." Also "Paranoiattack" was pretty awesome live (I think it was the last song in the encore).
I didn't really have a strong idea of how they'd look, but the lead singer looked rather like Dr Horrible, all in a pair of tight jeans and a lab coat with no shirt and a pair of goggles and his hair kind of fluffy-spiky-short and blondish. XD (Not that I'd seen that then, but as soon as I did the association was immediate.) From what I could hear, the talking he did between songs was also amusing, though I don't recall what he said; I do remember thinking, "Oh right, these are the silly dorks who have on their website a flash game called Drop Kick the Faint where you try to get punks to beat them up for their lame new-wave ways." Like most bands they were better live; I've posted some songs I like, and if you fancy them, remember the beat was 10x more ass-shake-inducing live and go see them while they're on tour for their new album! :D
* Take Me to the Hospital
The most danceable song about injuring yourself and getting taken to the emergency room ever. :D Also, you can learn to spell the word "hospital," so it's educational as well! Actually this is my fav song by the Faint; I was very pleased that they played it at the show. <3
A fine song about how our nation suffers constant attacks of paranoia in recent years due to media and government fearmongering. ZOMG ANTHRAX! ZOMG TERRORISTS! ZOMG VIDEO GAMES! EEEEEEEEEEEEE etc. XD Crank it up with lots of bass and imagine a crowd of emo kids and hipsters around you shouting "PARANOIA!" and shaking their fists at the Man and dancing about. XD
* Symptom Finger
On the same theme, kind of, but this is the personal paranoia suffered by our populace regarding health problems, especially of the mental sort, especially of type advertised by commercials adsiving you to ask YOUR doctor. "You see the ads and start to think 'I feel it coming on'... target market television, telepharmevangelism, symptom finger; I'm gonna shut it off, down all the power, I'm a doctor today curing viewers by thousands." I don't think it was played live, which was sad. :(
* The Conductor
It's about, uh, the POWAR!!!!!! inherent in being an orchestra conductor. XD Strings represent!
* The Conductor (Joy Electric Remix)
One of two remixes of the song on the Danse Macabre Remixes album. The other one is a Thin White Duke remix, which I usually find awesome, but I guess the guy was off his game this time because I found it kinda boring and excessively long (dear remixers: making the song twice as long doesn't mean it will be twice as good). :( Joy Electric's mix is much better IMHO (not to mention far shorter).
* Fulcrum and Lever
From their new album, Fasciinatiion. A very apt comment at songmeanings said the song was like a dream you've been in before. It's about an experience I guess the singer had as a kid that he always found weird; you don't really realize that's what it's about till the end because until that point it's about such mundane things. I think the music really contributes to the surreal dream aspect though; when it comes to the Faint, the lyrics always feel 100% more meaningful or odd when paired with the music. If I review the lyrics later I usually think, "That IS a kind of interesting feeling/experience, if you think about it," but the song topics are always so "oh everyone's felt that" that I think it takes the music to make me listen more carefully and say, "yeah, everyone's felt that, but nobody thinks about it." This song in particular had a sort of triple-take effect on me. 1st take: whoa, sounds cool! 2nd take: lyrics are kinda dorky, it's just about playing in a treehouse or with a board as a kid and falling and breaking your arm? 3rd take: nevermind, it's actually kinda surreal.
Next music entry will be punk, because roommate J and I got drunk the other night and went to the MxPx & Lagwagon show (we got in free because he works security at the venue). I jumped around a lot and J got security to let him on stage to rub the singer's head during the Lagwagon encore (the guy was cool, just kept right on singing) and J's friend M got his front tooth punched out in the mosh (but he luckily kept it in his mouth so he just kept moshing), and we walked home because we were too drunk to ride our bikes and met these very nice tattooed & pierced gay dudes who sadly did not like The Dark Knight. Anyhow I hadn't seen MxPx in concert since about 1996 so I am feeling very nostalgic and affectionate towards punk right now. XD
Need more live music experiences? Well, if you're local, here's my list of Shows Of Interest for the next few months; feel free to join me at them. I probably won't go to most of them since my degree of apathy towards attending stuff by myself is high, but I haven't listed anything I wouldn't go see with someone else, and I will defintely go to at least a few of them.
!! - I have every intention of attending, even by myself, because it will rule.
?? - I might go, depending on my mood and finances and how much I like the band that day and if I can get in free and such.
&& - I'd probably only go if someone else wanted to go with me.
?? - 10/09 Thu - Pendulum @ the Bluebird. ($20) Australian drum & bass. Should be a good time. Probably I won't be able to afford it though. :(
&& - 10/09 Thu - Great Big Sea @ the Paramount. ($25-30-35) Even cheap seats are expensive. :(
&& - 10/10 Fri - Hollywood Undead @ the Marquis. ($10/12) Bitchy, snarky electro. XD
?? - 10/11 Sat - Minus the Bear @ the Gothic. ($17/19) Experimental? I guess.
?? - 10/14 Tue - Bayside @ Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom. ($14/16 DOS) Pop rock. Never been to the venue but it's in HISTORIC 5 POINTS lololol
?? - 10/15 Wed - Streetlight Manifesto @ the Bluebird. ($17/19) Do you like danceable, catchy ska with a big horn section? Why not?????
&& - 10/16 Thu - The USA Is A Monster @ Rhinoceropolis. ($5) It's cheap, band's not bad, bring your own drugs and alcohol (everyone else does). For those who enjoy venues with no windows and/or observing the hair and fashion of REAL indie kids. (Entertainment all by itself.) Sadly I think J is working so unless someone else wants to go I probably won't.
&& - 10/17 Fri - Chris Cornell & Timbaland @ the Ogden. ($35) WAY too expensive, but interesting show. Chris Cornell is the singer for defunct grunge bands Soundgarden & Audioslave; Timbaland is a hiphop producer. Think I'll try to get in free, just out of pure curiousity.
!! - 10/20 Mon - The Notwist @ the Bluebird. ($14/15) MISSING THIS SHOW IS A CRIME. PUU.
&& - 10/20 Mon - Apocalyptica @ the Ogden. ($20/22) Expensive and I'd have to miss The Notwist so no way, but I thought I'd note it FYI.
&& - 10/21 Tue - Against Me! & Ted Leo & the Pharmacists & Future of the Left @ the Gothic. ($19) Indie rock/punk. Might be interesting.
&& - 10/21 Tue - The Legendary Pink Dots @ the Bluebird. ($15/17) Psychedelic. They still exist?!?!
&& - 10/23 Thu - Kings of Leon & We Are Scientists & the Stills @ the Fillmore. ($31) Too expensive really and I don't care that much about Kings of Leon one way or another, but I would love to see We Are Scientists & the Stills. Will harass J to try for free tickets. :(
&& - 10/26 Sun - The Academy Is... @ the Ogden. ($18/20)
?? - 10/28 Tue - MSTRKRFT @ the Ogden. ($18/20) Dance. A bit expensive. :(
?? - 10/29 Thu - The Mathematicians + "probably halloween party!" @ Rhinoceropolis. ($5) As usual, sure to be an opportunity to observe the bizarre indie subculture if nothing else. XD
!! - 10/31 Fri - Girl Talk @ the Ogden. ($17/20) Dance, kinda. Girl Talk is a talented mashup DJ. I hate that there's another good show at the Bluebird the same night, but I'll probably go to this unless I have a fight with J, because he wants to go really badly which means I'll have someone to drink/attend with and also might get in free.
?? - 10/31 Fri - Electric Six & Local H @ the Bluebird. ($20/22) If I fight with J or something I might go. XD I've seen Electric Six twice before so I don't feel as bad. (I'd like to see Local H too though. Alas.)
!! - 11/02 Sun - TV on the Radio @ the Ogden. ($25) It's a bit expensive but J and I are both big fans so if I'm lucky he'll get free tickets. :D
&& - 11/07 Fri - Scars on Broadway @ the Ogden. ($20) Apparently a couple of the SoaD guys got tired of having a famous band and started a new one.
?? - 11/12 Wed - Rise Against & Alkaline Trio @ the Fillmore. ($28)
?? - 11/13 Thu - Rise Against & Alkaline Trio @ the Fillmore. ($28) Yes, they're playing twice.
?? - 11/14 Fri - Portugul. The Man @ the Marquis Theater. ($14/16)
&& - 11/16 Sun - of Montreal @ the Ogden. ($20)
!! - 11/18 Tue - Hellogoodbye & playradioplay! @ the Marquis. ($15) Both pop-punky electronica with an emphasis on the pop. Way fun.
&& - 11/21 Fri - Dredg @ the Bluebird. ($16/18)
&& - 11/26 Weds - The Photo Atlas & Astra Moveo @ the Bluebird. ($10/12) At least it's cheap to support your local Denver bands!
?? - 11/27 Thur - ohGr @ the Bluebird. ($21/23) Industrial. Do you like Ministry & Skinny Puppy?
Okay I am really tired of doing this because it is very painstaking and dull so uh, more updates as there are any, I suppose. One imagines this HAS to be a large chunk of good upcoming shows. There's actually a lot going on in the next two months! :O
LINKS OF TEH DAY:
*** London fashion designer Giles Deacon's new Pac-Man inspired show. lol.
*** File under "shirts I want."
*** Jack Thompson is So Disbarred that he can't enter a food court. In case you don't know who Jack Thompson is, he was that lawyer who filed numerous cases against video games, faggotry, and other things he didn't approve of. (We agree at this point that he is not just bigoted, but actually has a mental condition, which is kind of sad. But this list of jokes is still hilarious.)
*** National Geographic Best Science Photos of 2008. Science as art. Very beautiful. But why did the Little Shop of Horrors Squid not win???
*** PSYCHIC CHICKEN SOUP AND MEATLOAF RECIPES! Two more recipes to come before the world ends!! I'm totally making meatloaf tonight I think. XD Looks delish. :9
*** You Make Me Touch Your Hands For Stupid Reasons. I lol'd. (I'm sure I'm behind the wave here BUT SO WHAT >:O)
*** John McCain disses David Letterman by ditching his interview to
I had more but that's enough for now, eh? I fully intend to post again like... tomorrow or something. Let's all cross our fingers for that! I want to do that "take a picture of yourself" meme. XD While I'm at it I should photo my house and my roommates so y'all can see how I'm living right now. XD