Wednesday, February 25, 2004

...busy,busy,busy. that is my only real excuse.

...made it to the notwist show . real nice,pretty close to what you'd get listening to their records ,though a lot more rawk..

taken from the georgia straight is the following review:. Notwist :.At the Commodore Ballroom on Thursday, February 12

Word of mouth goes a long way. How else could one explain that the Notwist--a German band that receives no mainstream radio play, isn't even close to being on the charts, and couldn't be bothered to do any local interviews--sold enough advance tickets for its first-ever Vancouver appearance to warrant moving the show from Richard's on Richards to the Commodore? It seems that many of those who have already discovered the Notwist have taken to spreading the gospel with missionary zeal. Most of the people I talked to at Thursday night's show were there on the recommendation of friends. I was one of that number. My previous exposure to the Munich-based act was limited to a few spins of its latest CD, Neon Golden, in the days leading up to the gig. I went in unconverted, and, sadly, I left unconvinced.

There's plenty to like about the Notwist. The five-piece version of the band that played at the Commodore was composed of solid musicians, and the songs were pleasant enough: generally up-tempo, poppy numbers with sweetly plaintive melodies. It's hard to find any fault with the Notwist. Well, maybe just this one small fault: the group is boring as hell in concert. The problem was that the material never fully came alive at any point. Perhaps the players were tethered in place by the fact that they were playing along to sequenced backing tracks on nearly every number. The collision of indie pop and electronica is what makes Neon Golden such an intriguing listen, but it didn't quite work in a live setting. With five perfectly competent musicians on-stage, why not just perform the songs completely live, rather than play along to canned techno beats? That would have injected some desperately needed energy into the proceedings.

Singer-guitarist Markus Acher's flat-affect, mostly monotone vocal delivery didn't help. His lack of tonal range is forgivable, but his seeming absence of emotion pushed an already unexciting show even further into the Land of Nod.

The Notwist compounded the problem by extending the songs needlessly without actually adding anything interesting to them--unless you consider it interesting to see someone futz about with guitar effects and electronic gizmos. I don't, but I'm not entertained by watching some dork spin records for an hour, either. We all have our biases.

To be fair, things did seem to pick up toward the end of the set, and the spliffed-out, dubadelic atmospherics the group indulged in during the closing song, "Pilot", for once justified the extended length. By then, though, the Notwist had already done the unforgivable: it let two members of opening act Themselves back on-stage for what might have been a song but was more likely just made up on the spot. Whatever it was, it sounded like one long, blaring chord, over which Dose One did something that he alone was convinced qualified as "singing".

I had thought that, after Themselves' opening set, I would never have to see or hear the Mohawk-sporting, bespectacled rapper again. This was a warm thought, a happy thought. The California trio makes use of some interesting beats--and some bone-liquefyingly low bass frequencies--but the whole thing smacks of insufferable art-school calculation. Dose's adenoidal tone and his hyper flow gave me a pretty clear picture of what we'd be dealing with if Nardwuar the Human Serviette decided to step into the rap game. As much as I love Nardwuar, that's one thing I hope I never see.

...hehheh,think i enjoyed themselves slightly more than the reviewer [if only slightly]

...did not make it to either of the other shows i wanted to see. pixies sold out both nights here in a minute.ebay has a bunch for sale already. too pricey for me though.

been listening to :.
shins - chutes too narrow
moonbabies - the orange billboard
calla - 1st album [all i wanna say about this is ...whare are the songs?]


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