Wednesday, March 22

Belle & Sebastian/ The New Pornos Show

Went to the Belle & Sebastian/ The New Pornographers show tonight. Some of the notable moments:

-Seeing a mother with her teenage daughter. Balls of steel on both of them to be so blantantly and intentionally uncool and parading it around in a public place. Balls of steel, friends. God, I wish I was that self-confident.

-Selling my extra ticket to this German guy for a booku bucks. Frown at me if you want--it's capitalism, Robb.

-Having a setbreak conversation with the college girls next to me about Pavement.

-Hearing, after a particularly lively B&S song, some redneck in the audience yell, "TURN IT UP!"

-Hearing a guy in the group next to me respond, in a Macho Man Randy Savage voice, "OHHH YEA!"

The New Pornographers opened. They were missing Neko Case and Dan (I can never remember his last name, but his solo project is called Destroyer), and they sounded like it. Their substitute members filled in courageously, but, in all honesty, they played a little like the band kids who had a mean director. It was like they were afraid to hit the wrong note and get yelled at. The result of which was mostly on-key--polite, even. But it was most certainly not rock 'n' roll. It was boring. I was so bored I kept trying to come up with more ways to describe how lame it sounded. One comparison I liked: the band that was playing onstage (under the misnomer The New Pornographers) sounded like a New Pornographers cover band. But in a way it was worse because cover bands are always too energetic, too eager to prove themselves worthy of their heroes--not entirely a bad thing. The New Pornos Cover Band sounded like they were ashamed to be playing under their own name.

During the second to last song, their lead singer flubbed the first lyric of the verse and then stopped. He proceeded asked the audience if he should try again. The crowd yelled "Yeah!!!" I yelled "No!!!"

Belle & Sebastian was a welcome improvement--hell, they were downright good. Great, even. In fact I'd go as far as to say it was perfect. The crowd got into it, Stuart referenced "gay disco night 1985", "White Collar Boy" and "Judy and the Dream of Horses" (two songs I really wanted to hear) were played. Perfect--save for the bald-headed fucker grinding against his girlfriend directly next to me.

Now I don't know why, but seem to have a history of going to shows and attracting this type. Regardless of the concert (Jack Johnson in Charleston, Widespread Panic in Clemson, Jack Johnson in Charleston, again+) I am always next to That Guy. You know the type: the one screaming "I'M AT FUCKING JACK JOHSON!" at the top of his lungs while slamming a Natty Light while high-fiving his frat brother while breathing alcohol breath all over everyone else around him. Pressing his whiskey dick against some girl equally as dumb--maybe even dumber--she thinks he's funny. You know, that guy.

Well, this particular That Guy had a bald head that was one of those frightening bald heads--not friendly like Shaquille O'Neal or Michael Jordan's. Hell, not even friendly like Billy Corgan's, which isn't very friendly at all, actually. And yet I couldn't stop staring at it, this guy's nasty bald head. It looked like a big veiny basketball. Big Veiny Basketball-Head, in addition to thrusting himself upon others in a public place, also enjoyed smoking cigarettes and pot in a non-smoking building and talking during quiet parts of songs. His four-foot tall Asian girlfriend enjoyed singing loudly out of time and out of key. Some people are really made for each other. And some people should also be sterilized.

+I had really, really bad taste back in the day. In my defense, the Widespread Panic show was when I was in high school and the Jack Johnson concerts were freshman year of college (2001-2), when Jack Johnson was considered somewhat, just a little *gasp* underground. Hard to believe I know.

Oh, in case you were wondering, I didn't really have fun at any of those shows.

Belle & Sebastian: a great f-ing indie rock band from the UK.


Anonymous said...

funny how i know exactly about whom you are speaking (the whole that guy thing)...

Anonymous said...

it occurred to me that, perhaps, upon closer inspection at, say, the wp show, you might have noticed that guy was actually 4 out of 5 guys, and you weren't the only one contemplating your tendency to attract this type

Robb said...

Congrats for participating in free markets, James. Black markets even.
How could it have been a bad thing? You both won: you got lots o' cash, he got to see the show that he otherwise wouldn't have seen.

Decidedly not frowning,


Benny said...

NO! I hate Judy. I'm sure every girl who can lay claim to being told they're "just like Judy!" hates that fucking bitch Judy and her stupid dream of horses. And I'm sure there are a lot of us girls out there as there are a lot of unoriginal hipster guys out there, too.

I'm glad you had a good time, Jimby. A creative writing teacher in high school made a compilation of their live stuff for me- BBC and Paris recordings. It sounds like nice. They're cute.

Trevor said...

I invited B&S to be my friends on MySpace...but they haven't responded yet. I suddenly feel less cool than I did back when I could say (a few hours ago last night) "hey, I just invited Belle and Sebastian to by MySpace friends!"

My B&S collection will be flushed down the toilet if they never respond (no matter how difficult that is)

Benny said...

I'm trying to imaging flushing music down the toilet.

But, some would say that B and S is completely disposable...

jenneral said...

I would be one of those people who say that B&S is completely disposable. :) They are sometimes gloriously poppy, but I rarely find myself getting into their sweet little tunes. Others do, that much is obvious.

As for your bad taste, Widespread Panic is perhaps the worst band I've ever seen in concert (I didn't go to see them, of course), and I've seen Puddle of Mudd in concert so...

And Jack Johnson was kindof cool with the underground for a few months before he hit MTV... so, don't be too hard on yourself for that one.

jenneral said...

Haha, wow, leaving that comment about Jack Johnson just forced me to remember that COLDPLAY was once underground. As was HOOBASTANK. And JIMMY EAT WORLD. Wow, I'm going to go cry now.

James said...

Sorry I haven't responded to anyone in so long--I'm currently in New York and have been too busy doing thing like touring Columbia and meeting crazy people in bars. I swear I am a magnet for those kinds of people--maybe because I'm one of them.

Anyways, thank you, Robb. I should probably just go over say it to you in person--you're in the other room. But it's late.

B, Trev, and Jenn, Belle & Sebastian is indispensible. Completely--even if they reject you from MySpace.

That's funny about Widespread, Jenn, because they're the worst band I've ever paid to see too. Littlejohn, '99 (I think). Awful! And I remember Coldplay and JJ being underground. But do you remember when Dave Matthews and John Mayer were underground?? I was so on those bandwagons before everyone else. Not that that means anything at all--I'm quite aware of that fact.

Benny said...

You're in New York? Where's the gdm'ed post??? ;-)

Big East Regards,


James said...

Benny, I'm too damn busy for real-time updates. But no worries--I'm saving it for when I get back.

Hey! I'm in your time-zone! Time-zone,


Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with your post, (although I will agree that the New Pornographers without Neko Case just isn't the same), but I had noticed that you had wanted

(I won't spell it out because...)

Apologies, but sadly I own this. I'm also the idiot that owns (I'm adding something parenthetical because I don't know what the punctuation rules are for ending a sentence on a website).

Yes, I realize that I do nothing with the site, and it really is a shame, but I swear, I have something planned and I hope it will be to all the James Yeh's likings.

But I digress...

In regards to the email address, simply put, I'm a technogeek. I along with many of my friends got in pretty early and made it a point to own our names in regards to gmail. (My friend, also named James, but thankfully not named James Yeh, decided to also grab

You may wonder why there was such urgency to own the account. Well, let me put it this way.

We have a pretty common name. I don't know if you've done a google search on yourself. If you haven't, I award you the highest of my ethereal medals. If you have, well you're just like everybody else.

But I'm guessing that you've never met another James Yeh. Maybe you have.

But I went to high school with 2 other James Yeh's. Three of us in a school of 1400. (1)

So, you can understand my need to have something that no other James Yeh could have.

Again, my apologies.

However, good luck with grad school. I hope it doesn't chew you up and spit you out like it did to me.

Another James Yeh

(1) Upon matriculating at U.C. Berkeley, I noticed there were no other James Yeh's, which means my high school was in that sense, a statistical anomaly. There wasn't another one until I hit one of my grad school years there.

Benny said...

Oh my, how strange.

I once met another Brooklyn Nicole- she was a server at O'Charley's with my sister. She introduced us. "Brooklyn Nicole, meet Brooklyn Nicole."

Jimby, if it makes you feel any better, you can have

Anyway, that's not why I came over here. I came over to announce that I've ripped you off in an effort to get a real post on my blog. And I got to make fun of your in the process.

So there!


James said...

Another James Yeh, you get the award for most random and interesting recent blog comment. Still, you better make us proud with that website or I'm confiscating your gmail account.

Sadly I've googled myself. Not only have I done that--I've blogged about googling myself. (I currently hold #6 and #7, and 5 of the top 13 spots.) My goal for this year: numero uno.

Benny, you get the award for most consistently cute.

Harry the Hire said...

I was #8 and #9, but there is some other Evan Maloney letting the team down - a bit! - by making conservative propaganda movies about the mean, nasty and dirty-tricks playing left-wing press in America.

Still, I shall defeat him one day and, like James Yeh, rise to the top of my nomenclature.

Now I'm off to google James.

Robb said...

Guys, just stop. I win this competition hands down. I am not the top of the Robert Calhoun's, but just google me and see who is.
3 words: Robert Calhoun Sings.
I am a strong and sexy black man.

Harry the Hire said...

"Welcome to the smooth stylings of Robb Calhoun."

Dang, why I can't be the crooner?

Have you seen Evan Coyne Maloney? I'll find a picture and post.

Benny said...

Evan Maloney, you have a real boxer's name. It's no wonder you're a stripper, instead.

Jimby, you're very sweet to notice my consistency.

Robb, your new name is Rhesus Caligula.

Jimby, where's your long-ass post about Williamsburg-a-neighborhood-of-Brooklyn and the accompanying ham photo?

PS- my mysterious benefactor of a friend in publishing (his honest to god job title) just FedExed me a shitload of free books from HQ. Among them: Belle and Sebastian: Just Another Rock Story. I think I remember the reviews. I'm going to save it for bedtime and start on the Pixies oral biography...

Tell me what your McSwfriends have sent you! Betcha wished you slaved for a conglomerate, instead!

(Imagine I just said all that in an obnoxious Cartman voice and tell me I'm still cute!)

Kindest Regods,


Robb said...

OK Benny, I wanna know why "the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn" is funny!
Gimme the goods!

Benny said...

It's just funny. Everyone knows Williamsburg is in Brooklyn. It's like Marilyn Monroe saying she's on her way to Europe, France. You're too cute.

rebecca said...

funny. When I was reading this post I was listening to Belle and Sebastian.