There was an L.A. Record presence at the show I went to with orangehairboy last night, and I was kind of shocked and horrified to open the most recent issue and see Bobb Bruno standing there in a photo next to Imaad Wasif. I guess they’re playing together now.
Actually, Imaad Wasif can be pretty good when he wants to be. I have a chip on my shoulder I think because a couple years ago, Imaad opened for Arthur Lee and Love at Spaceland, and I was DJ’ing, and Imaad came up to me before his set and asked if I could play something that was “not dance music.” And this was while I was spinning a Fugs song that had just followed a Pretty Things song that had probably followed Syd Barrett—not exactly dance music, you screaming douchebag!
If he’d played well, I might have forgiven him. But he proceeded to get up there and whine over his acoustic guitar, draining all the energy out of the room. All me and the five people who stood there watching could think was “whoa, this is even worse than Alaska!”
However, fast forward to a couple months ago, when I saw Imaad Wasif play at Safari Sam’s, and I totally ate crow. I stuck around to see him just because I’d played on the same bill and wanted to be polite, but he totally wowed me. He played simple, maudlin folk songs, just his voice, guitar, and the accompaniment of an electronic drone in a little box, a simple effect that was very moving and matched the tunes perfectly. He knocked out one after another song, going from good to good to great to pretty good, and I stayed for the whole set (even gave him a “hey, great show dude” when it was over). A vast improvement over where he’d been four years ago.
Bobb Bruno of course is fucking fantastic all the time, and I think his participation is just one more sign that I had Wasif pegged all wrong. I’m looking forward to seeing them live.