No Age at the Ukrainian Culture Center
I saw No Age last night at the Ukrainian Culture Center on Melrose. It was a pretty fun show, and though the acoustics at the hall weren’t perfect (the mikes were cutting in and out, and the place was a bit of a barn), No Age sounded much better than when I’ve heard them at cramped and sweaty lofts downtown.
I still think these guys would do well to get a bassist. Most guitar and chord driven distortion-sheen noise bands suffer from sounding too much like one or another era of Sonic Youth, and No Age can get a bit bonus-track Dirty sounding—a nice melodic bass line would cut through the monotony and help the folks who don’t own a No Age album distinguish one song from another. But then again, the sheer wall of noise and emotion did get better and better as the set went on (perhaps they were able to lock in better once all the microphone mishaps were squared away) and by the end I felt really… enervated.
One more gripe I have is that I didn’t hear their Nerves cover! I was so excited and scared to learn they covered “When You Find Out” for an upcoming EP, so I was bummed they didn’t play it last night. Oh well, a band can get pigeonholed as a cover band if they keep playing other people’s songs, so I guess it’s good they left me wanting more (now I just have to go out and buy it).
The band before them, Yeasayer, totally totally sucked. I know that neo-hippie music is still all the rage, and believe me, I’m right there with ‘em: I have long hair and bushy chops, I read Arthur magazine, I enjoy the music of Winter Flowers and the YaHoWa 13 cult and even have seen CSNY in concert.
But Yeasayer are a band that literally sounds like something I would have seen at Riverfest in Tulsa in the early nineties while long haired stoners wearing hiking socks and Birkenstocks played hacky sack. If they had worn tie-dye and played with hemp guitar strings, they could not have been more lame-assed hippy sounding. I don’t understand why this is appropriate music to place in front of the No Age crowd. There is some definite emperor’s new clothes shit going down with this band, and I don’t give a fuck what Pitchfork Media says about them.
The crowd was on the young side, and I was pretty delighted to find vegan options for sale by various members of Mika Miko and their posse of neon-accessorized street urchins. The gal from Hard Place was bouncing around on the dance floor, and there was a fine little party going on in the smoke hole behind the venue, as folks found the giant stack of worn tires from the bicycle kitchen next door and hurled them to and fro at each other across the cement. We’ll see if the party is as raucous tonight when I go see the Spits and/or Thee Makeout Party.
Update: Looks like the dudes from Filter are kind of with me on my assessment of Yeasayer.