ALW Is Why They Have Seven-Day Waiting Periods

I’ve spent the past few days in Las Vegas. Not surprisingly, I found nothing there to feed the blog. (The Vijay Iyer post was written before I left.)

As you can guess by the music I write about, Vegas isn’t my kind of town. I was there for my job. I don’t begrudge the people who find it fun — my grandmother is one of them — but there’s not much there for me as a tourist.

Still, Vegas’ suburban growth, coupled with the fact that classic rock fans are now over-the-hill Vegas tourists, means some interesting rock music makes it there. Like the recent Matador Records festival and Guided by Voices reunion.

I read some listings for the weekends preceding and following my trip. The Carl Palmer band apparently is or was stopping by.  Singer Marc Cohn was a featured coming-soon poster. Neither is really my cup of tea, but after hearing Andrew Lloyd Weber piped through hotel lobby speakers again and again and AGAIN, I’d gladly have attended either show.

Or rather, I would have, if it hadn’t been for this bill: Aging punk bands Goldfinger and Reel Big Fish. I really like Goldfinger. They’re an honestly good band. Lead singer John Feldmann was about 30 when they broke in 1996, and his maturity was an asset — bizarre as that might sound for a skate-punk L.A. band. The lyrics are intelligent, and while they touch on the ego-bluster of other testosterone-saturated MTV bands, you don’t feel like Feldmann takes himself that seriously.

Anyway, that would have been my pick. And then I’d hide in my room playing tons of Rudresh Mahanthappa tracks on the computer (having purchased the multidisk download package from his site). And I’d turn up the speakers to force my neighbors to hear something good, dammit.

I’m listening to the “All Out” show on KCSM-FM right now, and it’s so nice to be home.

2 thoughts on “ALW Is Why They Have Seven-Day Waiting Periods

  1. Since I am a rock guy learning about jazz, I was pleased to see your digression in to rock here. Do you mind if I riff on with the following bits of minutiae: GBV is lead by Robert Pollard who is also a former collegiate baseball pitcher for Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio AND (I only just learned today while fact-checking my own post for you) is scoring a documentary about Pete Rose. I’ve actually never seen them — I don’t think — but they would have been a real big fish to have hooked into my music series at Cubberley back in the day — their agent had sold me some other stuff in that period and did once check my avails versus the band’s but I underbid it I guess. I had my picture once in the Palo Alto Weekly wearing a Goldfinger t-shirt — I guess I caught them at the Edge. I also recall that John Feldman is from nearby Saratoga and mentored a band that did play our concert series, Mest. Superchunk (who’s founder Mac McCaughan runs a tiny jazz label called Wobbly Rail — with a Steve Lacy solo live cd and more — he also once hired Ken Vandermark to contribute reed parts to his rock cd) was on Matador, but were already spun off to their own Merge label when they played my 5th anniversary show, in 1999 –Ralph Carney was also on the eclectic bill.
    Rudresh rocks!!!

  2. Mark — yes, Feldmann being from Saratoga sounds familiar. I might have been at that Edge show with you, because that’s the one place I saw them live. Fun stuff.

    I’m familiar with Wobbly Rail. We got some of their stuff at KZSU, late-90s/early-00s timeframe, during what I think was the last hurrah for tiny labels to send stuff like that to college radio. (Many of them told us they no longer bother, although that was before high-quality digital downloads were practical, so maybe the trend will rubberband its way back.)

    GbV is indeed a pretty darn big deal. Pollard broke up the band a few years ago, and the reunion tour they’re doing now happened primarily because of the Matador reunion show, I think. I’m mainly familiar with their later stuff, a different lineup and (many would argue) less memorable albums — but still a great live show. Didn’t know about the Pete Rose documentary; that’s interesting.

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