Wednesday, May 4, 2011
May and June Concert Highlights
Although I am on an 8-month backpacking trip around the world, I still have my finger tapping to the pulse of Vancouver's music scene. I have noted a few shows below that promise to be entertaining, if not immensely pleasurable (this sounds kinda dirty):
Mogwai - May 6th - The Commodore
I have seen Scotland's finest three times: in Glasgow, in Edinburgh, and in Vancouver. While these were not necessarily the "best" concerts I have been to, they were definitely the loudest concerts I have ever been too. Loudness has a negative connotation because it is often associated with discomfort, confusion, and the indeterminate. It can be a powerful force in music, however, when used in a calculated fashion to emphasize melody and communicate passion. I highly recommend that everyone experience Mogwai's great-wall-of-sound at least once. Oh ya...bring earplugs.
Atmosphere - May 10th - The Vogue
I am super selective when it comes to rap and hip-hop. I find it difficult to find rap that strikes a balance between grit, intelligent rhyming, and creative beats. Atmosphere, a duo comprised of MC Slug and DJ Ant, are incredibly open-minded and literate, yet they hold on to the intensity and aggression that provides good hip-hop with its engaging edge. I don't think rap translates very well to the stage, but I think this setting will be great for Atmosphere because of the clear acoustics and intimate, non-clubby setting.
Man Man - May 17th - The Rickshaw
I am not going to pretend to possess an intimate knowledge of this band, but I will state that two people whose musical tastes I greatly respect have described Man Man shows as "off the hook". The kids these days use this colloquialism to describe something as exuberant and/or extremely enjoyable, so I suggest you "score" an affordable ticket to this "gig" which promises to be "dope". Mind you, Man Man is not for everyone. They are prone to hippie jam sets and psychedelic freak-outs, but I suppose these musical phenomena can be entertaining in and of themselves.
The Airborne Toxic Event - June 7th - The VenueI wasn't a fan of ATE's first two albums, and I think their band name sucks, despite it being based on part of a Don DeLillo novel. As with many bands, it has taken ATE a few years to define their sound and to make necessary amendments. They were a shallow West Coast pop-rock outfit attempting to embellish their frothy music with strings and orchestral elements, which resulted in a sound that was discordant and pretentious...like a watered-down Arcade Fire. Their first album earned them a 1.6/10 from Pitchfork. While ATE's early work was (forgivably) derivative, they are beginning to produce an interesting and unique sound. This is probably the time to see them, as they are evolving...and still affordable.