20 May 2005


The coolest of the many crappy pictures I took from the back.

Yesterday was my first trip of the month to the Bowery. The bill: Surefire/the Sights/Mando Diao. I bought the tickets mainly in support of Surefire because it was so awfully nice of them to come do acoustic music singthings for my show during the year and because I wanted to see what they sounded like as a band. and on stage. Sadly, due to my living on 115th and a vice that I dare not admit, we landed at the Bowery approx. 60 seconds before Surefire left the stage. It looked like they rocked it out though. Wish I could have seen more, but oh well.

After the houselights came up I stood around with my friend not really expecting anything else. I hadn't heard anything from the Sights before, just some rumors that they were good. We stood around for a while between sets and I turned to my right... only to see a CMJ employee! Of course, during my time there I've talked to basically no one, my usual exchange being "hi" and "thanks." He was waiting for his friends, so my friend marla and I talked to him for a bit. His friends came and turns out one of them works at CMJ, too. Just so you can get an idea of what the office is like most of the time, here was the exchange between us:

cmj emp: oh, you intern with us?
me: yeah I do
cmj emp: I sit in the corner all the way in the back and don't talk to anyone!
me: yeah, I sit in the middle of everything and I don't talk to anyone either!

ha. I found it very funny at the time, but now I realize it's actually kind of sad. Wait, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, the sights. Well, they were good I guess. Just wasn't really in the mood for it. Basically all my exchange with CMJ emps. happened in the lower level during their set.

Moving on. My friend and I waited a crap load for Mando Diao. We, of course, had CMJ entertainment most of the time, but had to wait a full 15 minutes after the set up was done for the band to come on. My expectations for Mando Diao weren't high... or low. I've had Bring 'Em In on my computer for a while and met it with mixed feelings. Some songs I like, some songs annoy the hell out of me. But when they came on stage and started playing I realized I was clearly very wrong. Mando Diao is a band that's meant to be heard live. Translated on to record it's really just not as good. They have energy that I've never seen before - for a while my friend and I were kinda stunned by it - and then she said, "wow, they must do a lot of coke!"

I'm not sure if it's coke or if it's swedishness, but they were highly entertaining. The banter was hilarious, not because I actually understood it, but because it was so enthusiastic. After coming on stage one of the singers said something along the lines of "THIS IS HOW IT IS WE ARE MANDO DIAO THE NEXT SONG STARTS AFTER 1234 1234!!!!!" actually it was just like that. no pauses. no articulation. It was virtual swedishenglish amazingness and I loved it. After the whole thing was over I realized that I only understood about 0.3% of what was said on stage (including the lyrics), but it was a good show. They screamed a lot. It was very impressive that they could still sing after all that screaming. It was also very, very loud - even standing in the back (which might I add is a first for me). After it was all said and done though, I couldn't help feeling like I missed something... like there is some secret to the performance that makes it that much more enjoyable for the real fans. maybe it's really liking the music.....?

oh and james iha was there. haven't seen him in a while.

Later I decided that I would make a mantra for Mando Diao and that it would go something like this: "WE ARE MANDO DIAO AND EVEN THOUGH OUR GUITARS BREAK IT DOESN'T MATTER BECAUSE WE SCREAM AND WE LOVE NOISE!!!!" But as I was saying it aloud to my friend I realized that as long as you scream it with enthusiasm, anything can be Mando Diao's mantra. As we walked to the Creperie, I thought about making it "WE ARE MANDO DIAO AND WE LOVE CREPES!!!!" and as long as I screamed it, it sounded about right.

so, yes, the concert ended and marla and I went to a godsend called the creperie. We had to wait a little and talk to some cool Ukrainian guys that kept getting Mando Diao confused with Manu Chao, but it was well worth it. Nutella and Banana crepes are the way to go. I didn't want to swallow the heaven that was every bite.... but somehow I managed to pull through and gain about 6 pounds in the process.

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can't stop... won't stop