October 2, 2007

I Was Kind Of Harsh To These Last Few Bands...

Monolith Fest day 2 wrap up:

Nathan and Stephen were the only band that I saw on the ... quaintly titled "Rock Room" stage. These local guys remind me of a Christian hardcore version of the Polyphonic Spree. These boys and girl danced and sang their way through the hearts and minds of the packed room. There were few bands at Monolith with more intensity than Nathan and Stephen, every spark of their spirit floating out with each note. I'd seen them a few times before, but this show is definitely the top of the pops.

Nathan and Stephen (their myspace)

From there I rushed down to the acoustic stage just in time to see William Elliot Whitmore take the stage. After announcing his gratitude for so many people showing up (apparently his set was one of the biggest draws for the Acoustic Stage), he told us he would only be playing requests. Feeling a little out of place, I awkwardly felt ashamed for not knowing his material better, because as soon as the thought that maybe no one there knew enough of his songs, everyone around me started requesting songs. William loves a good crowd of people who just want to sit around and hear him do his thing. He was probably one of the most outwardly appreciative artists that I saw at Monolith. If you don't have a grasp on his sound, just think of Roscoe Holcomb style banjo, Skip James style wailing, but with more soul than any man ought to rightfully have.

William Elliot Whitmore (daytrotter set)

Art Brut. Hmmm... have I mentioned that I'm not a real big fan? I'm thinking I have. But, I recognize a live band that needs to be seen when I see one, and this is one of those bands. Basically, all I can say is that they're better live ... but not by much. Though, come to think of it, I really enjoyed the version of Direct Hit they did, and the banter that preceded it (the only song to go #1 in Space).

Art Brut (everything you'll ever need by them)

I was talking about Earl Greyhound with some people prior to seeing them live, and one line stuck with me: "I liked the album when it came out in 1968." I don't, and will never, claim to be any sort of expert on classic rock, but now, after seeing Earl Greyhound, I understand the sentiment behind the statement. Maroon 5 in the 60's/70's is what came to mind when I saw them. They really just felt like a rock band, through and through. I was bored, but, like I said with the Laylights, maybe I'm just to into looking for something innovative and inventive. Truthfully, their staleness wasn't what really turned me off, it was their bass drum. The damn thing was enormous, and just too bassy. It drew attention away from everything else, because every so often there would be this big annoying "Bloosh!" which didn't mix well with any part of the song. That shit annoyed me.

Not entertained by Earl Greyhound, I decided to go see Cameron McGill, someone I had previously decided to skip over because I had seen him last year at the South Park Music Festival, and I didn't want to see too many bands that I had all ready seen. But, seeming how there was nothing better, I decided to see how the old boy was doing. He is doing well. His music grabs you, sits you down, and makes you pay attention. He has lyrics that make you think "well I know what that means to me, but what does it mean to Cameron, or that guy over there, or that girl over there?" He has apparently been writing like a mad man, pumping out albums faster than Jandek, and the new songs I heard him perform only prove that he is only improving. Near the end of his set he brought up Leslie from Leslie & the Badgers to sing a few songs. He might as well asked Jenny Lewis. (that's a compliment). She was amazing. Check her stuff out too.

Cameron McGill - Love's Worst Day

Spoon was another band that fell victim to the lack of intimacy that I felt while watching a majority of the main stage bands. Everyone else seems to think they did really well. I'd go by what they say, because I'm just a bit biased to wanting my sound loud and in my face.

Bored with Spoon, I went upstairs to wait near the front of the New Belgium stage in anticipation for Cloud Cult. At one point I debated going downstairs and seeing Au Revior Simone, but since I'd been anticipating seeing Cloud Cult for the last year or so, I wasn't about to miss out on my amazing spot. Honestly, I have trouble describing their set, because throughout all of it I was screaming the lyrics, jumping up and down, and tearing up. Religious experience doesn't even scratch the surface. This is why I love music. Cloud Cult re-introduced me to myself. Cloud Cult is magic.

Cloud Cult - The Deaf Girl''s Song

I got to The Flaming Lips performance a little late, but I was okay with that, because nothing was going to keep me from seeing everything Cloud Cult had to offer. I got kind of close, so the whole "lack of intimacy" thing wasn't as bad. But, in truth, I just wasn't close enough and it just wasn't loud enough. Probably the most touching moments of their set (not counting everyone at Red Rocks singing Yoshimi) were when Wayne Coyne talked to the audience. At one point he talked about this interesting little instrument ... but I think that I want to keep that experience to myself. If you want to read about it somewhere else, feel free, but I'm not going to be the one to ruin it if you plan on seeing them any time soon. They were good, no doubt, but not exactly the show I had expected. Definitely worth it to see them though. Here's the newest Lips:

The Flaming Lips - I Was Zapped By The Lucky Super Rainbow

And then I went home, and slept forever, and then I got up, and went to class, and then went back to Red Rocks to see The Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem, but that's a tale for anther day. Until next time peps.

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