This Weekend in Holiday Shows (As Written by Bennington, The Pretentious Music Critic Elf)
Merry Moondoggies ::: photo by Abbey Simmons
I get tired of writing about the same bands all the time. Just as I’m sure you get tired of reading me write about the same bands over and over again. So what do you think I did for this holiday season? I wrote a letter to the North Pole offering Santa free MP3′s and political kickbacks for extravagant presents and asked Santa if he had a resident music expert elf (preferably one that used to write for Pitchfork) that would like to contribute to our website. In response I got an autographed photo of New York Yankees great Derek Jeter (I would have preferred a lump of coal) and the services of Bennington, the pretentious music critic elf. Enjoy.
Dear Sound on the Sound Readers,
I have been asked by your Christian demi-god of retail and a hack-riffic blogger to give you previews for all the holiday related shows happening in Seattle over the course of the next few days. I’m an Elf. If there’s one thing I know besides pouring maple syrup over everything (where do you think gigantic elf Will Ferrell got that hilarious act from?), it’s what people living in first world countries should do with their time during the holidays. Why do we give special consideration to those living in industrialized nations? Because Santa and Co. have a sweet deal with the IMF and the World Bank. Third World Countries can go kick rocks.
Did you know that there’s more than three girls (and boys) working for “Three Imaginary Girls”? They’ll never let their identity be known because they’re superheroes. I’m afraid you’ll have to venture to their holiday party at the Columbia City Theater to find out exactly what’s going on. TIG, has a procured a pop friendly lineup consisting of Eef Barzelay (of Clem Snide), Mal de Mer (who have a song with the same name as the greatest Nintendo game ever) and The Heligoats. Don’t be afraid to make your presence known on the south side of town. “Pop” is no longer a dirty word (it took some time but it finally forgave U2).
What happens when you take a fiercely catchy band, with a horrible band name (Livingston Seagull) and put them on the same bill with an awesome band, with an awesome band name (White Coward)?!? Then you add two other bands (Sloths, Heavy Flow) that have websites but you don’t have the frickin’ time to check them out because Prancer and Blitzen have decided to go on strike (and run off to Cabo, the audacity!). and Santa is being a complete hard-ass about the entire affair. You may think his anger is reindeer union related, but I’m telling you it has everything to do with the fact that Mrs. Claus is currently infatuated with the Black Lodge. It’s unhealthy I tell you.
Cops can ruin any joyous situation in a hurry. However, this “on-again off-again, wait, are they on again” Seattle quartet are probably the only group of law enforcement that you should be happy to see on a Friday night. I don’t usually see The Cops when they play during other times of the year but their December shows are always a good time. Plus, they are playing with the always entertaining Hopscotch Boys. In other words, shit is going to get weird quickly. I expect to see exotic animals that have been mounted and stuffed, lots of awful looking Christmas sweaters, people smoking cigarettes outside the venue, bartenders pouring stiff drinks, Lady Gaga doing a duet with Jawz (not Mike from the Cops, the actual James Bond villain) and much, much more. Besides, it’s Ballard, the happiest place on Earth. Haters are gonna hate….
The rest of Bennington’s Holiday Show Recommendations
Guns and Roses at Key Arena Friday Night
Concert of the year people…if the year were 1987. Axl Rose and Lou Reed are the reason music is terrible. TERRIBLE.
Over the past few years The Moondoggies and The Maldives have made Sound on the Sound a second home. We’ve talked about them using every single angle imaginable. Doe Bay and other festival previews, videos, concert reviews, “best of” lists, album reviews, interviews, tea and crumpet sessions, “Cooking with The Maldives”, “How to Win the Heart of Your Future In-Laws” by The Moondoggies etc. You already know what this is about. Because it’s at the “Baby Huey” of Seattle music venues (Neptune Theater), you already know it’s going to sound good. You already know that everyone is going dress/look exactly the same and that there will be plenty of talking. This concert will be fun, fun and predictable. Where’s the edge? Why can’t these two bands hate each other and still have a holiday show? Wouldn’t that be a lot more exciting? Where’s that folk band that everyone talks shit about? Why aren’t they performing? I want to see a knife fight, not a bearded flannel christmas carol sing-a-long. Someone do something about this. Is this concert supposed to make up for me missing Guns and Roses the night before? I’m not sure if it will.
Dinosaur Jr and Pierced Arrows at the Showbox (Saturday Night)
J. Mascis is actually related to my boss Mr. Claus, but he’ll never tell you that. Many moons ago, Mascis refused to cut his hair and was constantly late on delivering Christmas Day gifts. Santa got so frustrated that he was banned from the North Pole. He was cast out from our toy-shops like Lucifer was from heaven. Santa was nice enough to give him a dilapidated late 1970s Univox guitar as a parting gift. Little did Santa know that J. Mascis would go on to form Dinosaur Jr. and wreak havoc on listeners worldwide by playing the most contentious, fuzzed out guitar leads that anyone had ever heard.
Santa would see Dinosaur Jr. playing the Reading Festival (among other awesome gigs) and he would often throw his milk and cookies at the viewing screen. “Christ in a frost-filled heaven!” he would often exclaim. “Someone cut that hippies hair so he can no longer play guitar like a demon! He is the Sampson of indie rock movement! You’ll need a golden pair of shears, preferably bought from a late night infomercial!”
The deed was never done. Look where we are now…Lou Barlow you have failed us!
Scratch Acid at Neumos (Saturday Night)
Pop quiz hot shot. Your bank account is looking thinner than Kate Moss at a Charlie Sheen hosted party that is sponsored by the Columbian government. You want to have more than one musical experience tonight but it’s out the question. Scratch Acid isn’t quite the Jesus Lizard but they are amazing nonetheless. You are considering going to the Neptune or the Showbox Market instead but there’s something about a shirtless David Yow, that excites a great passion within your member tormenting the audience like a complete scoundrel that will bring you great joy (enough cheer to last the rest of the holiday season). However, you can see David Yow in a much more controlled setting at the Comet being asked thoughtful questions by Chris Estey. But there will be no promise of blood, will you be satisfied? ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!?!? Maybe David Yow will pull a Three Faces of Eve and just freefall into the most devastating mental collapse the Comet has ever seen (that would be no small feat ladies and gents).
Until next Christmas season this is Bennington signing off.
PS. – Notice how I said “Christmas” motherfuckers, if you continue to “assault” my holiday, not only am I going to be out of a job but the delicate fabricate that is the foundation of this nation will unravel. Think of a world without oxygen? When someone says “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” a small pageant queen dies, an orphanage in Kuwait burns to the ground, a fairy does not get her wings and a hefty financial contribution is made to an unnamed political candidate.