rasputina. not bad!

i’d been cranky about going to see this band. frankly, yesterday’s post was more an attempt to kick myself in the ass to try to enjoy an evening about which i was, at best, dubious.

well, who knew.

not only was rasputina not bad, they were very very good. in fact, i’d go so far as to say they were pretty close to brilliant.

i used to care a lot, as faith no more once cynically said, about music. i was a nightclub dj and went out every single night for years on end. but music lately?


it’s a combination of things. i moved to new york, which at first for me was not conducive to listening to music. you are on the streets a lot, and this was the days before ipods and such. and i couldn’t listen to the radio at work, and by the time i got home i just wanted to zone out in front of the tv.

and i had stopped going out to clubs and concerts as much as i used to, because, frankly, when you are in your late thirties and going to the kind of places that i used to go to, i think you look kind of suspect. i know that when i was young, i used to look at older people and wonder why in the hell they were there. i was just about the oldest guy at rasputina last night, except for this really old guy next to me, and i was glad he was next to me, because hopefully if anyone was wondering like i used to wonder, they were wondering it about him and not me, and knew that we weren’t together, because i was seated with my legs wrapped around kirk and not him.

i. am. so. superficial. sometimes.

so are you.

so music became less and less a part of my life. and it’s a vicious cycle. you get out of touch and suddenly you don’t really have a reference point for where to jump back in. so you don’t.

and now years have gone by, and there’s little to no new music in my life. i do have an ipod shuffle, but it’s filled with songs i know already, and i am the poster child for the jack format. in extremis.

i’ll age myself saying this, but i still get excited when i hear, say, depeche mode on the random ipod selection. or the cure. or skinny puppy. how many times have i heard these songs? thousands, probably. literally.

i really need to move on musically. but i have no idea who to start loading onto my ipod. and it’s 99 cents a pop and all, and i am cheap. the last thing i bought from itunes was sugarland, and that was because kristen hall is in the band, and i am a huge fan of hers.

and of her music from 1990 or so.

i’d go back to see rasputina live again tonight, if i could. it’s two women with cellos and a guy on drums. the cellos are amped and run through various effects boxes, and they get the biggest sound you can imagine. full and deep and sounding for all the world like dinosaur jr. at times, but with the pixies-ish loud/soft thing using straight cello sounds as contrast. and the lead singer is bjork-ish, but better and more understandable, with a cute quirkiness as she throws out clever bon mots and non sequiturs between songs. and the drummer is amazing in that charlie watts way–he barely moves and you wonder where all the wonderful syncopation is coming from. there’s a great charisma between the three, and they are musically tight as all hell. you can tell they’ve been together for a long long time, or at least play like they have.

but they have the hope nicholls problem, which is that they are so good live but their brilliance doesn’t translate quite well enough in a recording studio. i saw so many of these bands at einstein-a-go-go. chickasaw mud puppies. fetchin bones. royal crescent mob. love tractor. the connells.

none of which are on my ipod. except for fetchin bones, because hope nicholls really was so amazing that i listen anyway, and substitute the song in my head, and close my eyes and see her pulling all that crap out of her amazing trunk o’stuff. most charismatic live performer i ever saw, she really was. and i’ve seen hundreds and hundreds of bands.

and so, while i had a great time last night, i still don’t know what to put into itunes.

recorded, say, in this century.

maybe i’ll start with rasputina anyway. and i’ll close my eyes, and substitute the song in my head.