Monday, March 7, 2011

Marnie Stern

Last night I went Upstairs at Middle East to get my face melted off by Marnie Stern, and my face got melted off, but I couldn't help but feel like I was the only one.

People don't dance much at rock shows I guess. It reminds me of when I was 13 and my father took me to see Oasis and the Black Crowes at the Oakdale Theatre. The Tour of Brotherly Love, they called it. Two just over-the-hill British bands mostly there to pay tribute to much further over-the-hill British bands. "They say Rock n' Roll is dead," a worn-out Chris Robinson said to an auditorium full of middle-aged men crossing their arms and nodding their heads. "Looks like some of you got blood on your hands." Ungrateful, yes. Those men did each pay about $50 to stand there. And what did he expect? "Rock n' Roll" doesn't charge $50 on Ticketmaster. It's a thing that happens at a bar with a half-broken PA and wristbands and plastic cups of cheap beer getting spilled all over a floorful of people who haven't given up on sex yet. At the very least, the crowd is younger.

But actually, it looks like standing around looking bored is hip among the youth. Still. As far as I can tell, we've moved from ironic 80's fashion to semi-ironic 90's fashion at some point but the attitude is pretty much the same.

I have three words: come on, people. Kurt Cobain has been dead for longer than most college kids have been alive. Marnie Stern makes exhuberant, violent, balls-out guitar music, shreds like a beast to block-rocking beats, and at the high point of the evening I counted myself one among maybe fifteen people who were moving more than their heads and their cell phone thumbs. There had to be a hundred people in there.

I'm listening to Marnie Stern's new album now. There should have been a mosh pit. Save my soul, why was there no mosh pit?

Were they shy? I'm shy to the point of eye contact being a chore. Awkward about their bodies? I flinch whenever it looks like somebody might touch my shoulder. Did they have dark pasts that made them jaded and unwilling to show love for anyone or anything again, even music? Hey, I've been hurt before. When a beat rocks my block, I still move my body.

That's not me being a hero; that's me doing what feels good. Is doing what feels good "over"? You can be disaffected and still dance. The Goths did it. The Punks did it. Shit, the Mods did it like they were getting paid for it. We suck. Let's get our asses back in the game.

1 comment:

Kevin Devaney said...

"I have three words: come on, people. Kurt Cobain has been dead for longer than most college kids have been alive."

" You can be disaffected and still dance. The Goths did it. The Punks did it. Shit, the Mods did it like they were getting paid for it. We suck. Let's get our asses back in the game."

Love it! fuck yes!