Concert Review: Thalia Zedek, Uninhabitable Mansions, Big Big Bucks @ Middle East Upstairs (5/7/10)

Artists: The Big Big Bucks, Uninhabitable Mansions, Thalia Zedek, and Ketman (we did not see)
Location: Middle East Upstairs, Cambridge, MA
Date: Friday, May 7, 2010

The Big Big Bucks: They were a decent band and a good start to the show. The guitars were nice and loud, but not too loud. I could sense they had some pop sensabilities, but the songs did not come all the way through as major hooks. One of their jams, “New Socks,” stood out to me as a little catchy and definitely rocking (and not just because they announced its name, Glen!). Alas, there were some technical difficulties, which truncated the group’s set a teeny bit, but they dealt with the mishap with delightful humor and audience interaction. Overall, I liked them and they served as a good act to warm up for the Mansions. I think I am the only one who has ever referred to them that way lol. Maybe not?

Uninhabitable Mansions: Ahh yes the band we came to see! They created some exciting vibes without being over the top in their showmanship; the songs spoke for themselves. I really dug the adorable Annie Hart and her skillful keyboard playing, something I had overlooked previously while listening to their recordings. The group played a relatively quick set consisting of the classic, “Speed is Deceiving,” which was easily one of the best musical performances I have ever seen. I was like in a trance for a few minutes, it was really that outstanding. The vocals particularly stood out to me as they not only sounded extraordinary, but they also did total justice to the recording, which in itself is fabulous and one of the best from 2009. They closed their brief, but invigorating set with “We Already Know,” another classic from their last LP. Okay, I’ve sucked their dick for enough now, better move on before I start deep throating….

Thalia Zedek: Uhh yeah this is simply music I do not have time for lol. They suffered from the Tulsa effect of playing what seems more like a jam session than a performance of songs. The first number was ok and I was a bit interested, but after that, actually by th end of it, my focus was far from fixed! When that shit is broken, I’m mentally finished with an artist. Perhaps, it’s just me and some other musicians would find real meaning and entertainment in their work, but for me there’s nothing fascinating about it. I typically dig exciting, fun, catchy pop music (what I see as pop, i.e. Jay Reatard). So, if you can’t wow me with explicitly “stuck in my mind, sing along” tunes than you should wow me with something else really unique or mind blowing i.e the performances of Deerhunter and Sonic Youth, amongst others, whom have many catchy songs, but clearly they explore further terrirtory outside the pop landscape and do not rely on the hooks and what have you. If you’re band, as in the case of TZ cannot satisfy these two musical needs of mine than you have lost my attention. Now, that does not necessarily mean the band is bad (TZ are probably decent musicians), it just means I have absolutely no desire to listen to them. Alright, alright, I’ve ranted for wayyy too long lol. So, yeah TZ bored the fuck out of me.

Grade: B


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