Monday, April 17, 2006

Franz Ferdinand, Death Cab for Cutie, The Cribs @ Hammerstain Ballroom 4/14/06

Some shows disapoint and some shows you prime yourself for disapoinment.

On Friday I went to see The Cribs(who the hell are the Cribs?), Death Cab for Cutie, and Franz Ferdinand. I had curbed my expectations more than I had for any show in the past few months. "Why?," you might be wondering. Several reasons. The Cribs had never come to my attention until I agreed to attend this show. Upon further inspection one discovers that they are a pretty standard "New British Rock Band." All hype and post punk influences. Totally serviceable but hardly overwhelming.

The next band on the bill was Death Cab for Cutie. I'm no longer afraid to admit I like Death Cab. I think Ben Gibbard is one of the finest melody makers of his time. I think his band is solid and I even enjoy their new album. However, I've seen Death Cab and have not been blown away. They continued to not blow me away onFriday. They played a sturdy set most of the songs I cared to hear and a playful sense about them. Their music fits the large theater atmosphere.

I was afraid of coming to this show and my fears were waranted. Having relegated most of my concert going to 18 and over (or 21and over) clubs and bars I have a bit of trepidition with shows at the Hammerstein Ballroom. I found myself up front surrounded by people less than a decade younger than me but at 23 I felt like the oldest guy in the room. (I wasn't but ya can't fight feelings.) Luckily post-Death Cab some of The O.C. people weeded themselves out.

I've had an interesting relationship with Franz Ferdinand. When "Darts of Pleasure" first crossed my ear drum I was sort of underwhelmed. IT wasn't til hearing the immortal classic "Take Me Out" a few times that I realized this band mattered. Eventually I came around declaring that song the best rock single of the decade. (In fact I would go so far as to call it the best rock single since "Smells Like Teen Spirit.) I then curbed my expactations for a follow up. I then fell in love with their follow up more than I ever liked the first album.

But time passed and since list season You Could Have It So Much Better With Franz Ferdinand has become a musical and cultural after thought. As the band stepped out on stage to the tones of Neutral Milk Hotel's "The Fool" I knew my expectations would be passed. By the time they launched into "Take Me Out" (surprisingly early in the set) I knew I was watching one of the best concerts in recent memory. By the time they wrapped their encore up with "This Fire" I was sure I'd seen one of the best, most significant, and funnest acts of my generation.

Don't let the opportunity to see Franz slip you by. (Anyone get any pics from this show? I'd love to post a link to some.)

Today's "Best Song Ever"

Fennesz "Asusu"

Throughout most of his recorded works Christian Fennesz is able to bring a static off kilter soothing feeling to his compositions. Not so on this piece. It hisses and cracks as if your stereo is having a melt down and yet somewhere in there is a song worth listening to, not just the noise that greats you on first brush.

Download, Listen, Discuss.