Volume 76, Number 5 | June 21 - 27 2006

Scene and Heard

By Jen Carlson

For the past month or so, I’ve been living a seemingly normal life from the exterior – but inside, there’s been a giant clock ticking, counting down in anxious beats to June 13th, 2006. Finally, the ticking clock turned in to a metronome as I stood in a sporadically lit theater, excited hushing and yelping echoing around me as the opening notes to “You And Whose Army?” were played. Radiohead began their set.

I was about 15 feet from the stage, watching the only band I’ll ever call “my favorite band” (such a simplistic turn of phrase doesn’t do them justice), in a relatively small Theater at Madison Square Garden. So much to take in, and every sense soaking it up. Thom Yorke’s voice bringing me to a familiar place that I’ve visited quite often yet have never heard quite so clearly. Lester Bangs once referred to sounds heard during an “insomniac postmidnight,” and for whatever reason I recalled this term on that night, even though time was standing still and midnight didn’t exist. I was awoken from my trance by two older men who, if I had anything to do with it, would never have been allowed to purchase tickets to such an experience. The two were drunk, loud and clearly unappreciative of what they had somehow become a part of, and yet, on this night, even they couldn’t ruin my mood. Not even after they spilled their over-priced vodka tonics on my jeans. Not even after they “accidentally” groped my...unmentionables. Nope, I would shift my body and block them out.

At least I didn’t have one of the Bush twins in my sight line. Thom Yorke, outspoken on his dislike for their father, wrote about their appearance at the next night’s show on his blog. He wondered if he should “object belatedly on moral grounds” to their presence, or simply “shut up and smile.” Ultimately, no matter how much he would have rather done the former, he ignored them, just as I ignored those aforementioned grabby, drunk distractions.

If I had more space, I would certainly write more about this band. However, there is a new clock ticking — and one must move on. There are more shows coming up in this city, and here’s what I suggest checking out:

The Black Hollies (www.theblackhollies.com) were recently named one of the top 7 bands in New York to watch by the L Magazine. They play Fontana’s on June 23rd.

Final Fantasy plays Tonic on June 24th. We first, and last, saw this young man open for The Arcade Fire at Webster Hall, soothing a restless crowd with his violin. On the same night, Liars play Warsaw. I honestly didn’t love their last album – more noise than rock – but I recently heard some new tracks and have decided to give them a second chance. They’re also at Avalon on June 26th.

On Tuesday June 27th, The Grates, The Lovely Feathers, Tokyo Police Club and Persephone’s Bees play Mercury Lounge. A well-booked show is often underappreciated, so be sure to check this one out. The Grates ( www.thegrates.com) will be coming up from Brisbane to deliver their playful and innocently flirty pop, so don’t stand them up.

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