This has happened unwittingly and against my better judgment but I have somehow become a person who says, with a straight face—or with the equivalent of a straight face when one is communicating via IM—"I'm really into banjos right now."
What? Shut up, self, that's a ridiculous thing to say. But it's true. Banjo players are underrated, in my opinion, and they should really get more credit. Why do the damn lead guitarists get all the credit anyway? Lead guitarists are like the quarterbacks of bands and you know what, I think it's time we started paying more attention to the....uh....other people who aren't the quarterbacks. My football analogy fell apart right there because I don't actually know any more positions in football. I do know a few in rugby, but that's only because they have better names. Like hooker.
Anyway, all this is to say that I have a really hard time writing about the music I'm listening to right now without sounding like a pretentious douchecanoe—my brother is way better at that; writing about music, I mean, not sounding like a pretentious douchecanoe (he's one of the few people who actually can write about music without sounding like a pretentious douchecanoe)—but I seem to be a on a kick in 2012 where I devour whole albums at once, track for track, gorging on them so greedily that if you were to see a silhouette of me from the side, it would be like when a snake swallows a mouse whole and you can watch it moving slowly down the length of his body. With me, you'd see CDs instead: entire albums that I listen to on repeat for days on end. Actually, you wouldn't see CDs because it's not 1995 anymore, but the visual was so much better than trying to picture a digital MP3 moving slowly down a person's digestive tract.
Ew, on second thought, I don't want to picture anything moving slowly down a person's digestive tract.
So far in 2012, I have devoured, snake-like, The Lion's Roar by First Aid Kit, the eponymous first albums by both The Lumineers and The Head and the Heart, and the new offering by Langhorne Slim & The Law called This Is How We Move. While the others were recommendations from friends, this last one was something I pretty much discovered by myself, and only then because I was scanning Rdio looking for something new to listen to. I fully admit that I only chose it because of the name. I mean, Langhorne Sim & the Law? That sounds like a pretty bitchin' band.
(Turns out that Langhorne Slim's real name is actually Sean Scolnick—he was born in Langhorne, Pennsylvania; can you tell someone's been on his Wikipedia page?—which, while something of a letdown, is at least redeemed by the fact that his drummer's name is Malachi DeLorenzo, which I think we can all agree is also pretty bitchin'.)
Anyway, I listened to The Way We Move pretty much non-stop for the entire first 24 hours after I found it—if you want the Cliff's Notes, my favorites are Salvation, The Great Divide, Bad Luck, and the title track The Way We Move, pretty much in that order—and then I looked the band up online and discovered they were playing in San Francisco the following month. You can see where this is going right?
Yep, that's totally where it went. Straight to me standing in a bar at 10pm on a school night, waiting for the band to take the stage and cursing my ability to ever get to a show at a time other than MONSTROUSLY EARLY.
But man, was it a good show! I hadn't been to a non-Evan-Dando concert in a year or so—you may remember my attendance at quite a rash of Evan Dando concerts in the last little while—so I'd sort of forgotten what one might be like, and the answer was that it was excellent. There was a lot of handclapping—audience participation encouraged, thank goodness, because choreographed public handclapping is one of my favorite things ever—and also some weird sort of folk music moshpit, which I'd never seen before, but is basically just like a regular moshpit except with more people in fedoras.
Langhorne Slim—excuse me, Sean Scolnick—was excellent at stage banter, really funny and humble and happy that people were there to see him. At the very end, he said "Okay, guys, we're going to do one more song," which, you know, seemed like a pretty nice heads-up and all, I thought, but some guy in the audience wasn't having any of it. "No!" he shouted. "Not one! Three! Do three! Three! Okay, two! Two! DO TWO MORE."
Huh. I wasn't aware that we could bargain with the band about when they finished!
I'm going to leave you with one of my new favorite songs, which I only heard for the first time last night—well, I heard most of it; I don't believe in the death penalty, except when it applies to frat boys behind me TALKING ALL THE WAY THROUGH A CONCERT—and loved immediately. Walking back to the car afterwards, I said to Sean, who I'd dragged along with me, "I really liked that one about driving all those miles to knock on your door."
"Oh yeah," he said. "I really liked that one too. It reminded me of you."
"Really? I said, blushing and giggly. "It reminded me of you!"
Thanks, Langhorne Slim, for making me feel eighteen again.