Tuesday, March 06, 2007

We Don't Need No Stinking Badgers!

Have you ever wondered what a tone-deaf badger getting sodomized would sound like? Then oh boy, do I have a treat for you! They’re called The Paper Cuts, and they may have been the worst opening act ever. Bad to the point that I distrust my recollection of how awesome was the headliner, Grizzly Bear.

See, the way I remember it, Grizzly Bear fractured my mind into a million little pieces of pleasure, the likes of which I haven't seen since some psychotropic liberal arts school days. Everyone in the band contributed to the vocals, knew how to harmonize with each other, when to let their voices soar out, and when to melt it into a whispering reverb over the flute and clarinet. By my count, the bassist had seven pedals, and used them all to create innovative reincarnations of their best songs. The whole effect was an incongruous juxtaposition of shimmery melodies and harmonies floating over pure rawk. Plus, they knew how to use an autoharp. Really well.

But - and this is the problem when you give your band a quirky name like the Paper Cuts but don’t have the goods to back it up0 - I would rather be covered in billions of paper cuts than have to listen to the Paper Cuts live again. And moreover, I find the Paper Cuts’ claim that they’re from San Francisco specious at best. I mean, would the snooty denizens of San Fran really allow themselves to be represented by untalented children whom could have been mistaken for muppets if not for the lack of explosions1?I thought that level of reprehensibility had all been banished to Seattle, where such incapacity levels can be offset by Menomena2.

Oh, and when I say untalented, I mean they left no area of musicianship unsullied. The backup vocals were out of tune with the lead singer, who was also out of tune with his guitar, which was, in turn, out of tune with the other instruments, so that every single note had four quarter tones competing with each other for melodic supremacy. It worked about as well as when the Object tried to take over Asia last time we played Risk, but ended up kicking the game board over and sulking for the rest of the evening3. They’re all losers4.

So did I love every minute of Grizzly Bear because it was a feast for my ears more delicious than Whole Foods at 5 p.m., when they have all the free samples out? Or because in playing their set, Grizzly Bear mercifully put the Paper Cuts and that poor, poor badger5 out of their misery?

0.Like naming your handicapable child Wee-Todd. Why would you do that?
1. Explosions and monsters would have slightly mitigated this abomination.
2. Menomena! The Radness!
3. For once, it wasn't me!
4. To be fair, the Object is a loser only insofar as he lost the game.
5. I hope they don't play Madison, cuz those crunchy granola kids will snap, and Madison will be in flames. Don't fuck (with) the badgers. I've learned this the hard way.


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