13 December 2005

Explosions in the Sky & Wilderness @ Bowery Ballroom - 12 December 2005

That's Wilderness








That's Explosions in the Sky






I was going to go see Explosions in the Sky and Wilderness last night because (well frankly because I'm a fan of Public Image Limited and Wilderness reminds me a bit of them...but more on that later, tomorrow maybe) I like Wilderness and enjoyed seeing them previously at Mercury Lounge. Alas, it was not to be so I held a private "contest" and gave the tickets to two friends of mine. Yes, a stipulation was that at least one of them must give us EAR FARM types a report on what they thought of the show. Nothing in this life is free I tell you. Enough out of me...without any edits on my part, I'm now turning it over to Mike:

"I feel as though I'm in an awkward position here. I'm aware of earfarm's official stance on the Wilderness (you like them), and yet I can't deny that loud voice in the back of my head that unfortunately wasn't loud enough to block out singer James Johnson's awful Rollins-lite barking during the show.
I'm a bit out of the loop with this band, granted. I only heard their album for the first time a few weeks ago. It was on in the background, I was focusing on backgammon, I enjoyed it, makes sense. They deserve to be background music, I'm telling you there's absolutely nothing compelling about this band. The guitar player is quite good but when every song is a midtempo drone that lazily lilts between two root notes in order to pad Johnson's "range", you're in for a snoozefest.
It's mostly Johnson that bothers me. Jesse thought he was tripping on acid with all of his weird David Byrne-like 'once in a lifetime' gestures. With his glasses on, he looked like David Cross doing the robot dance; with glasses off, he looked like Rob Corddry in a mime routine. What's this have to do with their music? exactly.

Yeah, so there you have it. My honest opinion. Sure most won't agree but this is just one hump's opinion who got free a ticket.

Explosions In The Sky were pretty wonderful though. Another band I've never properly heard. They are fantastically tight, incredible arrangements, my favorite blend of dissonance, melody, and swelling dynamics and rhythms. I'm sure they've heard this a few thousand times since first plugging in down in Austing but here it goes: "guys, get a singer and you'll be one of the best bands in the world." I'm sure I'm vulgarizing their aesthetic by suggesting that, but after an hour of pure instrumental goodness, no matter how sweet the sounds are I need vocals, maybe just a personal thing. If it means they run out and get James Johnson I take it back.

So, do what you want with this review, if its too long or mean or what have you feel free to edit. pictures attached. they're kind of blurry. sorry, blame sierra nevada seasonal. thanks again for the tickets dude."


No editing desired. EAR FARM actually really likes a variety of opinions and welcomes such things, granted that review WAS long and blurry, I mean it was 'mean'...aw heck, anyone else go to the show and agree or disagree? Speak.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

wilderness wasnt that bad, they just are very uninteresting compared to explosions in the sky who rocked. rock austin rock.

- screamr

jesse said...

i was at said show with your reviewer, and i agree - wilderness were a serious let down. i actually love the album, although every time it ends, i do have a "that's it?" feeling, stemming from the fact that their music is fairly monotonous as your reviewer mentioned. james johnson quite frankly annoyed the shit out of me. it looked like he was performing a strange ritualistic song and dance before leading his "children" to "the great light".

explosions in the sky were supremely tight and definitely a very pleasant surprise. however, i honestly wasn't that disappointed after they didn't come out for an encore after ~1 hour long set. i guess i need vocals to keep my interest. or maybe it was just the come-down from the sierra celebration.

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