You know how diabetics and people who are allergic to penicillin have those bracelets with their special medical information on it in case they have health trouble when they're out alone somewhere? Well, I think I need one that says "Do Not Let This Woman Talk to Rock Stars, Ever." I was out at the Devin Davis show last night, having a great time, catching up with newly engaged SC and CP whom I randomly happened to run into, and, just before I ducked out the door to head home, I swung by the merch table to tell Devin how much I love the album. Well, any modicum of coolness or self-possession I may have had earlier in the night flew right out the side of my brain and into the chilly November air. This is not the first time this has happened, kittens. I get all spazzed out and tongue-tied in that moment when I'm finally face to face with some talent I'm digging on, trying to convey my admiration while striving to also be concise, witty, nonchalant, genuine, and unaffected. Granted, standing around the merch table at the end of the night isn't really the time or place to say much more than "good show" or "I like your work," and, what can he possibly be expected to say in response other than "thanks a lot" or "glad you liked it," but still. I'd rather not have to ride the El back home with my Miss Dork Patrol USA sash on display for all to see.
Despite the fact that, by all accounts, it was a relatively creaky show (the sound was pretty ass-tastic), I still had a hell of a good time. I've previously extolled the virtues of the Monday night rock show and this one even improved on the formula by getting me home by 10:15. (It helps when the person you're going to see is the opener for the main act.) Devin is adorable; he looks like a Bottle Rocket–era Luke Wilson, which is to say, kind of lanky and awkward and long-haired and adorable. His band is everything you'd (that is, I'd) want out of a group of musicians assembled to play songs from an album called Lonely People of the World, Unite!—they all looked like the dorky kids with genuine chops I knew in high school band, played the hell out of the material, and weren't afraid to look like they were really having fun doing so. I guess it's hard to be pretentious when the onstage instrumentation includes a maraca with a monkey head, a keytar, and a theremin. They played everything from Lonely People... except "Transcendental Sports Anthem," "Sandie," and "Paratrooper with Amnesia," but included one new song that rocked out in a jaunty 6/8. Their penultimate song was "Giant Spiders," which they started off with—get this—a short percussion jam using shakers and agogo bells and whatnot. How totally dorky is that! And how much did I love it! I had the biggest, stupidest smile on my face during the whole song, and not just because I think it's one of the strongest tunes on the album. Anyway, Devin and his boys put on a great show, and Chicagoans will have another chance to check him out when he plays The Empty Bottle, opening for Rogue Wave, on the 25th.
The Harry Potter Legal Age Countdown Clock: sick, sick, sick. I love it!
There's some really interesting discussion going on in the comments section of this Stereogum post about the continuing popularity of classic rock versus the anticipated long-term musical/cultural viability of today's big indie rock bands.