Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Naysaying Yeasayer

I finally got around to going to SF’s best-known concert venue: The Fillmore, a place famous for its complimentary apples and concert posters, not to mention a floor that bounces like a trampoline when the crowd gets to dancing. Anyone worth listening to in the sixties played there: Aretha Franklin, CCR, Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, The Dead, The Doors, Otis Redding, The Who, and a hundred others. Sadly, The Fillmore is now owned and operated by Live Nation, the insensate, money grubbing offspring of Clear Channel; may a fat anti-trust lawsuit dickslap both companies in the face someday soon; I rage, rage against your $10 “convenience fees.” Thanks, but it’s more convenient for me to take the bus down to the box office and pay the base ticket price.

Anyway, I kind of wish I’d saved my first time for someone a little more special than Yeasayer—what a confusing band. I love a quarter of their songs and want to bury the rest. At times, they sound like the mentally deficient bastard child of the Knife (listen to “The Children”). But when they’re on, they are so fucking on:

The "woah" in this song is a particularly good "woah," don't you think? And doesn't this sound like something you'd want to play underneath a girl's window...on your boombox...in 1986? The 80's synth thing is working for me, in this number at least. Here's an example of where the nostalgic 80's sound fails:

Eeeek. No mas! But compare that disaster to this acoustic version:
Vast improvement. There was a lovely pop tune hidden under all that other noise. I wish they'd cut out the bullshit more often. Including in their videos. I mean, for real guys?:

Yeasayer "Ambling Alp" from Team G on Vimeo.

What the fuck was that all about? I know there's a banana bunch of overt symbolism in there, but I just can't bring myself to care.
All of those visually arresting images are hitting me as derivative and hollow, actually. Big Ol' Empty Statements.

Ok, so part of my cranky attitude problem towards Yeasayer is the fact that I saw Jonsi on the same day, at Amoeba, under the cold fluorescent lights, accompanied by the sound of a hundred industrial fans whirring over my head, and it didn’t matter; he was still INCREDIBLE.

The man hits a high note and it travels down your ear canal, then somehow dips into your chest and makes your heart balloon with HOT FEELINGS. Last week, $60 for a ticket to his show at the Palace of Fine Arts seemed insane. But if he comes to town again, I’m paying cash money to see him in a real venue. No question.

1 comment:

  1. yeasayer played at skidmore your senior year i believe. it might have been a year after you graduated. they rocked so hard core. i think their new album was a bit of a step sideways and then back a bit. i'm looking forward to see what they do on their next album...