This May I’ll have been out here in LA for four years. Almost four years and I’d never been to a beach bonfire. I’m guessing watching newcomer Daniel Larusso get his ass handed to him by menacing karate teens on ATVs left quite the impression on me. Why is it that everyone wanted to give Daniel Larusso a beat down the very second he entered a room? I’ll tell you why, because he was a girlfriend stealing interloper! I figured I should finally give the LA bonfire experience a try. As long as I behaved I figured I’d get through the night unscathed. Behaving was easy as it was a rather tame affair. What did I gain from the night?
Let’s make a list:
1. I’m now able to cross off “burn wood at the beach while you drink crappy beer and urinate in sand that someone may or may not have already urinated on ” off of my bucket list
2. I made a sweet light paintings portrait with a Nikon d90 and an iPhone.
3. Everyone looks like Mickey and Mallory when speaking around a bonfire
4. I was witness to this awesome quote about the new Midlake album: “If I were a drummer for the Civil War that had to go out in the front of the line to keep beat for the soldiers marching to their death, this album would be my anthem” (note: the girl I’m quoting wishes to remain anonymous but i can assure you she was quite sober.)
The quote struck me as funny because it was so out of left field (i think the Flaming Lips were playing on the iPod at the time) ..and it’s vivid imagery was heightened by the pit’s fiery glow bouncing around in this person’s eyes. Personally, I think if you were to lead an army into war with “Acts of Man” there would be a whole lot of friendly fire (not to be confused with the awesome Friendly Fires). This is music for war sick deserters. To me this the album sounds like listening to “MASH.” I’m not sure if that’s a compliment or a burn but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Having said that as a history buff I liked the Civil War angle for her descriptive narrative. It’s a rich piece of American history that far too often goes ignored in pop culture. Perhaps that’s why I’ve responded so favorably to Titus Andronicus‘ sophomore effort, The Monitor. I’m guessing the album cover art and title (named after the famous civil war ironclad boat) might have tipped you off that I was setting you up for a smooth segue. If not allow me to continue , Titus Adronicus’ The Monitor is a sprawling 10 song concept album that is loosely centered around, yep, you guessed it, The Civil War. In theory the thought of that should have you all running for the hills but trust me it is an epically awesome album. It is sure to make countless year end top ten lists. For those of you who have never heard the band before think of the Hold Steady’s bar rock attitude w/ a little punk thrown in with the narrative intentions of a less smug Decemberists. The vocals sometimes remind me of Conor Oberst…if Conor Oberst’s vocals had steel balls. I hate to play the comparing game when describing sounds to people but I had to push the comforting embrace of familiarity to guarantee that you’ll check out this album. I want you to love this album as much as I do. I was sold on it by 1:50 of track one. Such a killer Springsteen homage.
You might remember the band’s name from February of 2009 when I labeled them “the future pride and joy of New Jersey.” Barring the love affair everyone had with “Jersey Shore,” it would appear as if I was right on the money with this call. I’d like to pat myself on the back and call myself Nostradamus for this prophecy, but I also thought Deastro would be the next Passion Pit.
It’s a total crap shoot.
Highlights: “A More Perfect Union,” “Four Score And Seven,” “Richard II,” “Theme From Cheers”
LA, they’ll be playing the Bootleg Theater tonight! It is a tiny venue and tickets are $10