Wednesday, October 22, 2003

A good band is easy to like

You know you're at an indie rock show when the band has to get their hands stamped just like everybody else.

In fact, when I caught the Beulah concert tonight at Lee's Palace, I was talking to this guy Danny for quite a while before the show before realizing he was actually the drummer. Beulah are obscure enough that even their fans don't know them, apparently.

But they shouldn't be, because they're very, very good. They rocked the house tonight, generously giving us more than two hours of music and a lot of good times. They played pretty much everything one could hope to hear, and not only did they take requests for the encores, but they dragged anyone making a request onstage to perform with them (including this girl Janette, one half of a friendly couple I'd met while talking to Danny and with whom I watched the show. She was much enthused by the experience. She's also a huge transit nerd, incidentally, and here's an interesting link I mean to pass along to her that details all the minutae of the TTC). Another highlight: Singer Miles Kurosky refusing to play an encore until he was allowed to call back someone who'd called a (mortified) audience member's cell phone earlier in the show. It didn't work out as well as he'd hoped, since the person who answered had no idea who Beulah were, but it was worth a shot.

(By the way, the opening act was John Vanderslice, formerly of the band MK Ultra. I used to draw a comic by that name, so I was curious to hear him. He was fine.)

Anyway, the guys in Beulah are a pretty friendly lot. I got to meet three of them without really trying; we just kind of bumped into each other. Danny, for his part, was having the worst birthday ever, owing to a break-up and a death in the family, but he soldiered on to put on a fine performance. Miles looks a little like Neal Pollack in a Big Star T-shirt (which screams indie cred), and it turns out we actually had something of a mutual case of T-shirt envy, since he told me he liked the "Wolf Buddy" shirt I was wearing enough that he'd nearly pointed it out from the stage during the show. (The shirt's actually been quite popular on casual Fridays at work, mostly with the surprising number of people who get the Teen Wolf reference, but especially with my co-worker Brian Wolf, who takes it as a personal show of support.) The keyboardist, Pat, liked the shirt too, and told me he'd actually been doing the Teen Wolf dance in the van yesterday, for some reason.

Anyway, I like Beulah. You should too. Do yourself a favor and check out "Gene Autry", "A Good Man Is Easy to Kill", and "Popular Mechanics for Lovers" from The Coast Is Never Clear. Then if you like it, buy their latest album, Yoko, since the word is that it's kind of their last-ditch effort for success before they finally just give up. So if you don't buy it, you're responsible for breaking up the band. You don't want that on your hands, do you?

Coming soon: Another mysterious package for Ruddy Ruddy. More details to come when I open it. (I'm such a tease.)

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