Sunday, August 10, 2008

AMeriCan Eagle MuSIc Union ThinGy

My internet's been nonfunctional and we've all been very busy with work and music and such, so I apologize for the lack of content on here recently.

Soooo. . .

My friends gave me some tickets for the second day of the American Eagle Music Union festival yesterday in my hometown of Pittsburgh. Of course, I graciously accepted and decided to attend it. Well, let's say I half attended it. Miller Light bottles were $7 and there are two local dives within a few blocks of where the festival was held. So, I'm sorry to say that me and my friends spent more time hurriedly sucking on $2 I.C. Lights, giving our selves just enough time to get back for Spoon or Gnarls Barkley. Only to be swayed by the temptations of "one more drink". And then another and another.

I only caught the tail end of Gnarls Barkley, but did catch them doing an amazing cover of Radiohead's "House of Cards". Then I was planning on watching Spoon but I forgot to bring sun glasses and the sun was brutally posted directly above stage left and I just couldn't deal with it, so back to Excuses we went. (Excuses, by the way, is the name of one of those dives. No seriously.) Anyway, long story short--I watched most of the Raconteur's' (if that's how you spell that) set. At least enough to see Jack White slay the shit out of some blues licks. But I could really care less for that band. They seem very generic to me. Plus, Brendon Benson looks like he hates his life when shares a stage with Jack.

Then Dylan was up next. The throngs were strangling in and although the sun had stopped punishing my dumb ass for not bringing some shades and sun screen, me and the gang just didn't feel like being there anymore. "Nic, you walked out on Dylan?" you ask. Well, kind of. See, I'd just seen Dylan a few months back. And I had my fill of his raspy melodyless mumbles. Don't get me wrong, I love Dylan. I own most of his albums and have multiple books and dvds that attempt to unravel the mystery that is Dylan. And I love them all. I even think his last album was brilliant. But he doesn't even attempt to sing those songs right. I know, I know, he doesn't give a fuck and there IS some sort of comically endearing quality to that, but at least give something remotely similar to the songs that made everyone fall in love with you. No matter what Rolling Stone says about his shows still rocking and his "on a whim band" tearing it up, at the end of the day it's just frustrating. So I watched him crackle and croack through two old classics and took off.

My only real highlights actually came from the free college stage. The Depreciation Guild was great. As were The Royal Bangs. They tore ass with some Thin Lizzy/Television style dual guitar onslaughts. Go listen to their song "Brother" on MySpace. It rips.

Props to 'merican Eagle for getting all those big names to come to our little rust bucket of a town, but call me old fashioned, I'll take three bands and a bar. I guess I'm not really much for festivals. Especially ones that are held in shadeless parking lots with $7 beer.

Love,
Nic

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