Saturday, February 23, 2008

Building up to The National + the Discovery of Everything Absent or Distorted

When I went to bed Thursday night, it seemed that the next day would be a typical Friday, but with the bonus of seeing The National in concert after months without any live music. Somehow it turned into one of those fabulous days with an almost magical quality. Maybe it was the fact that I declared it to be a snow day that set the day to motion in that childlike way where everything I experienced was sharp and vibrant and so full of life.

My usual concert crew at the office was unable to make The National’s show, so I decided to put the ticket up on craigslist and found a concert buddy pretty quickly. Between shoveling the drive and getting ready for a weekend in the city, I hadn’t really thought much about meeting this perfect stranger for the show. Late in the afternoon, I was talking to Kelly who said her friend Jeff was available if I still needed someone. (Note to Kelly: You’re right, Jeff is either my long lost mirror (obviously I’m still obsessed with Lost) or we both might spontaneously combust after meeting.) I told her that I had a concert buddy and then admitted ten minutes later that I found him on craigslist. Kelly then decided that I might end up in the gutter, while my mind started wondering how I could’ve turned my favorite band’s concert into a pseudo blind date. I then started googling him immediately, but only was able to skim the results and figured that he was in a band, which I took to be a good sign.

Luckily I didn’t end up in a gutter and he was a cool guy to see the show with. Of course, I admitted to googling him in the first three minutes--I told him that I saw he was in a band--Everything Absent or Distorted, which made him nervously chuckle and he might have thought that he'd found the crazy girl from craigslist. I hadn’t gotten a chance to listen to any of their music before the show, but since I was too excited to sleep after the concert, I was able to check out the band's website and started listening to their music on MySpace.

By the time I’d made myself a snack and showered I knew I had to download their album, The Soft Civil War, from iTunes. I’m enjoying Still Life with Machine Guns, Bureau of Yards and Docks, and Exit Parade the best. (Note to Self: When will Vampire Weekend’s Oxford Comma stop playing in my head when I type one?) Since I love live performances so much I ended up on YouTube and wished that I’d looked into them before the concert to talk more to Trevor about them.

1. Their excitement on stage is great and one of the guitarists and a guy with a horn (can’t remember which one) did a lot of excited jumping. (Note to self and ND friends: it’s a good thing I hadn’t seen this or else I would have been telling him about my incredible dancing skills at the Johnny Cougar concert and teaching Muffet McGraw how to jump and stomp.)
2. They played Red Rocks during the Monolith Festival, which I’d thought about flying to see last year. (Note to Sam: They opened for a bunch of bands that you and I both like…including Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! You’ll have to listen on the iPod next week.) I’ve been dying to see a show at Red Rocks since I roamed the venue with Lou on our trip to Colorado two summers ago. I’m waiting for the concert schedule to come out and am picking a show to see for a fun Jessi adventure weekend.

I’d definitely recommend their album—there are so many instruments that come together beautifully and you know I love horns…plus there’s an accordion! (Note to self: when are you going to start writing like a music critic about albums? Just be sure to keep out the bad music puns.)

Trevor also recommend the band, Devotchka, who they’ve played with this winter. So between them and Kelly’s Jeff’s favorite band Cloud Cult, I have a few more bands to listen to in the next week.

Cloud Cult


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