Portland Maine and the Pouring Rain

I have really been digging the Octopus Project for the last bit and they have a new video out for “I Saw the Bright Shinies“. I don’t find anything all that special about this video and I still like “Truck” better as a track, but I still am really enjoying this band in general.

Last week I got to see two fantastic shows. First was Sigur Rós at the Chan Centre on Tuesday the 7th. The venue was great – not too big, not too small, excellent sound and not a bad seat in the house.

Parachutes was the opener. We got there a bit late so I only caught the last bit of their set, but what little I heard sure sounded a lot like the headliner, which makes sense since they are also from Iceland. (I also read that the singers from both bands are actually a couple. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. *dime*)

“Svefn-g-englar” was the first song from Sigur Rós that really stuck with me, with some encouragement, of course, from the most excellent music video. It was my opener into the wonders of Sigur Rós and also the opener that night. The entire show was absolutely beautiful. The lighting was simple yet impressive, and even though there were only a few simple elements to it, every song seemed like it had its own original light show. They played pretty much every song I wanted to hear and it amazed me that only four men could make such full-sounding music live. Jónsi was completely adorable whenever he spoke in his shy, uneasy English but if you know anything about Sigur Rós, you know they are not about being cute; they are all about the music. The crowd was great, sitting well-behaved for nearly the entire show and taking everything in until Jónsi politely asked everyone to stand before breaking into “Gobbledigook“. Parachutes marched on stage in Imperial Stormtrooper outfits and drummed along as they closed with a blast of rainbow confetti that flitted into every corner of the theatre. I swear that a bit earlier they made it snow in there too. As far as religious experiences go, Sigur Rós has Jerry Falwell beat, hands down.

My second show of last week was Black Kids at the soon to be demolished Richard’s on Richards. It was an early Saturday night show but the hip kids all put on their skinny jeans and came out. Opening act The Virgins didn’t really do anything for me musically. It looked like the singer kept falling into a bad, young Mick Jagger impersonation, which wasn’t helped by him wearing a Rolling Stones shirt. I was impressed by his layering over top of a denim jacket though; I had not seen that before. I understand they are from Florida, but he had a lot of layers on. (This was more noticeable since he seemed to shed a layer between every song.) It’s not that cold, and come on – you’re performing and it’s going to be warm. Overall, not much to report on these guys.

On the other hand, Black Kids rocked the shit out of that joint from start to finish. They were tight as can be and the crowd was loving it as they went through most of their catalogue. (They don’t have a lot out so this was to be expected.) They got the crowd moving and singing along and my companion was nice enough to point out the token Asian kid right up front that was really givin’ it. The lighting was very basic. There were four sets of florescent fixtures on stands, set up so they were vertical – two blue and two pink. The drummer was on a riser at the back of the stage and a set of lights on each side framed him in so he looked as if he was in his own dark little room, just rocking out with his headphones on. The band just seems like they are having a really good time, which is refreshing after such an emo era. Vancouver enjoyed Black Kids and I think Black Kids enjoyed Vancouver too. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing them again and I, for one, am looking forward to it.