Tuesday, February 17, 2009

M. Ward Buffalo, NY

What's worse: A roomful of douche bag poker players or a teeming room of hipsters? At any rate, it was my first show in Buffalo and I was looking forward to seeing how Matt was live. He can't be going that bad can he? He's kind of like the darling of the indie-world, right? Why then, did he rip his backing band from the local blues-joint open mic? No chemistry, looked like it was their first show together and the sound was not helping their cause. As for Matt, I really think he has good material but I was worried how his incredibly-over-processed-voice was going to hold up in a live setting. Not so well. There were points in the show when you could hear his 'true' voice and it isn't that bad. Maybe I should quickly explain: on his studio albums he adds a bunch of effects to his voice to sound hip. Not necessary. So during the show it was hard to hear what he was singing/speaking and I actually liked his natural voice that slipped out once and a while. Having said that I really enjoyed Post-War, Chinese Translation and Undertaker. I would have liked to have heard Hi-Fi, but ah, weeell. I enjoyed his vacant but totally in control stare that he donned the entire show as well. He knows what he is doing and that is why I was so thrown off by his band...If I were drunk or stoned I probably would have been more impressed that Oakley Hall joined him on stage, but it just didn't add too much to the overall show.

(Side note: I need to combat a previous entry in the WILCO review where I claimed that I hate music and musicians. I realize that I am a musician and I include my own artistic self-hatred in that statement. I generally love everything about music-sometimes it's just so fucking self-righteous. I get really turned off by it, and in turn stop playing it, stop listening to it, etc. I think I was coming off of a 24 month bender where I was totally immersed in The Alpine Black, so I just stopped practicing and writing. Just burned out on it. When I wrote that entry I was deep in the valley. Luckily for me and unluckily for my neighbors, the embers are glowing once again)

With busy fingers and clanging vocal folds,


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