Had to nap after a hard day’s work and grab my friend with the broken finger before the show so we got to the Bootleg @ 9:45 or so. Figured we’d catch Superhumanoids before the headliner, Cold War Kids. We got in for free, forgoing the $15 sticker shock, but things went downhill from here.
Instead of seeing Superhumanoids we talked to Michael from the Ross Sea Party and drank wine out of plastic cups. From the front bar we couldn’t hear anything happening on the main stage, so either we missed the set completely or conversed right through what was left.
In lieu of a review, here’s the video for “Hey Big Bang.” Respect the interspersed performance shots and people making out on a laundry machine at Silverlake/Highland Park house party. Bet one of them was trying to woo a girl with quotes from Neil Tyson Degrasse.
Pretty fucking cool. Kind of like a jagged Portishead minus the moog and groove, and with more paradiddling tit-tat sidesticking. Really sorry we missed their set.
COLD WAR KIDS
We heard a band playing from the patio and walked in to see what looked like five frat guys playing a college talent show. It didn’t sound much better either. Though the singer did sound like the guy from that 2006 college/mainstream rock radio hit, “Hang Me Up To Dry.” I did some googling. Evidently it was him.
Oh well. Aesthetically, the band was derp. Sonically, a total mess. The vocals were leveled to twice the band’s mix of drowned out percussion, inarticulate keys and muddy guitar/bass. I sensed a Danzig-level egotism in singer Nathan Willett, something completely unwarranted being as CWK’s revivalist soul aesthetic came across utterly feigned to a point of repugnance.
Cold War Kids admitted early on they would be “playing a lot of new songs.” The new songs were leaving us with that nervous, Don’t ask what we think feeling. So we yelled, Only the hits! in honor of LCD Soundsystem. They didn’t play the hits. No one was singing. It felt like CWK was the fluffer prepping us for a taping of Two and Half Men. After four or five songs “Hang Me Up To Dry” finally got the crowd singing, an unsure chorus at best.
The venue was packed and we tripped out immediately after. No way we could handle five more new songs just to hear “Saint John” or “We Used To Vacation.” It was like watching McCarthy tell America he wanted to flush out the commies while draped in a red cape patterned with hammers and sickles. A parody so perverse it was just tragic.
1.) The Cold War Kids are the Spin Doctors of the 00s. We’ll never forget “Two Princes,” or “Hang Me Up to Dry.” And both are bands you should never see live, lest it tarnish your memories of listening to each song 6 times in a row in your bedroom.
2.) Huge bands get to keep charging a premium ticket price. Reminded me of getting huge gauges in your earlobes and how the hole never shrinks, and when there’s nothing to fill it it kind of smells like butthole.
This patron looked like Patton Oswalt. So I took a photo, with flash for maximum awkward.
This woman did not paint this painting that no one looked at. But she was blogging for Complex. Wonder if she panned CWK’s performance too. If not, she’s a liar. She told me the show was just, “okay.”
5.) Maybe we’re in a new Cold War. A Cold War waged against mediocrity. If so, here’re some Red words to lure your inner commie artist out of hiding.
CWK’s forthcoming album Dear Miss Lonelyhearts is to be released in April. An obvious nod to deceased LA writer Nathaneal West. My guess, he won’t even bother turning in his grave.