we sleep all summer…

About a week ago I went to see Crooked Fingers at the Casbah in San Diego. As I was uploading and editing these pictures I realized that most of my blogging has been about seeing live music lately, but in reality I can’t think of too many other things that I have done worth writing about besides see bands. I have started to build a nice roll from playing cards, but those situations don’t lend themselves to picture taking in the moment.

The first band to play was called Little White Teeth. They played an interesting, dirge-y type of indie rock with some unique instrumentation. After watching them and taking a few shots, I started to think about something, that I will touch on in a moment. They were pretty good and I enjoyed the way that they lit the stage up with what looked like old oil lamp lights.

The next band to play was called Strands of Oaks. I would eventually learn that they were a group of Philadelphia natives, and they were also, at least from the looks of their bass players tattoos, at some point involved in the hardcore scene. As I stood and watched them play, I thought about all of the people who used to be in to hardcore, all of the people who turned to indie rock and other forms of music and now look down at hardcore. I think about the fact that I don’t go to shows as often as I would like, and I also think about how at times I have been just as willing to look down my nose at the people with whom I used to be in community. I don’t want to pass any judgements on these people that I have never met, but I hope that they don’t feel that way. I hope I still love it, and I hope I always have a part of me that feels as connected to it as I did when I was 19.

The other thing that I was thinking about, and the thing I mentioned earlier, was that there is something very special and unique about shooting pictures of a hardcore band. When I watch an indie band, or a country band, or really any other type of band play, it seems so, I don’t know. Boring isn’t the right word, but its the first one that comes to mind. They tend not to move around, and often times just stand still and stare. It doesn’t take away from the quality of the music, which most times is good enough, but it does seem to take away from the experience of seeing a band live. Or maybe it just has created in me a different set of expectations. I guess I won’t ever completely know.

And then Crooked Fingers played.

This was the third time seeing Crooked Fingers. The first time was in Washington DC, around 2005. That time it was just Eric playing by himself, opening for Rasputina. The crowd was an interesting mix of folks, with DC’s goth mod out in full force, mixing in the indie rock kids there for Eric. The second time was at the Casbah right after I moved to SD. He has just released forfeit/fortune and mostly played songs from that record. This was the release tour for his newest album, called Breaks in the Armor. Although it was clear that he was playing a good amount of new songs, it also felt as though he went through more of his older material than the last time. I think the only song that I would have liked to have heard were Black Black Ocean.

As I guess is the case with each tour, the backing band was completely different than the last time they played, and I liked this version better. The female backing vocals were better, and I also liked that there were keyboards involved, even incorperated into some of the old songs. I also can now say that I have heard 3 different version of New Drink for the Old Drunk, plus the recorded version.

This is, at this point, my favorite picture from the evening. The first song of the encore, which I didn’t recognize so I am thinking it is from the new album, was performed without microphones and with just a classical guitar and two people singing. It was really touching, and I wanted to not take pictures so I could just watch and take it in. I only snapped a few at the very beginning, and then was really able to drink in the moment. Maybe some of why I have spent so much of this journal writing about my experiences with music is because this is where I feel the strongest connection with people, even with total strangers. As someone once said “these are the only crowded rooms where I am not all alone.” Until next time…

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