Saturday, November 04, 2006

the sketchy entry (my shady life)

NaBloPoMo, I hate you. When I agreed to post every day, I never thought I'd be scanning in lame-ass sketches from my notebook instead of going to bed. Where it's warm, and my wife is. Instead I'm in the 'office' (still can't think of a home space as an office) with my weblog. Argh. If you want an indication of my mood, look to the top right of my page. See me there? That's how I feel.

Enough of the volcano of the rage. Last night I went to Panurge and Memphis with Schmutzie and Friday. Schmutzie bailed early. Friday promised me that the opening band would start at eight, which meant that I could probably see both and be home by 10:30. Why did I think that a couple of out-of-town bands would follow the schedule my friend set out for me? If last night were a term paper, I'd be getting comments like "Did not think this through" in licorice red.

Panurge started around ten o' clock. They turned out to be one of those bands that constantly swapped instruments and microphone places. It made my intermittent ADD brand of drawing really difficult. Here are two quick sketches of them, made in darkness and drunkenness:


Forgive their excessive size and verticality. They actually played like that, all sideways and stacked on top of each other.

If I were some kind of rock critic, I'd say that Panurge blended Bauhaus-style vocals with surprisingly folky harmonies over propulsive rhythms, post-rock bass lines and cold keyboard sounds. But since I'm not nearly that much of a wanker, I'll just say that they were really good. The best part of the performance was the guy on keyboards, who looked like he was fixing and fine-tuning his gear instead of actually playing.

Memphis came on around twenty to twelve. By this time I could already see the shape of my coming workday, truncated at front and back by me sleeping in and leaving early. Too late to worry now; I was committed. The lead singer (Torquil Campbell of Stars fame) decided that the gig would be something between a campfire and a cuddle puddle, encouraging the mini-crowd of us to huddle close to the stage and lie on the floor. When the floor remained empty, he sat and sang, hunched up while the band played onstage.

During the next song, he came over and looked at my sketches as he sang. He smiled and nodded, I smiled and nodded, we all felt good about ourselves. Here's the rest of the band.

Matt Barber on bass:
Chris Dumont on guitar and a guy with glasses on the saxophone. Didn't catch his name. Unless by sheer coincidence his name really is Mr. Saxophone Guy.

Eventually the floor started filling up with bodies. Bodies sitting, bodies lying on the hardwood with their heads in people's laps, bodies kind of leaning gently into one another and swaying back and forth. If the gig had gone another half hour, the whole thing probably would have turned into a slow, absentminded orgy. Which is kind of what Memphis' music is intended to produce: like Stars and Broken Social Scene, their songs induce a pleasant, achy trance in the listener. It's a bit like being a teenager, alone in your bedroom with the lights off, playing one particular song over and over until the cassette starts to drag.

Lastly, here's a hairy headed hipster either staring at the starry dynamo of heaven or waiting for a beer. You can't really tell from the drawing. But you can tell I screwed up my first attempt.

3 comments:

Ordinary Janet said...

Much more interesting than photos, and I imagine that the guys look better in the sketches.

Tippy said...

Love the hipster! You should sell those!

NaBloPoMo's killing me too. No one cares what I have to say on a daily basis!

palinode said...

The guys in the band look a lot more like they've been sleeping in a van. My sketches didn't quite convey it.

I don't know about selling them, but I showed the drawings to the bands and agreed to send them scanned copies in exchange for... I dunno... a friendly nod or something.