Saturday, January 19, 2008

Educating Rita

Busy Friday evening: The Sheila and I went to see Conor McPherson's The Seafarer on Broadway (blah; how many plays involving endearing drunks can the Irish crank out?) then we rushed downtown to see April March open for Au Revoir Simone at Bowery Ballroom. The show was pretty fun, and once again Bowery's excellent sound system well served the bands.

But the most memorable thing for me may be what happened during the changeover. The Sheila was asking me if I'd ever taken photos at shows and I said no, but during a short period of time in the late ’80s and early ’90s I used a small cassette recorder to tape bands like Pylon, Scrawl and the Go-Betweens. A young gentleman next to us overheard me and very excitedly (and very politely) asked me how I knew the Go-Betweens, because they're such an obscure old band and he had just discovered them himself. I gently told him that the Go-Betweens aren't all that obscure, and that they were still putting out records and playing shows until last year, when one of them died. He looked dumbstruck. I told him that they have a dozen albums out so he has a lot of pleasure in store.

When we left during Au Revoir Simone's set (a little too nice after a while), I gave him a piece of paper where I'd written: "This is where Au Revoir Simone got their inspiration: Colossal Youth by Young Marble Giants (1980)." (Yes, I did include the release date; once a rock critic, always a rock critic.) Anyway, I hope he'll look up that band.

Young Marble Giants "N.I.T.A." (from Live at the Hurrah, recorded in 1980)
Young Marble Giants "Colossal Youth" (from Live at the Hurrah, recorded in 1980)
Young Marble Giants "Radio Silents" (from Live at the Hurrah, recorded in 1980)

1 comment:

Mike said...

See, I don't really hear Young Marble Giants in Au Revoir Simone (and you've known of my YMG obsession since the '80s). There are some parallels in the minimalism, keyboards and low-key vocals, but they ain't Confetti. I read somewhere that Annie Hart was actually more influenced by hardcore, and in fact tried to get Au Revoir Simone to cover Minor Threat's "Out of Step." Please encourage them to do that if you ever see them.

I need to get a copy of that Scrawl live tape from you.