Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I went to a little get-together in celebration of my friend earning his Ph.D. (in phucking physics!) and then attended a nightclub show of two pretty smart bands with kinda dumb names, first, the Free-Lance Whales and then, Tokyo Police Club, who I especially liked.

It’s the first time all summer I’ve gone out to hear music, a state of affairs that can aptly be termed a revolting development, and one I should try to remedy in the remaining few weeks of vacation. It’s unlikely, though, I’ll run across another band I enjoyed as much as I did Tokyo Police Club, in particular, their charming bass-player singer, Dave Monks, who reminded me, alternately, of a young (and sober) Evan Dando, of bassist Tommy Stinson when I first saw the Replacements in 1983, and of my end-of-year school picture from 9th grade.

Having been totally unfamiliar with the Canadian indie rockers before the show, I count myself as a fan now, an odd role to play in relation to musicians who were born when you were thirty. On the other hand, if they were classical music prodigies, it wouldn’t seem so weird.

I’d characterize their sound as the kind of power-pop I’m typically drawn to: good songwriting, clever hooks, and, perhaps most importantly, Dave Monk's hair, which fell in his eyes and over his face in fine teen idol style all night long.

The crowd—lots of bright-eyed youngsters, most of whom, I’ll bet, attended college at some point in their lives (maybe currently)—were totally into the show, and I don’t blame them at all: the group played loud, got good and sweaty, and seemed to be having a swell time. No pyrotechnics or staged antics, just boys in t-shirts and jeans making a racket on their instruments.

Strangely, they didn’t seem to have a schwagg table laid out, or else I just couldn’t find it; probably a good thing; how embarrassing to have bought a shirt!


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