Friday, November 19, 2010

Musicalia: Junip - Mohawk - 11/18/10

After inadvertently taking a two-and-a-half hour nap, I awoke in a stupor to realize that I had about 15 minutes to get down to the Mohawk if I was going to see Junip.
Not sure who did the artwork, but I like it

For those unfamiliar with Junip, they are a band featuring Jose Gonzalez, the Argentine-via-Sweden folkster whose solo work found its way into the indie pop pantheon thanks in large part to his covers of The Knife's "Heartbeats" and Massive Attack's "Teardrop."  In the case of "Teardrop," his cover was such a reinvention of the song that despite it having been the reason I got into Massive Attack in the first place I could not figure out what song it was when I first heard it and had to look at the liner notes of a friend's (Wes Edwards, oh how I miss your shoulder rubs...) copy.

Gonzalez's somewhat eclectic heritage seems to inform his music at every turn, and with the platform that Junip provides him, this is especially evident.  Here the Scandinavian pop-folk sensibility is met with the undercurrents of a Latin rhythm section.  Each song settles into a groove that gets even the most ardent of the stoic concert-goers* nodding along. 

*Speaking of concert-goers, there was a little incident fairly early in the Junip set in which a guy somewhere around 40 years old somewhat angrily told a chatty girl in his line of sight to shut up.  A song or two later (after not heeding his command) she and her friends started making light of the shut up comment.  Now personally I know it's harder for me to tell a girl at a concert to shut up than it is for me to say it to a guy** for reasons I don't fully comprehend, but the fact remains that if anyone is telling you to shut up, there is probably a fucking reason for it and maybe you should re-examine your behavior before deciding that it's hilarious that some old dude told you to stop talking at a concert.  If one person around you thought you were irritating, then the odds are pretty good that everyone around you thought you were a pain in the ass.  If you have had your back to the stage and talked through a whole concert, then I'm talking to you right now when I say this:  SHUT THE FUCK UP OR LEAVE.  YOU ARE NOT MORE INTERESTING THAN THE CONCERT.  WHATEVER YOU HAVE TO SAY CAN WAIT.  WHAT WAS THE POINT OF YOU GOING TO THE CONCERT IN THE FIRST PLACE?  WHAT SHITFACE FROM WESTLAKE (insert your own city-specific entitled rich kid suburb where appropriate) IS GOING TO SEE YOU THERE?  WHY ARE YOU ALIVE? In this instance, I wasn't bothered by the person until after Angry Old Man yelled at her, but still, stop being dipshits at concerts people.  Have some sense of decorum.

**If anyone ever had a bootleg of Kris Kristofferson's SXSW set at the New West Showcase at La Zona Rosa from about 2006, they would most definitely here me yelling at some badge-holding dickbag telling him to "Shut the fuck up!"

There is not a world in which Junip would be considered a raucous live show, as one would expect given Gonzalez's solo output, but that didn't detract from the show at all.  The music plays well live, and they closed with a collaborative cover of "With or Without You" with opener Sharon Van Etten (and band) that was very much their own as one would have expected.  Van Etten's vocals were remiscent of Chan Marshall and made me wish that I hadn't been asleep for her portion of the night's bill, and the random people that I happened into after the show solidified that sentiment with their intimations that they had actually been there to see her.

When the show let out, I contemplated meandering down to Emo's to catch the Kurt Vile show (after having slept through his in-store show earlier in the evening) but ultimately decided that Rio Rita was calling out my name, which was probably the quasi-financially responsible thing to do.

I'm getting too old for this shit anyway.


KRD said...

A negative comment about Austin, to be followed by a positive one.

It was ALWAYS my experience that Austin audiences were among the worst that I've ever encountered. Portland audiences are known for being boring (we are sort of uptight), but I rarely have an experience like this at a show here. In Austin, especially at La Zona Rosa (for some reason), it happened regularly. I had one particularly horrible experience seeing the Dandy Warhols there on Halloween night. There was no escaping drunken, costumed assholes. I finally had to resort to kneeing a guy who was well over 6 ft because he kept hitting me with a fake axe (he was some kind of evil lumberjack)while he was "dancing".

Is it a sense entitlement? Austin gets more than its fair share of headlining bands--especially considering the relative size of the city. Maybe Austin audiences are just really spoiled.

And now--I almost started to weep at the mention of Rio Rita. It is everything good about Austin. There is not a drinking hole here that can cease my longing for it.

Old Man Duggan said...

I totally agree that Austin audiences suck, but I kind of think it is probably the same everywhere. I know there were plenty of shows in Minneapolis that I got pissed at because of talking fuckos in my general proximity.

I really do love Rio Rita. It is the only bar I go to at this point. There are certainly places I miss in Minneapolis that I miss, but not like I would miss Rio Rita. In fact, I got a text while I was typing this response beckoning me to RR--not to rub it in...

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