Saturday, March 8, 2008

Finding Friday, The Bourbon, Vancouver

I had bold plans to have a quiet night in tonight, curled up with some text commentary of test cricket (my dream job is to write wry, funny, and charming text commentary of cricket matches, much like the folk on cricinfo do), my copy of the new LC! record
(which proves that if you drown pretty much anything in enough glockenspiel, you can make it sound wonderful - and it's got enough snappy one liners to keep me in facebook statuses for a month), and hunting the internet for news of a Pavement reunion (an enterprise that is always positive - even if you don't find any concrete news, you can take solace in the fact that everyone involved realizes that it would probably be an unmitigated disaster (I mean, they kinda sucked live while they were together orginally), and probably shouldn't happen). So I dropped in to the record store on the way home, picked up their last Dirtbombs ticket (and thus begins the countdown to the greatest live garage rock band in the universe), and a sixer of Colt 45 (8% and still only $11 a six pack? how do they stay in business), and went home to settle in on the couch.

But then I get home, and my boss IMs me to tell me to go get drunk, and expense it, and because I have the willpower and spine of a sea cucumber, I find myself at the Bourbon in Gastown, watching Finding Friday.

When I used to spend a lot of time in suburban pubs, I'd be amazed at the musicianship of the covers bands that played there. They could snap out note-perfect renditions of remarkably mundane MOR rock and roll songs (there was one that had a singer that looked a lot like the guy from Creed, and even seemed to cut his hair at roughly the same time as the Creed guy - I think this covers band also used to employ a front-of-stage rotating fan to blow the singer's hair back while he sang), and I always wondered why you'd spend all that time getting that good at your instruments only to waste it by playing junky songs to a shitty crowd. As soon as I was good enough not to be totally embarrassed playing in public (and whether I've actually reached that level is still up for debate), I wanted to get out there and play our own stuff, hoping that one day we'd put together a pop-gem that was even a small fraction as good as I wanna hold your hand. Admittedly, in a covers band I imagine you get paid, people actually come to watch, and I imagine there's a certain type of suburban girl that finds that attractive, all three of which didn't really happen for my band. But at least I got to dream.

Having said that, Finding Friday aren't a covers band. But I think if they decided to go that way, they'd make a damn good one. There was probably more musical talent on stage than at the last 5 indie shows I went to put together, the singer has a great soulful voice, and the rest of the band is tight, sharp, and not unattractive. Their songs are standard fare, but not without hooks, even if the rhythm section does occasionally get a little bit of a RHCP funk thing happening, and there was one point where something about the wahwah pedal made me think I could have sworn I was listening to the Doobie Brothers. This is not a good thing. And if I were them, I'd shelve the midset banter about their new lighting rig, and the constant requests to buy their t-shirts - Matchbox 20 tried the corporate thing, and look where it got them - playing second fiddle to Alanis Morrissette.

Regardless, they're not going to change the world (but then again, neither is Bono), or teach you how to talk to the girl in the stripes, but once I got over my rockandroll snobbery, I had a cracking time. There's worse ways to spend a Friday night than dancing to a competent rock and roll band in the company of an appreciative crowd with some good friends.

Post-show the DJ started off by announcing that he was going to play a mixture of stuff, which normally means he'll play both "progressive" and "commercial" house music, but this dude was bananas. Everything from the Stones, to Daft Punk, to C and C Music Factory (it's always good to dust off my running man, it was getting a little rusty). The enjoyment level was aided by the fact that I was talking to and dancing with the cutest blond girl I've seen in Vancouver (albeit without fruition - any other short girls in black dresses with librarian glasses can post their phone numbers in the comments thread), and I finally got back home to resume my quiet night in at around 3 in the morning (although I walked home just so I could listen to the LC! record again on my ipod - if anyone lives under or near granville bridge, and heard someone shouting "nothing says I miss you like poetry cut in your door with a stanley knife", "every sentence began and ended with ellipsis" or "when the smaller picture's the same as the bigger picture, you know that you're fucked", that was just me. Sorry.)

And luv, I'm sorry, but I'm not gonna teach your boyfriend how to dance with you.

No comments: