Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Built to Spill - Observations

They talk about Mumia and sound like Phish...what am I supposed to make of that?

After 2 nights of Built to Spill at the 930 Club, I'm up and I'm down.

On the up side, this band moves me. You in Reverse was my first exposure to them, so I'm a newbie for sure. However, Doug Martsch's lyrics stir my thoughts like few others, and the band's sound absolutely rips. Their orchestration combines all the rhythm, guitar solos, tension, release, REM, Phish, and blissful jam melodic pop that I could ever ask for. I was raised on this kind of rock and roll. In my mind, this is how it all should sound.

But for every up, there is a down. And, man, Built to Spill sure brings it down.

I discussed in a previous post the sheer absurdity of the eco-terrorist agitprop they dropped during the first show. I said something about how I never wanted to see anything like that again. Well - apparently Built to Spill doesn't read Hipcat Yo Boy, because they pulled the same stunt again last night. This time, however, they took it to a new level of excrement.

Towards the end of the set, Doug Martsch breaks into the ultra-catchy hook of "Conventional Wisdom." Suddenly, he pulls the cord from his guitar and storms off stage, leaving the feedback to pierce our eardrums. Then, the burly sideman slide guitarist approaches the microphone and spews something akin to the following:

"You guys remember when Martin Luther King and Bob Dylan used to lead all those protests in this city? That was pretty cool - but really only for your parents. Tell your parents thanks for that, because you guys don't do anything anymore. I mean, where are are the protests today? Who is the Martin Luther King or Bob Dylan of today?"

Then, answering his own question, he says:

"Let's see - Hugo Chavez. Mumia Abu Jamal. Zapatista. Do you guys even know who they are?"

I'm not sure where to begin. Martin Luther King was from Alabama, not DC, and I'm pretty sure he and Bob Dylan collaborated about as much as Dylan played on the National Mall, which is to say, never. And, you ask, where are the protestors of today? Good question. Back in the 1960s, a lot of them came to DC from Oregon, California, and Washington - the havens of your so-called eco-terrorists. Looks like romanticing property destruction has replaced organized protesting as the favorite way for Western drop outs to stick it to the Man. And, before you ask me if I know who Mumia, Hugo, and Zapatista are, why don't you stop getting your information from head shop T-shirts, stop reading Rage Against the Machine's recommended reading list, and start paying attention to how the real world works, you f*ing poseur.

I tell you what, man..those Built to Spill shows were some of the best I've ever seen. Too bad the band members are a buncha jerks.

And by the way, Zapatista is a movement, not a person. Ignorance + Soapbox = Vomit.


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