Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Nerdblog Thunderdome

We thought better of our nefarious plot to strand Fulsome of Well-rounded Nerds in the urine-soaked Tenderloin of San Francisco, and retrieved him from the false address we had slipped him for the Thai-food and New Pornographers fest. We had parachuted in with the Three Bulls! mobile from points unknown. We had several goals in mind for the evening. One of them was Thai House Express’ #40. The Uncanny One can vouch for this dish. Basically Thai carnitas. Maybe I’m a little pork obsessed, but I would guarantee Yosef would offer me a duel for the last hunk, and he’s a pork aficionado.

After deciding to spare Fulsome's life, we settled into a pretty good Thai meal at the corner of Geary and Larkin in SF. In addition to Three Bulls! sacrament #40, Tom Yum Goong (shrimp hot and sour soup) was pretty good. Other standouts were a minced duck salad with lime and cilantro (hey, Iron Fist, before you criticise a) try it, b) don't have such a cobaggy handle). The grilled beef salad was pretty good, and the green curry was OK, but should have melted my head off, and my head was distinctly unmelted. Pla Rad Som (Salmon fried with house special sauce and crispy basil was meh). We then proceeded to go to the show- The New Pornographers with Destroyer and Immaculate Machine.

Destroyer was interesting. Destroyer is basically Dan Bejar from the New Pornographers and people he gets to play with him. In this case it was the drummer and bassist from the NPs and another guy on guitar. He didn't play anything from his casiotone last album, much to the chagrin of the crowd. He also doesn't say a word to anyone really. The songs were pretty good, but my feeling was it would have been awesome if they were New Pornographerasized. Show started way early so we missed most of the opener's set. This is the band that Carl Newman's niece plays in (and she plays with NPs now too). Their last song "You're So Cynical" was pretty good.

As for the NPs. Well, they are consumate pros. They are gonna give you a show and Fulsome and I tried to out nerd each other for pogoing and showering the band with love. I saw Fulsome look below Neko's voicebox a couple of times, bashfully of course, contrary to his stated take. She's way too much for anyone with a webpage, but they do right by their fans just the same. Besides a pedal prob of Carl's the sound was great, I didn't have to put my earplugs in, and the sound wasn't muddied or trebly at all. Of all the shows I've been too at Bimbo's they had their sound the most right (I'm looking at you The Walkmen).

All the new songs were awesome, the crowd was well behaved if a little docile, the band probably bantered too much (not that they werenot entertaining, they broke Fulsome’s heart by axing “Jessica Numbers” after aborting starting it a couple of times because of Steve Perry banter.

Set list for the show, Sept. 27 at the Bimbo’s 365 club on Columbus in North Beach.

Song (album)
Twin Cinema (TC)
Use It (TC)
From Blown Speakers (EV)
Mass Romantic (MR)
Judy JACKIE (god, I have Judy Miller ont he BRAIN) Dressed in Cobras (TC)
The Bones of an Idol (TC)*
The Body Says No (MR)
The Bleeding Heart Show (TC)
The Laws Have Changed (EV)
Broken Beads (TC)
Streets of Fire (TC)
The Fake Headlines (MR)
It’s Only Divine Right (EV)
Bones of an Idol (TC)
All for Swinging You Around (EV)
My Slow Descent into Alcoholism (MR)
Sing Me Spanish Techno (TC)
----
Execution Day (MR)
Letter From an Occupant (MR)
Breaking the Law (MR)
---
Miss Teen Wordpower (EV)
Star Bodies (TC)
Electric Version (EV)
Testament to Youth In Verse (EV)

UPDATE Views on the next night's show at Bimbo's here and here. Playa hatin' here.

*Somebody ruined this song by dropping the stankiest ass fart EVER. It did not smell like a Thai food fart, so I absolve our party of wrongdoing. It smelled like evil and death.

This should be basically correct, (Fulsome- do you remember the second encore is as I have it? I put away my VWR marker at that point- there is a possibility of “Broken Beads” and “Star Bodies” being mixed up, but I don't think so). Most requested song not played: “The New Face of Zero and One” (which is a bummer because it's great live)

Most missed out: “Falling Through Your Clothes”, "Stacked Crooked"

Only disappointment: the guitar sound on “The Bones of an Idol” that Prof. Booty loves wasn’t nearly as slide-y and didn’t quite hit it, kind of like Radiohead only hits that awesome guitar part at the end of “The Bends” (“I wanna live, breathe, I wanna be part of the human race…”) 50% of the time.

Obviously the only annoying thing was the lame audience trying to have a rapport with the band. There were a million requests shouted etc. And some girl repeating some Canadian free health care "joke". I admit I yelled out "Testament" when there was one song left and Carl asked "any requests?" but only after someone else did, and what do you know, they played it, so not too shabby. It is a crowd favorite. I wish they would milk it live with the "no no no no no" at the end, but they play the exact same number as on the record, but it was great to hear Bejar sing it. Surprsingly the Bejar numbers almost seemed more popular than the Neko "hits" as Carl calls them. "Jackie Dressed in Cobras" might be song of the year after hearing it live, and "Star Bodies" totally killed.

As for total nerdburger-dom, Fulsome ain't got shit on Pinko Punko, I was undercover as internet cobag, so I sang along (quietly) to all songs and was jumping up and down, trying to unblock my arteries and have a good time.