I made a difficult decision last night. There were two shows that I really wanted to see, Dirty Projectors at Subterranean and Why? at the Abbey Pub. Both started at nine o’clock, so I could only do one. At first, I was leaning heavily towards Why?, because they’ve released my favorite album of 2008 (so far), Alopecia. But then I saw that No Kids was opening for the Dirty Projectors, and they’ve also released a year favorite of mine, Come Into My House. I was torn. But a few weeks ago, I decided that I would just go to the Subterranean instead of the Abbey. My mind was contentedly settled just hours before the show, upon reading Yoni Wolf’s (Why? frontman) interview at Pitchfork. When asked about the best concert he’s seen recently:
“I was at this Dirty Projectors show, this was a few months ago, but this would have to go down as the best show I’ve seen in…maybe ever. It was pretty incredible. … it just blew my f****ng mind.”
Yoni’s on the right track. After experiencing the show last night, I’d say that I made the right decision by skipping his own band for what he thinks is the best show he’s ever seen. But the main reason I’m happy about my decision to go to the Subterranean, actually, is because of No Kids.
Minimalism amidst overblown melodies, heightened by the live setting. If those ridiculous over-singers on American Idol were able to tone down their Tina Turner attempts 95 percent, and looked like one of the brothers from the Proclaimers, we would have the frontman of No Kids. Consistently confused by the raucous Chicago crowd, his simple little indie pop band kept the smiles coming for the Thursday night hipsters. Now I will say that, given the choice, I would go with No Kids’ recorded music over the live show (the harmonies are what secure that deal), but I must definitely recommend this band in every way.
And then we have the Dirty Projectors. Rise Above was one of my favorite albums of 2007, but this band did the opposite of No Kids, they increased all of the eccentricities of their album on the stage. They were remarkably tight, even for a band that sounds like they’re about to just sputter into noise at any second. But this was anything but lazy. Every note was in its place, making the avant-garde experimental rock all the more impressive.
I’m sure I’ll have the chance to see Why? later this year, but even if I don’t, I could never tell you that it wasn’t worth skipping them to see No Kids and the Dirty Projectors at the Subterranean.