2006-11-11

Bishop Allen

Earlier this week, I went to a Bishop Allen concert with Lacey. I first became familiar with Bishop Allen when they played a show with We Are Scientists on campus a couple of years ago. While I liked We Are Scientists for its infectious pop/rock fun, I immediately loved Bishop Allen for succeeding at it even better, rushing home to download their music.

The winners that we are, we showed up for the show early so that we could be sure to buy tickets, and ended up being the first ones in line. Once inside, we sat at the bar and listened to fellow patrons have the world's most intelligent conversations, primarily about how bitchin' cartoons are.

By the time the opening act began, I was looking forward for a reprieve from the bad social atmosphere. Unfortunately, the artist was downright awful. He sang like Johnny Cash, but with no pretense of doing it for the Lord. The songs, juvenile and cliched, are like the dirty ditties I thought I was clever for composing in fourth grade. He had a song about a threesome and another called "Placenta Stew." Just when I was thoroughly embarrassed as the singer wailed about his "morning wood," one bartender came rushing to the other to share his uncontrollable laughter. "Do you realize what he's singing about? He just said..." Then he trailed off after spotting Lacey and me. "I have to whisper it given the youngness here." Oh, please. He serves me a drink then thinks I'm too young to hear him giggle about morning wood? Too mature, perhaps.

In the interim, I found a postcard advertising a new movie called Mutual Appreciation, which I was excited to see, considering that it starred the lead singer of Bishop Allen, Justin Rice. Then, however, I noticed that the film was written and directed by the same person who created Funny Haha, AKA the most painfully awkward movie ever, AKA the film that almost cost me several friendships. To this day, the mere mention of the title makes me cringe. But now it all makes sense. I seem to recall a Bishop Allen song that plays in Funny Haha. Obviously, there is some kind of weird social web that includes good independent musicians and screwy film makers. When I brought the postcard home to show Jessica for a laugh, she told me she'd rather kill herself than see the film. Trust me, it was an appropriate response.

Despite the weird build up, Bishop Allen put on one of the greatest shows I've seen in a long time. The band has certainly matured from simply fun pop/rock to creating a versatile collection of musical masterpieces. At the risk of turning into You Ain't No Picasso, I cannot in good conscience not provide everyone with a way to download Bishop Allen's music. Plenty of free tracks are available at the band's website itself. For the first song I fell for, look for "Things Are What You Make of Them." Lately, I've been playing "Butterfly Net" on repeat as a beautiful, simplistic lullaby. And the uncharacteristically melodramatic "Flight 180" has become a recent favorite of mine. Granted, it's no "Placenta Stew," but not all songs can lack any sense of standards.

1 comment:

Sam Halstead said...

Mutual Appreciation Rules! Bishop Allen's recent tour had some of the best shows. I caught all the shows on the west coast! And now justin is in a new movie? Where can I get a copy of justin's new movie?