Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Need Something to do Wednesday?

Posted By on Wed, Jun 23, 2010 at 11:20 AM

Bad attitudes and rock musicians are like peanut butter and jelly: nearly inseparable conceptually, rarely found without the company of the other. Yet we as fans feed those egos, lauding praise on their godlike ability to weave rich emotional tapestries and make our booties shake away even the meanest case of "the Mondays."

But does it have to be that way? Can't there be some acknowledgment and appreciation of the binary performer/fan relationship we're all mired in?

Well, there is. But it's rare. You'll find it often faked in teenybopper music, such as Owl City's Knitting Factory claims that "we're moving to Boise!" or So-Cal emo stage banter. The real stuff, the genuine article, isn't common and should be appreciated when found.

Luckily, today, there's a chance to do exactly that, while checking out and supporting a new music venue; Slightly Stoopid, is playing the newly constructed Eagle River Pavilion.

Full disclosure: I owe the band a small debt. When I was 17, several friends and I drove 250 miles to Eureka, Calif. to see Long Beach Dub All Stars, only to discover on our arrival that the show was sold out. We cussed up a storm, cursing the ticket-lady, the fire code and life itself for being so cruel. None of them cared.

The only one who did, was Slightly Stoopid's bass player, who got all five of us in on the guest list rather than leave us outside. He could have walked by. But he didn't. And it was a super-bonus that the band was so good. We sang, "operation! send a rescue team," the whole drive home.

The debt I owe them is not the ticket price. My friends and I all bought their first self-titled album and swore to pay it forward by introducing others to the band. That 10bucks is paid in full. The debt is that was an experience kept me from growing jaded about the inevitable effects of an audience on a performer. Not every ego runs wild. Some performers really do see themselves as a partnership with the audience. And to be glib, that's when the magic happens.

In the last decade the band has moved from their ska-core roots towards a more dub-based sound, adding percussion, horns and keys to their power trio. But they're still killing it. And with Steel Pulse and The Expendable opening, it's bound to be a great show, even if you aren't on the list.

But just in case it's sold out. Don't fret. Just shake your fist at the sky and cuss up a storm. Help should arrive shortly. They're just that kind of band.

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