Friday, May 14, 2004

TV on the Radio was surrious last night - they surged, soared, plummeted, breathed fire. They were drunk as hell and visibly exhausted from touring, but they still turned the Supreme Imperial into a palace made of clouds. It occurs to me that a steaming-hot non-air-conditioned warehouse space with smoky air so thick that you feel like a bug trapped in amber at 2:30 a.m. when you have to work the next morning - this is the perfect place to see this band. They bend time and space around their fingers. Also, Dave Sitek, The White Guy, reps Baltimore!

It was a ridiculous, unalloyed joy to see them sing "Staring at the Sun" with Katrina Ford from Birdland, who sings on their album. Birdland opened, and while they're not exactly my thing, Katrina is an astounding singer. The music is to cabaret what the Dillinger Escape Plan is to metal, an insanely mathed-up borderline-unlistenable squall, but Katrina is on some straight-up Nina Hagen shit with her vocals. Something occurred to me at the show: Baltimore is a great town for singers, especially unhinged, theatrical, over-the-top singers. Katrina, Dan Higgs from Lungfish, Mike Apichella from Human Host, Dan whatshisname from Long Live Death, even Rjyan Kidwell sometimes: these dudes are like whoa. You should be afraid of these people.

And I can't believe I forgot to tell this story about the Lungfish show. When I got into the club, I went to the bar to buy some cigarettes and a beer. This older dude next to me bums a cigarette from me, and then he says, "I'm Roger and I'm in this band Mission of Burma and we're playing at the 9:30 Club next weekend." I don't know too much about Mission of Burma, but I know this guy is a big deal. He's the main guy, right? The one with tinnitus? So anyway, he's super-amped to see Lungfish, who he just heard for the first time a couple of months ago. He's in town to play orchestral accompaniment to some silent movie at the Maryland Film Festival the next morning, and he'd heard that they were in town when he ran into the Quails, who were opening, at a restaurant. I guess he didn't really know anyone there because he kept coming up to me and talking to me. I told my friend Justin, and Justin said it reminded him of this time when this guy tried to hit on some girl he knew by saying, "Hey, I was in that band Survivor! We wrote that song "Eye of the Tiger", you know?" After the show, he came up to me and said, "Wow, that guy [Dan Higgs], he just blew a hole through the world and came out the other side." He was right. Lungfish was amazing.