Monday, March 28, 2005

Watching the Hold Steady Saturday night, Bridget was fully on point: "The human version of Finnegan". Uncle Finnegan is our dog, some sort of terrier/bearded collie mix she found at the pound a few years before I met her. And he is the dog version of Craig Finn when Craig Finn is onstage: a frantic wirey intense focused OCD bundle of nerves, like "oh shit where's my green squeaky frog toy? WHERE'S MY GREEN SQUEAKY FROG TOY? I NEED IT RIGHT NOW! Jesus, OK, here it is, OK, OK, I'm cool. But wait, I need to bury it in this towel RIGHT NOW!" Craig Finn in person offstage: totally relaxed, personable, articulate, pleasant even when the rest of his band is dizzy-drunk, all cramming into the Ottobar photo booth. Onstage, he looks like he's expecting to be shot dead by Dominican mobsters any second: jerking around, forgetting ("forgetting"?) to "sing" into the mic half the time, utterly spazzing out. The rest of the band looks like indie-rock scuzzballs from bands I hate, rocks like experts, totally fun to have a drink with after the show. (Tad tried to give me his medallion.) They were opening for the Oranges, and it was one of those glorious nights where it's just end-to-end fun as soon as you step in the club, spend too much money on drinks, spaz out, see half your friends, talk shit about the other half, pass out. It's spring. It's time for some nights like this.

Or like last night, when Grand Buffet, the greatest live band in the world, came through. Al was there; check his blog if you don't know who they are. All I'm going to say is that they are total entertainers, absolutely rip it every time out, sychronized dancing, backflips, tandem rapping, singing entire Journey song all the way through with absolutely no provocation, dropping the funniest between-song banter I've ever heard - like, Kings of Comedy-level funny, seriously. They stayed in character when I was interviewing them before the show: "Would I ever sign to a major label? Um, maybe if they got Bono to press his bare ass up against my chest and fart. I'd consider it then." I wonder what Sage Francis thinks when he watches them.