We came for a concert review, not hipster fashion show commentary
You send the music section to Coquitlam, and we reward you with a Payback Time T-shirt and two tickets to a Live Nation club show of your choice taking place in Vancouver within the next four weeks. Here’s this week’s winning whine.
Dear Payback Time: I was at the Best Coast/Wavves concert on February 17 and was interested to see what the Georgia Straight had to say about the performance. I was unbelievably disappointed to see that Mike Usinger used almost half the article to make fun of a young hipster kid. As someone who has such an amazing job, why would he waste valuable space making fun of some kid who probably just really wanted the other kids to think he was cool? The saddest part is he’s actually a good writer; I loved what he said about No Joy (the comparison to the Jesus and Mary Chain was bang-on), and Best Coast was a little overrated.
I would suggest, Georgia Straight, that the next time you send someone to review live music, please make sure they’re going to review the music.
> Meighan Donaldson
Mike Usinger responds: Dearest Meighan—As much as I took some heat for Best Coast/Wavves, you should see the online shitkicking I’m getting for the Young Pacific review. Let’s deal with Best Coast and Wavves, though, which has brought no shortage of abuse from everyone from Main Street haters to former Straight freelancers (thanks for the snarky tweet, chef).
Some moons ago, a wise man—Sire Alexander Varty, Esq., in case you were curious—gave me some valuable guidelines for writing concert reviews, namely that nobody wants a list of the songs that were played. Instead, he suggested, one should try to convey a sense of the audience as well, and how it reacted to the acts on-stage. A concert isn’t just about a band playing songs. It’s about what that band is doing on-stage, how the musicians look, who’s in the audience, whether or not said crowd is into the show, what’s on the merch table, etc. etc. etc. In short, on great nights, a concert is a multifaceted spectacle, the music being just one part of things.
In this case, you’ve misinterpreted my take on the Afro’d dude that I started the review by focusing on. I wasn’t mocking him; he was not only awesome, but awesome enough to make the webpages of Look at This Fucking Hipster (which, despite what its name suggests, actually pays tribute to those it makes fun of). Why did I mention him, and the fact that he was one of the few in the Rickshaw who stood out? To provide some context for who was at the show. Despite snotty tastemakers like CokeBearStereo slobbering all over both headlining bands, the crowd was surprisingly straight-looking, the underlying message being that Best Coast and Wavves have crossed over into the mainstream, whether they like it or not.
But whatever. Let’s agree to agree that No Joy was indeed the best band on the night. I even liked the music.
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