Sunday, January 11, 2004

One Step Closer . . .

I decided to actually celebrate my birthday this year, instead of sweeping it under the rug, like my dustbunnies or my secret addiction to grain alcohol.

As I mentioned before, last year was overwhelmingly uneventful. All the bad stuff was generally balanced out by something good, but it was a year for spinning wheels, so I've decided to try generating more energy this year; hence a birthday celebration, as opposed to me sitting in a darkened room, sipping bourbon from the bottle and contemplating the years gone by. (I don't really do that - that would be depressing and sad --- I keep the room lit.)

So I gathered the posse and hit a local bar, where several local acts were playing. And I'm here to tell you -- If you're looking for the next "scene", a la Seattle or New York, don't look in St. Louis. We're not quite there yet.

The first band was a three-piece combo called the Natural Laps. While not bad, they weren't really good either. The second band, "Incorporated", needed work. I figured there would be trouble when the lead singer walked up on stage in his leather pants and black silk shirt. The man was styling, but his voice sounded as if he hadn't taken a good crap in about three weeks -- sort of like Neil Diamond without the emotion.

Between "songs", they regaled us with sound effects - rain, cars crashing, computer noises. It was painful. It was boring. It was never-ending. Finally, they left the stage, bringing on the headliners. They actually made my "worst concert ever" list -- which I'll share at some future date.

The Maxtone Four is a local band that's best known for its hyper-aggressive self-promotion. But they are trying to bring indie acts to St. Louis, so I applaud them for that and decided to check them out. And honestly, they were pretty good - a nice tight, four-man rock band. Just the right combination of pretension and actual ability to be a decent band. I would recommend anyone seeing them. If you live in St. Louis. Or they actually leave St. Louis, that is.

But overall, it was a nice way to celebrate a birthday. If you have to go one step closer to the grave, there are worse ways to take the step.

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