A concert as an investigation of contemporary music culture.

A few weeks back (over a month?), I was at Lee’s Palace to see The Cribs. Exclaim! has a review, though they seemed to be more appreciative than me.

Right in the middle of term paper time, I attended the show with another ComCult student. I think this really influenced my impression of the first band. The internet seemed to think (when last I checked) that it was a band called Teen Tits, Wild Wives (NSFW Googling!) but watching videos on YouTube (NSFW YouTube!) leads me to believe we did not see that band play. So they may have been the opening band. After some searching I discovered The Hounds Below (much friendlier search query), whose bandleader you may recall from The Von Bondies — I don’t, but every other site seems to mention it — was the band that was on stage.

They’ve been together in various permutations since 2009, though their YouTube videos appear to have a pretty frequent change. Which would make sense, since I thought they were put together as a market research group targeting 4 market distinct segments.

  • Williamsburg hipster – Jason Stollsteimer, lead vocals
  • 80s post-retro Footloose – Griffin Bastian, drummer
  • 90s English guitar player – Skye Thrasher, lead guitar
  • Skinny Seth Rogen with devil beard – Jesse Shepherd-Bates, bassist

I had linked to them before, but I felt some remorse over the level of snark I posses towards this band and feel like taking them out is, better? Every song was different, including when I called that they would end with a country song! Don’t get me wrong, I like a wide range of country — classic and alt, skipping over new country — but it has it’s place. Though I guess it also did here? The one redemming quality was that they seemed sincere. And after all, sincerity is the new irony. Or, so say About 12,900,000 results, er, uh, people. [Aside: I always think of Indie Rock Pete when I say that.]

Julie and I spent much of the next half hour evaluating the performance through a number of theoretical lenses, getting pretty convoluted (and funny) in our analysis at the end. Suffice it to say, I think we both enjoyed an evening away from papers and research!

Don’t feel like I have a lot more to add about Cribs. I respect the band’s decision to move away from their old sound after Johnny Marr, ex-The Smiths and Modest Mouse guitarist, left and the core once more focused on the three brothers Jarman. It just wasn’t my cup of tea. Though I did enjoy, of course, when they played their “big single”.

“Scenster” by Cribs, live at Lee’s Palace.

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