Sunday, April 23, 2006

Friday Night Rhett-Sweat

I went to see Rhett Miller in Minneapolis on Friday.

I almost didn't make it there, due to me being a huge idiot. It's a long story, and one I considered telling here in an audioblog Friday, until I realized how stupid it would make me look. Let's just say it involved sitting in the local DMV at 5:00 on a Friday afternoon, 20 minutes before I was supposed to be meeting a friend 90 minutes away. And a mere 3 hours before the doors opened at the club. In almost-tears. It wasn't good.

But, I DID make it to the show. Thank you sweet Jesus, I made it to the show.

As many of you may be aware, I have a huge band-crush on Rhett's other band, The Old 97's. It's actually a full-blown case of obsession, I think. This then translates to a full-blown case of obsession for Rhett himself when he's doing the whole "solo" thing. And really, can anybody blame me? I'm not entirely alone, as there are a lot of Old 97's/Rhett Miller fans around the world. And there's no such thing as "sort of" liking the Old 97's. If you know them, you either don't like them, or you secretly worship them in your basement when no one is looking. There really is no middle ground here, as far as I can tell.

Mostly though, I think the majority of the populace just doesn't know them. Which, I've decided, is A-OK with me. The club was pretty full, but not so packed that it was uncomfortable, or translated into impossible lines for the bar or bathrooms. You can't beat that. Between the Old 97's and Rhett Miller, I think I can safely say that no one keeps me company better, or more often, in my car. And there is absolutely no one I would rather watch live. The shows are long, and high energy. I'm not quite sure how they do it. The crowd usually wears out before they do. It's insane. However they manage it, you definitely get your money's worth.
And I'm worried that if everyone suddenly grows some good taste and catches on, the magic will go away. I'll have to pay a lot more than $13 to see them, and I will probably end up farther than 6 feet away. And if I'm not close enough to actually see individual beads of sweat dripping off of Rhett's hair, then forget it.

I think I'm going to start going to Old 97's/Rhett Miller shows alone, though. Officially making me the kind of lonely, sad bastard that gets referred to in craigslist ads. But twice in a row now, I've gone with people who claim to want to be there, but they don't really know what they're getting into, I think. Even though I DO try to make it clear to them beforehand. Then I feel guilty, because the shows ARE really long. And I guess if you're not that into it, that's NOT such a good thing. Plus, if I stop telling people about them, they can remain relatively obscure, and I can still get close enough to have Rhett-sweat flung on me.

I like this review of his NYC concert from the Hollywood Reporter:
Somehow, major stardom has eluded Rhett Miller, despite having everything it takes: video-friendly good looks, a strong voice and superb songwriting skills that incorporate influences ranging from country to pop to rock. Playing on Thursday at Webster Hall with his new band the Believers (his former group, the Old 97s, is on hiatus) in support of his second solo release, "The Believer," Miller seemed determined to make his bid by delivering a high-energy two-hour set that featured more than two dozen numbers.
And this one from Boston:
Sometimes it's just so right. By the time the show was over Wednesday night, it was one happy-looking rock 'n' roll band onstage at the Paradise. Rhett Miller and his new road troupe, the Believers, performed a near-perfect set of melodic rockers that, despite the band's cool-handed musicianship, were delivered with raw intensity.

With mop-top bobbing and hips swiveling, Miller etched out stunning pop, topped by the blistering encore ''Singular Girl." But for all the seductive physicality on display, it was Miller's tunesmithery and wry one liners that were most memorable.
Is it wrong of me to love them so much I hope they never make it to "major stardom"?


Blogger Phillip said...

just an observation: considering you don't intrinsically want rhett/97's to become popular you blog alot about them. i mean, reading this post has impelled me to give them another listen (and i think the only reason i checked them out the 1st time was b/c of another of your posts about them).

April 23, 2006 9:50 AM  
Blogger Phillip said...

i understand the sentiment of wanting to keep them to yourself though. i feel the same way about several bands.

which ones? i'll never tell. ;o)

April 23, 2006 9:50 AM  
Blogger Flamingo Jones said...

Yeah, I thought of that too. But I'm not going to do that anymore. I might stop posting about things I like all toghether, maybe. I'll just post about things I hate instead, then. That's almost more fun anyway.

which 97's music are you listening to?
I'd like to try to figure out why you don't like them.

April 23, 2006 10:22 AM  
Blogger Phillip said...

give me a reco

April 23, 2006 4:11 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Not to worry abt me... I'll be far, far away in FL where I can have little-to-no impact on crowds for you up in the frozen north. And I'll stop blogging abt him. So can I still in-person proselytize?

April 23, 2006 10:47 PM  
Blogger Flamingo Jones said...

Phillip, I'll do you one better and make you a CD. And I'll even include an exclusive FJ Listener's Guide to the Old 97's.

CMB, I'll let you slide, yeah. Plus, the band is going to be in the upcoming movie The Break-Up with Vince Vaughn and the Ex Missus Pitt, so any efforts on my part to hinder their popularity could be for naught anyway. Who knows.

April 24, 2006 9:19 PM  

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