Here are some television things I watched on the internet

I’ve been on a Jack Whitehall binge lately. I found an episode of him guest hosting Nevermind the Buzzcocks that I hadn’t seen yet, and it was faaaabulous. If you happen to hate Razorlight, it’s even better. I didn’t even know Razorlight was still a band. I genuinely do not think I have heard them mentioned since 2006. I didn’t even know they were English. I guess they did the whole failed crossover/retreat to England thing. As a partial Canadian, I am very familiar with this phenomenon and people who are only regionally and shamefully famous. But yeah, Razorlight. I remember Mischa Barton praising them in a mid-2000s issue of Elle Girl or something (for the record I loved Elle Girl.) I am like 90% sure she had on a Beatles shirt and a ballet pink satin bubble skirt on the cover, which is about the most 2006 outfit ever. That feminine/rock n roll counterplay. I am a fan, but I am so glad the distressed concert tees stopped, it got incredibly weird and sad.

I forgot how good Fresh Meat is. I think it takes a lot of restraint to depict teenagers/young adults accurately. It’s so easy to go for the glamorous/philosophical The O.C. route, or make everyone a one-dimensional moronic child who is either screaming or humping everything. Or go Canadian and everyone is overly mature and humble and ethnically diverse (for a disturbingly good Degrassi parody, Kroll Show‘s “Wheels Across Ontario” is the most brutal thing I’ve ever seen.) Fresh Meat always finds the perfect line between that awkward, awkward struggle for independence punctuated by profound moments of personal growth and being a self-absorbed douche child you want to beat the shit out of. The episode where JP struggles with his sexuality after his high school friend comes out (Season 2, Episode 1) is one of my favorite things that I’ve watched in a long, long time.

I also binge watched It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia season 9 which I guess wasn’t too bad since the episodes are like 20 minutes long. The other favorite thing I’ve watched in a long time is the convenience store robbery episode (The Gang Saves The Day, Season 9, Episode 6, which is also their 100th episode). Oh my God, the animated dream sequence Charlie has about he and the waitress’s future? So unexpected. It was delightful. Delightful. I would watch the movie version of that. I know it’s a parody of Up, but I want Charlie’s version. More rats.

So basically England wins, England always wins. Not historically or culturally but in terms of television, yes.

 

Panic! at the Disco and Jack’s Mannequin at The Patriot Center, Fairfax, VA 11-11-2006

Yeah these photos look like they were taken with a fucking VCR then run through posterize on PhotoShop then saved as a .jpg 8,000 times. It was dark, I was in the seats, and I had (have?) a 6MP camera.

This was one of the worst shows I’ve ever been to. I’ve been surprisingly lucky that virtually every show I’ve been to has surpassed my expectations but this one was the outlier, outshitted only by a Brand New concert that I actually thought I would be crushed to death at. I’d (I’ve?) seen both bands before and they were both great (a little surprisingly so on Panic! at the Disco’s part.) I think this was just a great (harsh) lesson in ‘playing in an arena doesn’t make you an arena band.’

Also the sound system at the Patriot Center sucked a ton of ass, which didn’t help.

Jack’s Mannequin just seemed lost, physically. I guess it’s a ‘command of the stage’ thing. I remember reading Keith Richards’s Life and he often praised Mick Jagger’s ability to utilize every inch of the stage, whether they were in a stadium or a club. Jack’s Mannequin were in a 10,000 seat venue playing to 1,000 people.

Panic! at the Disco went the complete other route, don’t fill the stage up with shit if you can’t take command of said shit. It’s a hard criticism to justify when it photographs so beautifully, but that was a hot mess in person. They were just a bunch of literal boys in a very hyped Myspace band with no headlining experience lost in a sea of face paint and alternative titties. I recognize and respect the sort of burlesque/freak show/carnival ambiance they were trying to cultivate, but they got swallowed up in it instead of having it bolster their performance.

I almost hate being complimentary because of how ambivalent I’ve become about them, but Green Day are great at this. I saw them play a Halloween show right after American Idiot came out, and they’d picked up all the sets and theatrics and whatnot, and even with the added over-the-top Halloween element, I have to admit they owned it. It was grand but they never lost their grasp over the audience and let it distract them. They were a big band and they seemed even bigger for it.

The other big problem was that the PA system was a piece of shit. I’m not sure what Panic! at the Disco is up to now, or the current state of stadium PA systems, but at the time they used a ton of programming and as unsuited as stadiums are for live music, they were even more unsuited for canned music. Try putting a bunch of Atari bleep-bloop electronic music noises (not live) through a tin can speaker system in a college sports arena. It was ear splitting, and just… sad. Whatever part of their performance was not being de-hanced by moon goddess praising strippers was killed by the sound of Die Antwoord being played through a cell phone.  It reminded me of when I was twelve and my cousin used to go sing karaoke in the middle of a flea market. That karaoke system seemed sanctioned by Dr. Dre in comparison.

Warped Tour 2006 Recap, 8 Years Late

Warped Tour June 15 2006 at the Merriweather Post Pavillion?

I went with somekindofold and suburbancurse. I think our collective age was 16.5 years. We spent the night before having a sleepover and watching Drive Thru Records DVDs and eating snacks. We tried marshmallows sandwiched between Pringles because we were crazy. The next morning her Dad made everyone breakfast and cut our toast into little tiny triangles which to this day I think was a lovely touch. I remember on the way out, we’re making sure we have everything (sharpies, back up sharpies, album liners) and we notice there is a disclaimer on the tickets that says you can’t bring in water bottles. Naive young things that we were, our explanation was that security wouldn’t want anything to be brought in that could be a possible projectile.

suburbancurse‘s Dad laughs and says “they just want to separate you from your money as quickly as possible.”

Water was like $8 that day.

Solid takeaway that day.

Punk is dead. lol no, but seriously we had a great time and it’s a great memory. We had a zine at the time, and managed to get press passes. I think we were pretty enterprising kids, but none of us were prodigy-level photographers or journalists. Whether they gave us them by mistake, or just threw us a bone, I’ve always been thankful they let us run around like big people that day. I do vividly remember sitting on the floor in suburbancurse‘s office when she got the email from Warped the night before, and losing our minds. It was a huge life lesson for me that sometimes putting yourself out there does pay off, and sometimes people that matter do recognize you for what you do (or are trying to do.) Might have even made up for the $8 water.

1 & 2

Geoff Rickly of Thursday. Geoff Rickly gets two photos because they came out good, in no small part due to the fact this man flails like Animal from the Muppets. Dude was having convulsions far before he was ever diagnosed with epilepsy. Thank God it was like high noon, because no exposure settings could have captured this man’s movements after dusk. I know this is the old fogey-est comment possible, and even I don’t think I’m bitter and old enough for this kind of shit, but my brain keeps going back to ‘they don’t make bands like this anymore.’ I think it’s really trendy right now to be holier-than-thou, this whole artist-as-brand BS that is making people think it’s cool to give off the vibe you should be grateful to be in their presence. These dudes are a band. Even playing in a field to a few hundred kids, they delivered an incredible level of energy and intimacy. They made it feel like you were brothers.

3

Sign for Meg & Dia and Paramore… at the Myspace tent, back when Paramore was playing the Shira girl stage and The Voice didn’t exist. I collected so much Myspace swag that day, Tom is really generous with the buttons.

4

Audrey Kitching and the singer from Aiden, there is probably nothing more 2006 than this. I think Aiden were doing a signing, and Audrey was just hanging out. I pretty much just took the photo to document she really exists, because it was a very jarring, existential experience. I’m sure teenage me would have had something bitchy to say, but whatever, I don’t know anything about her besides she was impressively doll-like in person, and I didn’t, and continue to not know anything about Aiden so there you go.

5.

The Academy Is… I like The Academy Is…, but if we’re gonna be real they were not super-memorable. I know at the time, this band was all about William Beckett, and I did take photos of William Beckett but William Beckett is very stick-like and prone to pulling some Mr. Roboto motions, which did not make for good photos. He basically has his chin pressed against his chest and is derping it out, that beautiful girlish mane flopping in the breeze. Mike Carden, the guitarist was best for full range of motion.

6.

Schedule. We just took this picture so we could refer back to it later on and not have to walk all the way back to the sign. Kind of resourceful in a pre-camera phone era? Spitalfield is missing the “L” in their name. BUT OMG THE GUY ON THE RIGHT IS WEARING A SUN HAT WITH A HOLE FOR HIS MOHAWK CUT OUT OF IT. Of all the times I’ve seen that photo, I’ve never noticed him. Writing this was worth it just for this discovery.

7.

The Bouncing Souls. I don’t really know shit about The Bouncing Souls to be honest. I know that everyone loves them, especially amplionreaders and seemingly her entire family, and I liked them enough that day to buy their shirt on the impression I was going to get super-into them, but as of this moment “Kids & Heroes” is the only song I can remember, and I had to Google the lyrics to remember what it was called. I do know Greg Anttonito holding a fan’s “I wanna have your babies” sign is the most Warped Tour-iest thing that’s ever happened though.

8.

Chris Conley of Saves The Day. I distinctly remember trying to eyefuck Chris Conley of Saves The Day throughout their entire set. In hindsight, this is very questionable because 1. of all the musicians at Warped Tour that Summer, Chris Conley definitely gave off the most wholesome Mormon vibe 2. I was sixteen 3. I wasn’t even an attractive sixteen and 4. he appears to be wearing a wedding ring. But eyefucking Chris Conley was incredibly important at the time. I have to sadly admit when I look through these photos I’m still struck with a feeling of disappointment that he didn’t recognize my radiant beauty and take me as his Priscilla Presley.

9.

suburbancurse walking on the magical path to the buses. There was a clearing in the woods set up as a backstage area, which was where the press tents were and where they did catering and whatnot. I took a can of water (they had canned water, you would want one too) from one of the coolers and still have it, unopened, almost a decade later.

10.

Roger Lima of Less Than Jake. I have no way to describe this than ‘ska as fuck.’ They started playing and all of a sudden I felt dirty, and like everyone was dirty, and I was in a dirty ska-fest. They were really entertaining though. I feel like the mark of a good live band is if they can entertain people who don’t know their songs, which I don’t and they did. I mean no disrespect but this dude has the worst dreads in music. They remind me of when you’re in fourth grade and you go to Six Flags and pay $16 for some old woman/bored teenager to do that thing where they wrap embroidery floss around a strand of your hair and in two weeks it rips out and leaves you with a little hair stump. I look at him and all I can feel is a thousand theme park gypsies pulling my hair. I’m worried about your scalp health, Roger.