Friday, June 26, 2009

guy punks, girl punks

Damn, so I guess its been almost 3 weeks since my last post. What can I say, the game got real son. Not much has happened since, although I did catch a pretty ill Ted Leo show at Toad's Place in New Haven. Really cool venue, I'd never been there before, but maybe I'll try to go back when my broski is at Yale. For a quick summary, Titus Andronicus were on first, and rocked my socks off, even though they were short one guitarist. This didn't really change much except that it meant Patrick Stickles couldn't do his harmonica solos, which was a big loss during their performance of 'Titus Andronicus.' Ted Leo and the Pharms were great, of course, and played an astonishing 105 minute long set. Actually, I wasn't a huge fan of Mr. Leo's song selection, and I feel like much of the set was made up of the band's inferior tunes. However, they did get around to 'Parallel or Together,' so how can I complain? They did a lot of new songs too, and some of the sound really catchy in that magical Ted Leo sort of way. Looking forward to the new album, whenever it drops. The highlight of the show may have been during the encore, when Ted came out solo with his guitar and ripped into heroics of 'Timorous Me.' In the background, the rest of the band took the stage, and when the second verse ended, they made a thunderous entry, just like on the record. Good stuff.

Anyways, my real impetus for returning to posting was inspired while I was making a dinner a moment ago, listening to 'The Alternate Side' on WBEZ. For the millionth time they played the blandly routine Yeah Yeah Yeahs cover of 'Sheena is a Punk Rocker.' Which got me to thinking, are the Yeah Yeah Yeahs the most overrated band ever?

I'm not gonna pretend I've got a deep knowledge of the group's catalogue, but what I have heard (the singles) has consistently underwhelmed me. Even 'Maps,' their supposed best song is pretty dull. Save the crunchy Nick Zinner chord change, the song doesn't really do anything for me. And the stuff off their most recent album? Okay, pretty good alt rock, but nothing too exciting.

Basically, I can accept the argument that the YYYs are a pretty good band. I trace to the massive amount of hype surrounding them to the unjustified worship of frontwoman Karen O. Why do people get so excited about this person? I feel like she falls in a long line of overrated lady rock stars who get a lot of hype because they can 'rock as hard as the guys can.' I just don't see Karen O doing anything new, or even doing anything better than her predecessors. She's just an above average rock vocalist but nothing more. I usually worship female alt rock stars, but I just can't understand the obsession with Karen O. Maybe if I did, I would 'get' this band, and I too would be a huge fan. But as it stands, I just haven't heard any great YYYs songs. I think the aforementioned remarkably average Ramones cover epitomizes how good this band actually is.

...alright, finally I spit some genuine negativity! 

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