• King Crimson: The Vic, 9/26/2014

    Posted 09/29/2014 by cal

    In case you hadn't noticed, I'm a prog-nut from way back. Yes started me down the road, but it wasn't long before I became almost as obsessed with ELP, and since Greg Lake had been in King Crimson prior to forming that band, it was inevitable that I'd find my way to In The Court Of The Crimson King (as if the cover art alone weren't enticing enough). Crimson is different from all the other 70s prog giants in that over the course of its nearly half-century of on-and-off existence, it has never become an utterly lame anachronism. Robert Fripp has always been mindful of the Crimson legacy. Still, each successive reformation of the project brings an increasing threat of tarnish. For the few of us who care about such things, anyway.

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  • Mogwai: The Vic, 5/16/2014

    Posted 05/19/2014 by cal

    Mogwai bears the burden of perfecting its own style of music simply by inventing it. The movement carries on, and Mogwai with it, in varying degrees of dilution. Everything that has come after, say, 2001's Rock Action hasn't quite stacked up because it had already been done, and not just by Mogwai but by its innumerable imitators as well. Happy Songs For Happy People and Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will are great albums, but along the way were plenty of retreads and awkward sidetracks. Mogwai essentially drifted through a decade in a relative creative stasis before releasing Rave Tapes earlier this year, which is proving to be the first significant evolution in the band's sound in ages. I've felt for years that Mogwai isn't the same band that changed my life when I first experienced it live at The Vic in 2001. Friday night at The Vic, this was no longer a bad thing.

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  • The Rutabega et al.: Cactus Club 2/19

    Posted 02/24/2014 by cal

    You could say this show was highly anticipated. Traveling bands Victory And Associates and the rutabega have some vocal local cheerleaders, and the bizarre lineup was rounded out by bare-bones thrashcore outfit Skategoat and the crunchy goth-pop of The Revenge Society, who wound up playing last. Things in common between all of these bands: guitars, drums. Hodgepodge needn't be a recipe for failure, though, especially at Cactus Club (Who could forget Celebrated Workingman/IfIHadAHifi/Canyons Of Static? And could all those bands please start playing again some day?).

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