February 21st, 2010

daft hunk

came on / felt

so evan dando's show thursday night was tremendous.
he took forever getting on stage, but the wait was worthwhile.
he sang forty-four songs. 44! sure, plenty of the songs clocked in at two minutes or less, but reading a review of a new york show from earlier this month revealed he only graced them with 22 songs. imagine a dave matthews band concert with 44 songs. it would last like 8 hours. and he certainly didn't have to -- he was performing for only about two hundred people.

he didn't talk to the crowd much. in fact he'd often launch into a new song with no pause after the final notes of the last. but he did project a film taken from whatever vehicle he's touring in as it traveled on the highways to detroit and the surface streets to the venue, and he talked about that a little.

embarrassingly, i had never listened to any of the four albums that preceded 1992's it's a shame about ray, and didn't even know that the lemonheads moniker had been attached to a hardcore punk band before dando wrested sole control of the band and transformed it into the style i'm familiar with.

having taken the time to listen to a lot of those songs, i find i don't like most of them much at all (although not the biggest punk fan), so i was glad to read in a 1994 rolling stone interview:

"dando looks back at the taang! era with a mix of wistful nostalgia and slight embarrassment.

'i was never really satisfied with the music we were making,' dando says. 'at least it was something to do.' part of the problem was that the band -- with deily and dando sharing songwriting duties and switching off on guitar and drums -- lacked a leader, 'for the first three records, the lemonheads were completely a band,' says dando. 'we weren't that great, but we were democratic.'

inevitably, a power struggle ensued between dando and deily. 'i mean, at one point, here i was, this dropout drumming in this band of harvard guys, feeling like a slouch,' says dando."

and from what i've listened to so far, very few of the songs he sang thursday were from those early albums.

one thing dando does is sing a lot of covers. which i like. but his choices are sometimes mystifying to me.

part of the lack of appeal punk often has for me is the intense negativity that frequently dominates. one of the songs evan covered thursday was skulls by the misfits, a song i just don't see any redeeming value in. i can't really reconcile the choice of that song by a person who has also put on an album a cover of suzanne vega's luka (although he did not sing it thursday).

i was glad to have this investigation lead to essays by vega on writing luka and tom's diner. she likes evan's cover of luka.

more lemonheads later.
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