Monday, April 4, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up

It's True performing at Waiting Room 4/1/11
Compared to recent weekends, I guess it is fair to say this last one was "eventful." It's crazy how the definitions seem to change the older one gets. mentioned last week, I did attend the CD release show for It's True. As you know, I have been a big supporter/fan of the band since 2009, and was among the angry/confused when the band announced it break-up last Summer.

Fast forward to the present, and the band is back (sort of) with a new CD and a handful of live dates. Frontman Adam Hawkins has explained in numerous interviews (like this one with Lazy-I) that "the band" is not really back, and that last weekend's two shows (one in Omaha and one in Lincoln) could be the last ones for quite a while.

So, going to the show, I was expecting something pretty incredible. When one of your favorite new bands announces that they may be playing their last shows for a while (or ever), you want it to be pretty special. Obviously, I was not alone in this. Friday's show at Waiting Room ending up selling out (a first for the local heroes), and it was packed. In addition to the fans, friends, and family of the band, there was a camera crew filming the show, and loads of local photographers taking pictures. Sadly, what we all saw was a less than stellar performance from the band.

It's True decided to open the show by playing the entire new CD, Another Afterlife, in order. This would be the CD that was being released that day, therefore nobody had heard it yet. For the performance of the new material, the band's line-up was expanded to about a dozen people. There were back-up singers, extra guitarists and keyboard players, and the original members played different instruments than they normally play in the band. The result was a haphazard and uninspired performance that bored the shit out of me for the 30 minutes or so it took to perform the album.

I kept wanting it to be better, yet it just dragged on. The addition of seven additional players did not make the sound fuller or more powerful; in fact, it had the opposite effect. After the performance of the new album, the band reverted to its original, five-piece form to perform songs from the first album. While this was better, to be sure, it was obvious that the band was not in as fine a form as it had been prior to the break-up. The musical tightness that comes from a band performing and rehearsing together all the time was absent, and instead, the guys seemed to be individually playing their parts without much regard to what everyone else was doing. It was glaringly obvious that the members of It's True were not much of a band anymore. Of the dozen or so times I've seen It's True perform over the years, last Friday's show was easily the worst. I hate to say that, but it's true. Pardon the pun.

Fortunately, the new CD is really good. At least there's that.

Saturday I worked on my radio show in the afternoon and devoted the rest of the day to being a lazy bum. I literally did nothing the rest of the night except watch movies. It felt good doing nothing, but since it has been happening a lot more lately than usual, it wasn't that good. You know?

I did my show on Sunday afternoon, and it went pretty well. Had a nice confab with my boss at the station prior to going on. In case you missed it, you can listen to the archived episode here.
Detectives Linden and Holder search for a body
After archiving my show, I checked out the brand new AMC series, The Killing. The show is being described as the "new" Twin Peaks (my personal favorite show of all time), yet that description is a little off. I can see why some would say it in the first place. Both shows begin with the murder of a teenage girl, both are set in the Pacific Northwest, and both focus not just on the investigation, but on the effect the murder has on the community. Besides that, however, there are few similarities.

For one thing, a large part of the appeal and storyline of Twin Peaks was focused on the town of Twin Peaks itself and the unusual people who lived there. As the murder investigation wore on, many of the town's darkest secrets were exposed, and many people's lives were profoundly altered. Then, of course, there were the eccentricities of Special Agent Dale Cooper...The Killing, despite its superficial similarities, is not the "new Twin Peaks" at all.

What it is, however, is a well written, well acted police drama. I like those kind of shows to begin with, and this one looks to be among the best of the genre. But, it is early, and a lot could happen. I am just beginning to embrace the characters - Det. Linden, for example, played by Mireille Enos -and the plot is just beginning to unfold. If this show ventures into the supernatural, THEN it will be like Twin Peaks.

Beyond that, my friends, I have nothing else to tell. See ya soon.

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