Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Mission of Burma, or, how this is not an ecphrasis

Dear Web Journal,

No, it’s not an ecphrasis, just a somewhat complicated and badly thought out subtitle playing off of one of Mission of Burma’s second encore songs from Sunday night. Buuuuuuuuuut it was a long weekend and I am tired. Way back when I set a goal for myself to write a review after every show I went to, and generally, to make it more personally interesting to me (I am the important one here, duh) I want try and add that personal touch every time. But, I am a failure. And a quitter. A failure and a quitter because I have not been doing this. In fact, I have something written up for a show I saw two weeks ago that I haven’t finished because I’ve just been, well, LAZY. Or busy? Busy being lazy? You know that is a legitimate excuse.

But lo, I am attempting to pick up the reins of self-discipline once more, and herald you, my dear reader, (note the singular, as in my dad, *hi dad*) with tales of Sunday’s Mission of Burma show at the Bowery. It being father’s day and all, I called my dad right before the show and complained to him about how I was down with the typical Sunday evening blues, and it was the best pick-me-up conversation I’ve had in awhile. I love talking to my dad about music because he’s so open-minded. I owe most of my musical knowledge (whatever that may consist of) to him, and he always encouraged any of my earlier personal explorations into punk and the local Salinas hardcore scene though it was mostly a departure from his own vast (closets full!) album collection. That being sad, I could easily see the old man at this Mission of Burma show.

The band played two nights in a row, publicizing that the Saturday show would be the entirety of Signals, Calls and Marches and the entirety of Vs. on Sunday. I adore the idea of an experienced band playing an entire album like this. In fact, in my humble (not humble) opinion, it should be the goal of any band or single performer to be able to craft an album that can be performed in this way. I only saw Sunday’s show and I guess the idea behind this mini-tour is that Matador is re-releasing both albums, to which the drummer said “Many thanks to Matador for re-releasing two albums that no one bought the first time around”. Ha.

Very little talking from the band themselves, though the drummer managed to throw in some sort of nerdy quips. He even got his political statement in there: “Mission of Burma survived the Bush years. Now go back to where you came from, asshole!*” (Disclaimer: I don’t believe he actually said “asshole”. Maybe I am projecting). And they definitely ripped it up on stage. I kind of wish I’d gone to Saturday’s show, too. All in all, a really good show, out for two rounds of encores where they played songs from Signals, Signs and Marches to the delight of the crowd (apparently, Saturday, they did a Pere Ubu cover, too). I know I haven’t really described much about the show, but it erased my Sunday evening blues, and isn’t that what music is supposed to do?

Love, Rachael

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