First, I need to mention that the drive from Santa Monica to Silver Lake has become a staple product of my life, and each trip contains an interesting story. Past stories include: dead cat in the middle of the road, our car combusting on the 405, almost killing ourselves on the 101/110 (every time).
This trip to Spaceland was no different. Towards the end of Destroyer's set, this crazy guy in leather chaps came rushing up to the front of the stage. He just stood staring at the drummer, playing air drums and taking off various shirts. At the end of the set he rushed the stage and handed the drummer a business card and a large piece of string. Yeeeah. Whacko.
Oh wow, totally forgot about the show. Blood on the Wall played before Destroyer, and despite their lumberjack appearance, they played a fiery set of punk influenced wall-of-sound tunes. The punk feel came from co-vocalist/bassist Courtney Shanks, who brought some deep growling vocals. Plus her last name is Shanks! Yikes. The wall-of-sound half of Blood, is occupied by c0-vocalist/guitarist/brother Brad Shanks. He played some mean guitar, topped off with a crazy high voice. It made me think of Three-One-G, which was confirmed by his Get Hustle t-shirt.
Dan "the man" "destroyer" Bejar did not disappoint last night. Every time time I listen to a Destroyer record, I am left both hopeful and confused. Storytelling is a definite trend right now (ex. Decemberists, Unicorns, Islands, Liars, Sunset Rubdown), and Bejar tells yet another tale with Destroyer's Rubies. I read back that sentence, and it worries me that I might sound cynical. I don't think these bands are exploiting some marketable trend (AT ALL), I just think their is something strange in the air (perhaps a war).
Bejar's trembling voice is soothing in its uncertainty. Let me be more specific about this. Trembling vocals are now synonymous with Bright Eyes, an artist I adore, but not the picture I am going for. Bejar's voice has more of a quiver (think Clap Your Hands), which gives his stories a whimsical touch. I think this is where I also gain my sense of confusion. I start to feel pulled in multiple directions. The songs are rooted in pop, but are all slightly askew. This feeling goes beyond Destroyer (yet another ambiguous trend?), and into Neutral Milk Hotel and much of new indie music. To me it is the evolution of the pop song. Like all art, there is a constant sway in styles - a push and pull. The Beatles did it with Revolver, Picasso did it with Cubism. This quirky, singer-songwriter feel in indie music, is the new embodiment of melody.