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It was a rainy, dreary Memorial Day weekend here in Mpls, but alas it did not damper my spirits. On Saturday nite, we gathered some of the troops together over @ casa de Rosen for game 5 of Wolves/Lakers, after which we took the gathering downtown to join up w/some peeps who had been at Target Center for the victory. Most of Sunday got away from me, but I did manage to head down to the Fine Line for a Stills/Metric/Sea Ray triple-bill, which was good times indeed. Segueway-Steve, take me away...

MP3 Metric - "Combat Baby"
This was the first single off of Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?, which has been featured over in my "listen x 5" section for quite a while now. Metric is yet another band in Broken Social Scene's family tree, which can only be a good thing in my view. "Combat Baby" is a fun little ode to contentious relationships that frankly just makes you want to get up & dance. So get up & dance, dammit! What? Are you too cool for school, or something? Jeez...

MP3 Metric - "Dead Disco"
Metric closed out their set at the Fine Line with "Dead Disco", and they kicked it out w/much fury. It's another grooving, dance-oriented number, this time taking lyrical aim at dance-punk disco revivalists - so it seems appropriate. At the show, Metric's kick-ass frontwoman/keyboardist Emily Haines was doing her run-jump-and-kick thing on stage, to the delight of the masses. Wait a second, did I take any pictures...?

NYC's Sea Ray, who will be playing Mpls again @ the 7th Street Entry on June 22nd, opened the show with a 20-30 minute set of their dense, pop-oriented indie rock that was pretty solid. It didn't have me running to the merch table to pick up their latest cd, but I dug on it enough to be pleased w/seeing them.

I didn't really need to see headliners The Stills again. As documented briefly in a previous post, I was at their 3/10/04 400 Bar show where they opened for Broken Social Scene, who featured Metric's Emily Haines that same evening. Now, if you haven't heard Emily's lead vocals on BSS's "Anthems For A 17 Year Old Girl", then you're missing out. After seeing Emily sing it in person, I developed a kind of rock-star crush that should only be reserved for teenaged-girls & shiny guys named Chad. Okay, I may be exaggerating a little. Still, I loved the Metric cd I had picked up randomly from the Fetus a few months back, and the chance to see Emily strut around on stage again was not to be missed. So I drove down to the venue, paid my $12 & planted myself right in front of Emily's keyboards.

Emily & the rest of Metric did not disappoint in concert. It was their last nite of a three-week tour supporting The Stills, and both Sea Ray & the headliners expressed their disappointment/sadness that Metric would be leaving them. I suppose if Emily Haines were on tour w/me (and my fictional band), I'd be sad to see her go too. Miss Haines let her bandmates take the stage before her so she could make a dramatic, fashionably-late entrance, after which they broke into a hard-driving "I.O.U." opener (which also opens their cd). They drove a little too hard unfortunately, as guitarist (and fellow BSS alum) James Shaw broke a string & forced us all to wait for him to get it fixed. During the impatient break, Emily lightened the mood by suggesting that this quiet time was actually her ideal Metric show. Bassist Josh Winstead also chimed in w/some political banter, but luckily this did not go on for too long & the band jumped back into the set w/what may be my favorite tune, the media/Bush-bashing "Succexy" (which Emily seemed giddy to play, IMO).

The rest of their 50-or-so minute set featured several other tracks from the LP, as well as what I think were a few newer tunes. During "Combat Baby", Emily jumped down into the crowd & accosted the indie kid to my left, walking him into the middle of the audience while continuing to belt out the song. He was stunned, just as I would have been. When it came to the break-down section, she left him to go boogie-down w/some of the hotties in the front row, after which she collapsed to the floor (still singing, mind you). Emily remained on-stage for the end of the set, but her theatrical antics continued, thankfully. At one point, she wondered aloud about her inability to be Iggy Pop, since she was a female (which drew cheers), that was then & this is now, and she doesn't do drugs (well, not that amount of drugs, anyway). We laughed. It was fun. Go see Metric if you have the opportunity (I highly recommend it).

My attitude for this show was, "come for Metric, stay for The Stills." Emily Haines called The Stills "beautiful boys from Montreal," and I suppose they're good-lookin' enough. I really do like a lot of the songs on last year's Logic Will Brake Your Heart, but there's just something about The Stills that keeps me from really liking them. I ran into Jim from howwastheshow, who was on his way out after Metric's set & had no urge to stick around for The Stills. Their set was decent enough, but I left before the encore because I, too, had lost the urge to stick around.

I still can't figure out what it is about The Stills that continues to give me pause. Maybe it's because they sound like such an amalgam of lots of other indie rock bands, or maybe it's because they seem like the indie rock band your uncle may like. Can anybody help me figure this out? Your comments & analysis are much appreciated.
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Anonymous Anonymous @ 6/01/2004 05:48:00 PM:

i love metric! so much fun to see live, and i also love the stills - why don't you love them? not as fun as metric, but still a great band. i just love that line, 'logic will break your heart'. anyways, nice pics and good review :)

-mishie (    

Anonymous Anonymous @ 6/05/2004 12:21:00 AM:

you probably are already aware but emily has a song on the most recent broken social scene release, beehives. it's called "backyards".    

Blogger mr gilbert @ 6/05/2004 12:32:00 PM:

Yeah, I've got that BSS track, and it's pretty solid for a b-side. BSS is coming back to Mpls at the end of July (w/The Walkmen!), though I have no idea if Emily will be with them (as she was in March). Of course, I wouldn't mind seeing Leslie Feist (who I saw w/them in NYC back in '03), or whoever else they bring along on tour w/them for that matter. Good times...thanks for the comment.    

Blogger mr gilbert @ 6/05/2004 02:29:00 PM:

BTW: I don't dislike The Stills. In fact, I've liked them BOTH of the times I've seen them live (despite my leaving a little early). There's just something about them that doesn't sit quite right w/me, and I've had a hard time pin-pointing what that is. I don't discourage anybody from checking The Stills or their album out, but I'd like someone to help me figure out what my issue w/them is. I know - it's weird & a little confusing.    

Anonymous Anonymous @ 6/07/2004 12:24:00 AM:

I just found the Feist album, Monarch..., for $1. how is the new album? i'm really enjoying Monarch. I'm the one who posted in this thread about BSS-Beehives. You know, I hate to say it but I didn't think much of the Stills when I saw them. They're good, but I can't get too excited about their music. Just run of the mill. I like all the bands that have obviously influenced them.    

Blogger mr gilbert @ 6/07/2004 11:47:00 AM:

I'm waiting for the new Fiest album to arrive from arts & crafts, so I'll have to report back on Let It Die once I give it a few spins.

Hey, if you're posting anonymously, still feel free to sign your name w/your comments. It's good to know who's reading & commenting...    

Blogger J.E. @ 6/08/2004 10:22:00 AM:

Hey that Metric show was great. I hope she (the singer) comes into town again when B.S.S. stop by from there Lollapalooza break. I'd highly recommend you check Beulah at the 400 bar. I'll be there for sure.    

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