I’m glad I got out to see the Bottle Rockets last night. Well, more specifically, I’m glad I got out to see them with my long time friend, Jeff. It seems shows are the events that get us to hang out, and they occur far too infrequently. Just like the time I spent with Dave last week in Chicago, any time I hang with my business partners from Tar Hut Records is good time. Oh, and dinner at the Sunset Grill in Allston is highly recommended, as is the appetizer sized Blackened Chicken Quesadilla.
So, the music. The band opened with “Better than Broken” from their latest record, Zoysia and proceeded to plow through all 11 songs from it in order. That was sweet for me, but not so much for the many in attendance who had never heard the new music and came only to hear the songs they knew from ten or more years ago. As Jeff remarked later, “I would have been content if it ended right there.” It didn’t, and I was bored through much of the second half of the set. It seemed to me the band, and head Bottle Rocket Brian Henneman just weren’t into playing the old “hits…” again.
It seems many people, myself included, get caught in a bit of a musical time warp and never move forward. I mean, how do you explain the success of “Classic Rock?” There’s so much great music produced every single day, yet for millions, hearing “Won’t Get Fooled Again…” again… will suffice.
My own musical time warp is a decade old. The music I got into back then was therapeutic in many ways, but eventually one moves on from therapy, no? Well, Woody Allen doesn’t, but many do and I want to. Last night was an example of the old medicine no longer working. Why? I’ve changed. They’ve changed…literally. There are only two original members of the band I fell for over ten years ago. Back then Brian Henneman was fat, drunk and full of angst from who knows what. I was full of angst and I fed off of his and that of others like him. Now, he’s Atkins trim and seemingly angst-free. It shows in a lack of edge in those old songs. It seems he plays ‘em because he has to, not because he feels them anymore. Customer retention and loyalty, you know?
As for me, I heard some cool new music from Jeff’s iPod last night so I’ll be sampling some Drive By Truckers, Built to Spill and Spoon. They’re not all new, but they are to me. And I’m going to try Atkins (technically South Beach)… again.