Sunday, August 03, 2008

Newport Folk Festival 4 — Boston and Black Crowes

Sorry for not wrapping up last night. The rain kept coming, which made me miss Jim James, besides the last song, and that was kind of sad. After, I caught Cat Power. She was underwhelming. Very good at times, very bad at others. My friend Jay summed it up as very insincere, and I can't come up with anything better. Everything was so practiced and planned.

After Cat Power ended, I headed over to the Black Crowes; that band was just as bad, but at least Cat Power has good songs to work with. The Black Crowes' songs just aren't that good, and the band does not have musicians good enough to play 12-minute songs, to jam and solo so much. Nope. Not at all. Boring, boring, boring.

And on to this afternoon. I just finished watching The Honors from Boston, which is playing here because it won some contest on Our Stage. Now, yesterday's Our Stage band, American Babies, were really good. The Honors? Not so much. I'm constantly underwhelmed by bands from my hometown. Almost invariably, they're mediocre at best. These guys sounded like Dishwalla trying to sound like Interpol, and, at times, it worked. But, mostly, it didn't. And, god, don't get me started on the bass player. All he did was preen.

The entire band was decked out in jeans and black shirts, all cut or unbuttoned enough to see chest hair. The lead guitarist and drummer worked well, and the singer/guitarist had his moments, but the bassist was way too busy, and even if he played with any kind of subtlety it wouldn't have worked since he made the same faces and poses as Kip Winger in that "Seventeen" video. Seriously. That's all he did. That's it. Lots of poses. Poses. Lots of them. It drove me mad.

The person sitting next to me said she was just watching the right side of the stage and everything was OK. I tried that, and, yeah, it got better, plus the end of the set featured better songs, but it didn't totally work. Nope.

Here's hoping it gets better from here on out. I'm looking forward to Son Volt more than any act of this entire festival, so I'm getting excited. I'll keep you posted.

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