Friday, January 19, 2007
When I was younger I loved the radio for its ability to introduce me to interesting, exciting new music. Now I love it because it reminds me of music that I'd forgotten about. Not infrequently it's the same music: this morning on "Deep Tracks" it was BeBop Deluxe doing "Sleep That Burns", flamenco-styled guitar riffs over soaring synth. Great stuff. The vocals are, in the manner of Brit prog-rock from that time, a bit twee, but that's okay. To Blue Öyster Cult last Friday at Club Paradise in Blasedell, a similar sort of experience. Back when they were the heaviest thing to come out of Long Island I think a lot of us took them as a bit of a joke. A "critic's band" is what Christgau called them, which is true enough, but too reductive. Sure, Kiss for pseudo-intellectuals, but now I feel like I'm in on the joke, and if the crowd at Club Paradise looked like it included every mullet from a 40 mile radius (Canada excluded) what we all got was a solid show that included a surprisingly deep catalog. I was surprised by how much of it I knew, actually; they opened with "Stairway to the Stars", and included "Then Came the Last Days of May", and my heart raced as soon as I heard the opening riffs of each. You could have put a gun to my head Thursday and I wouldn't have been able to come up with "Then Came the Last Days of May". When they were in their 20s and I was in my 20's I'm sure we both felt a lot more sinister. Now everybody I know (except Captain X, who went with me) laughed when I told them we were going. Phil Collins once joked that he looks like a golf pro-- Blue Öyster Cult look like the members of the country club, but that's okay-- so do I. The scoffers missed a great show.