Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

(Hey imaginary girls. Look, I'm fessing up right now. I didn't write this. But I promised you a review of the Rainer Maria show, and I am a man of my word, if not necessarily an ethical man of my word. Anyway, I found this livejournal entry and thought it was perfect, much better than anything I could've written. So please accept this as my submission. I did try contacting the writer but he (she?) never responded to my e-mails. I promise to write something myself next time, work is CRAZY! Yours in apology, Chilly C)

Entry posted: February 19, 2003 03:37 a.m.
Current mood: elated
Current music: what's the equation? — the hardy mums

at the end of an e-mail chain that tacks on the brackets ten deep, bumping against your inbox disk space topline i will tell you how it feels to be old. i called my father in the middle of the night and said 'dad, i finally figured it out. life begins at 26 and that's why i still don't know shit. i'm not even there yet.' my dad was 26 when i was born and i fully expected him to acknowledge my wisdom. he yawned and said, "i hear you, but let me tell you this. life begins at 66." it wasn't until after i hung up that i realized he had told me i was wrong again.

shannon (who doesn't go by her real name so i will hereafter refer to her as "shan," just know that i'm not misspelling the name of the bass player for the malinks). anyway shan didn't get off work until 10pm, so when we went to the gloriously smoky graceland we had already missed mates of state, and my beloved kori. kori who replaced janet weiss a few years ago as the all-time love of my life, as in if we ever met we would fall permanently in love. something happened though and i don't feel that way anymore. and i wasn't concerned about it until i realized that i didn't even care that we missed the mates. maybe it's harder for me to care as i get older. i don't know? i don't. know. i? don't. i did see jason mate wandering around graceland after their set tho. he looked as gangly and nerdy as ever. what does she see in him?

then rainer maria took the stage and i realized it had been two years since i saw them at the keller in madison. that nite in february (god it could have been two years to the day i need to check on that) when the temperature dropped so low that it broke the record for that day. the record that had been held since 1976. yah. two years since that show. it takes that long to grow a mullet apparently b/c caithlin had a mullet. a full-on, honest-to-goodness mullet. in fact um she sort of looked like an indigo girl and i was concerned. then they started rocking harder than they ever did before. and i was even more concerned. i was like 'what has new york done to them?'

but then it hit me. this was perfect, this was right. after they played a few songs from long knives drawn i thought 'this is the way rainer maria always wanted to sound, but they could never quite manage it.' they used to be a little more, i don't know, ramshackle (that's a shan word for sure). and you needed to see them a bunch of times before you caught them on a good night. and when they were good, it was all there: energy, chemistry, and the ability to hold a crowd's full attention… even when they were about to fall apart on stage, rainer maria still drew you in. and more than that, their live shows were still always better than their records, since live you could see what was happening, and be part of it.

but the graceland show was more than that. this was a band that has kissed the almost-willful imprecision good-bye and is coming at you now razor-sharp… the titular long knife, drawn. the people in the audience weren't participants so much as well, an audience, and rainer maria definitely had some things they wanted us to know about.

caithlin's singing was erratic, keening, heartfelt, messy with passion. she always sings with the highest difficulty multiplier, so it's admirable even when she has to push to hit the notes. i love that kind of singing. she was really working on getting her message across: waking up in new places, realizing love is sad, accepting that we're not in school anymore, wondering why is it that i'm changing but all my friends are staying the same? and ya know she even sorta *sounded* like an indigo girl. in the best way possible.

kyle jumped and gyrated around like an earnest, happy version of axl rose. shan said that his slinking made him look like the hollywood version of the male stripper: playful, sorta dirty, and totally aware that he's being looked at. kyle fischer has himself a ready-made career at chippendale's when this whole 'band thing' runs its course! he chatted like he drank way too much red bull and even made a funny "waiting for guffman" reference, which is shan's favorite movie and we were just talking about it on the bus on the way to the show. weird, i know.

in the back, bill drummed his little heart out as usual, never said a word, and did his best to make scoop-neck shirts okay for guys. which by the way i totally support in fact if you go back to my entry on jul 21, 2002 you will find me talking about how i wore a scoop-neck shirt to the i am the word trade center show. just so you don't think i'm busting that style after it already broke. i sold that shirt anyhow.

and then after the show i felt really old. i didn't care about kori mate anymore. rainer maria changed a lot more than i did in those two years since the freezing wisconsin show. and i kept thinking 'why are all the girls here dressed like avril, and the guys like phantom planet?' could i already be turning into one of those old people who doesn't get it anymore?

so anyway it was nice when i called my dad on the bus ride home and he told me life begins at 66. b/c between that phone call, and my ears still ringing (ha!) from caithlin singing 'save me some time' and shan saying "let's watch 'waiting for guffman' at your place," i didn't feel old anymore.