If ever there was a good time to start thinkin' 'bout my momma, it makes sense that it would happen while I stood at the New Stage Collective watching Girls, Guns and Glory — one of the honest-to-god best Americana bands out there. Their songs are all about heartache and jail, simple pleasures like whiskey — pretty much all the stuff you'd expect from the kind of music you’d never expect from a band with such a name.
I was reflecting on the thoroughly puzzling “super secret” performance by Radio 4 that had just taken place at the Know Theatre, and it brought to mind a saying of my mother's, a mantra that she pulled out for all sorts of disappointing-but-not-fatal situations. "It sure beats a sharp stick in the eye," was a sentiment that she would use to help me rationalize everything from being cut from the cheerleading squad to watching George W. Bush pilfer another four years.
Don't get me wrong: Radio 4, an Indie Dance/Rock outfit from Brooklyn, are excellent players. I'd never heard them before, which on its face might not mean anything, but many in the sizable crowd gathered at Know seemed like advanced music enthusiasts — and they didn't know them either. Despite rampant murmurings like, “Aw, they’re messing with us. Radiohead will be out here any second now,” I still think most people walked away unable to deny that they'd just seen a really great band.
Alas, CityBeat, if nothing else, has taught me that it’s not just a right but an obligation to ask the hard questions. And so many of us left wondering aloud, “Really? That was the big deal?” In retrospect, maybe we should have found it suspicious that the only member of CityBeat’s staff who appeared to be in attendance for the Radio 4 show was Dan McCabe, the person presumably responsible for booking the band. That’s somewhat telling because, though divergent in their personal tastes, the presence of a gang of CityBeaters at a show is usually a really good sign. And didn’t the paper tout it as a must-see performance, by itself worth every penny of attendees’ $29 entrance fee? Again, not knocking the band, but … for real?
(For more MPMF photos and fun, go here.)