Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Love Language: "That shit is RIGHT ON!"

(The Love Language)

I've never been one to begrudge a good band making it big. Seriously, why demand that a talented songwriter schlep across the country in a beaten-up van, sleeping on floors and playing only to a few dedicated souls while worrying that his six weeks on the road may mean the end of his part-time barista day job? If someone's good, I have no problem with them making a comfortable living that allows them to create art. I have no problem with them making a boatload of cash as long as they can maintain that creative spark (and whether or not you have to be downtrodden to be creative is a whole 'nother argument). But last night while I was at the Pour House watching The Love Language, a band that is probably going to be quitting their day jobs very soon, I couldn't help but think to myself, "Dag, I wish this awesome band didn't have so many douchebags for fans."

Let me back up for one second. As you likely know, The Love Language grew out of the Capulets (check out an old Capulets video that I shot at Kings in January, 2006), a band that had a lot of great hooks and dedicated fans of their own. So even if the Love Language hadn't been very good, they likely would have at least drawn in some of that bands old fans. But as it turns out, the Love Language is good. Hair-raisingly good. "I'm witnessing greatness in the making" good. And that's getting them written up and played by bigger fish than just the local bloggers, and putting their music in the ears of a lot of people who not only refuse to wear their baseball caps the way God intended, but not only can't communicate their love of this band with anything other than a fist bump and an ear-piercing "WHOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!"

You want proof? Just check out the video I shot of "Nocturne," the band's opening song last night at The Pour House -- a video shot from the vantage point of standing between two fools who wanted to yell over the top of my head the whole time. Among the gems you'll hear on this video: "Whoooo!" "WHOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!" "WHOOO-HOOOO-HOOOOO!!!" and "DUDE! That dude is TALL!" All of this occurs before the band even gets to the first verse.

The Love Language - "Nocturne" from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Now, before anyone gets their panties in a wad and starts hatin' on me for hatin' on some overzealous and really loud fans (who, once again, are showing their love for an amazing band), I'll just point your attention to the title of this post. That overzealous message of approval came not from some headbanging frat boy. It came from my partner The Wizard, a normally articulate music lover who was so blown away by The Love Language, that all he could do was point and stammer, finally squeaking out "that shit is RIGHT ON!" I agree totally.

The Love Language - "Providence" from Mann's World on Vimeo.

(the Love Language - Providence)

Whatever Brains opened, and I'm happy to report I liked them a lot more this time 'round. One of my friends compared them to "Green Day meets the Sex Pistols." Personally they remind me of The Fall.

Whatever Brains from Mann's World on Vimeo.


Ross Grady said...

Here, verbatim, are the comments I tweeted while watching TLL a couple of weeks ago:

# Love Language onstage at 506 - the one thing most apparent is that the record, and all the attention, is NOT a fluke. Something, they have. 9:36 PM May 1st

# Frat dude behind me keeps yelling, gruffly, as dudely as possible, "Language!" while working his forearm in the classic circular dude motion. 9:48 PM May 1st

# To his credit, Frat Dude also knows all the words to all the songs. As do, apparently, about half the people here. More evidence of somethin. 10:13 PM May 1st

Karen A. Mann said...

You know, maybe frat boys have better taste in music than I always thought. But seriously, is it not possible for them to like a band without hollering throughout every song?

Jeremy Blair said...

i was chatting with some love lang regulars after the show about this very same thing and we concluded that it isn't the fans per say, but the venue...the same thing happened at the dbbl benefit during the bowerbirds set. raleigh is just a tough crowd but yes, this shit is right on, gotta love that they love it.

i missed the div show at 506, but i heard it was a younger than normal crowd, possibly cause it was a div show?

Ross Grady said...

Yeah, the crowd at the Dive show at 506 was super-young. And for the first couple of songs, I totally thought the fist-pumping dude had been dragged there by a friend, or wandered in off the street, and was just kinda being a jerk. But then he sang along passionately to significantly large chunks of their set.

So I dunno, I think that for certain people, hollering is just a mandatory part of show enjoyment, even for bands they love. I'm thankful that I mostly don't go to shows with those people, but I'm glad they're there to buy my friends' CDs, definitely.

As far as frat boys having better taste in music . . . I think it's a complicated dynamic. All it takes is one or two with decent taste & a certain level of influence, and the rest come with the package. It's worth noting that the *awesome* Flat Duo Jets live set that makes up the bulk of the Two-Headed Cow movie soundtrack was recorded at a UGA frat party.

Mick said...

I've seen the Love Language a couple of times now and have been overwhelmed with both things about the crowd:
1) They ALL sing along with every song. It's actually pretty awesome--I guess their songs just lend themselves to that.
2) How many "dudes" or, I guess, frat boy types, there are. This was not Pour House specific -- I saw it at the 506 a while back as well.
But they're really good, so I can deal with it. Shit is right on!

Karen A. Mann said...

You know, I attended some great shows at ECU frat parties too, though ECU (in the '80s at least) had more of a "unity in partying" attitude.