Panorama of San Bernardino

Saturday, August 16, 2014

This Old JEM

My husband and I went to the Greek Theater last night to see a band called Grouplove.  I don't listen much to new music.  I'm your typical punk rock music snob who thinks only the 1970's and 1980's mattered with a little smattering of some 1990's.  Bowie, The Smiths, The Pixies, The Ramones, Sex Pistols, The Replacements, Joy Division, Siouxsie and The Cure.  Those, and many others which are too many to name, are the greats.  I just started appreciating Nirvana.  And if I listen to "new" music it's throwback old school type bands like The White Stripes, The Strokes, The Killers and so on.  I'm like my mother when I was in high school.  Mom loved the 1950's musical era especially Elvis and that music, along with some outlaw country, was all she would listen to. New wave and punk bands from the 1980's are to me what the 1950's music was to my mom.

Can that be true? There is an old Cure lyric that goes something like this, "Yesterday I got so old, I felt like I could die.  Yesterday I got so old that it made me wanna cry."

Grouplove is a band I would put in the throwback category but they're very modern as well fusing punk with dance (or do the new kids call it electronic?).  The lead singer's voice reminds me of a higher pitched Michael Stipe from REM.  On stage, the lead resembles a blue haired Kurt Cobain in his trench coat slash blue bathrobe and long white t shirt with combat boots and his lyrical partner and keyboardist looks like a hybrid of Blondie and Lady Gaga.  Their songs are infectious punk pop with a little pixies type distortion and male female melody.  That's why I, along with what must be millions of teens including my 15 year old niece, love them.  The average age at the concert was probably 18 but I did see some other thirty and forty somethings.

Friday concerts are always difficult, especially living where we live in the HD (high desert my friends and you can only use the acronym if you live there).  It was a 72 mile drive each way and my husband and I both had to work.  I left work a little early and was home by 5.  My husband Adrian walked in at after 6 and I could tell he was irritated.  To his credit, he didn't try and get out if it, likely because he knows how much I love music and concerts, as does he.  And he had never been to the Greek so I had to get him there.

The drive wasn't bad.  No traffic to speak of as we were heading against the long lines of traffic.  We took the I 15 South to the 210 West to the 134 West through Pasadena to the 5 freeway at Griffith Park.  We were there by 745 and after paying twenty dollars to park, we walked into the venue past a coyote.  The arena is nestled in a park like area with trees and tables.  I could tell Adrian appreciated the venue.  I walked to will call to get our tickets and could hear that the opening band, Portugal The Man, was already playing.

We got to our seats and we were nestled in the terrace section to the left of the stage, thankfully at the end of the row for Adrian who is six foot four.

I would have had a great view except for the four or five teenage girls who stood up and danced like maniacs in the row in front of us.  I kept rolling my eyes as the teenage girl in front of me twirled her hair and head banged to music that didn't warrant it.  They passed a joint around and I waved my hand in front of my face to get the smoke away.  The young JEM would of asked for a hit. Old JEM was just irritated.

The clock hit nine and Portugal got off the stage.  The annoying girls seemed to deflate and fell into their seats. I went to get popcorn and go pee.  Grouplove came on at 9:25 as scheduled and the entire stadium went crazy.  I danced and sang along to every song and was just as annoying as the girls had been earlier, girls who were now slumped in their seats from too much partying early on.

That is the benefit of old JEM's sobriety.  I can always make it through.  I never miss an experience because I am passed out or sick or drunk.  And I have to say, I like old JEM.  Yes, I get tense.  Yes, I stress out without any magic elixir other than caffeine but I am myself.  This is it people.  Take it or leave it.

So excuse me now please.  I am going to go listen to some 80's punk with a little new music thrown in.  Maybe I will even bang my head a time or two to the beat and twirl my hair and remember what it was like.  To be young.

1 comment:

  1. If you can still head bang without booze, girl, rock on! This post was funny to me, as I don't listen to ANY of those bands. To me 80's music is "new" and I don't like it, LOL. Give me Motown, Sly, and Santana any day! I enjoyed your perspective though. Here's a link to my recent blog post about music and memories: