November 11 was a busy day. I looked at a potential new apartment out by BAM after work, then dashed to the D to catch Giant Drag at Bowery Ballroom. I wasn’t that familiar with the band, but I’d liked everything I’d heard — and any group compared to My Bloody Valentine instantly piques my interest.
The band went on early — maybe 8:15 or so — and attendance was sparse at bet. You could have easily roller-skated amongst the small crowd that included Test Icicles and Rolling Stone writer/VH1 talking head/master Pazz & Jop quipster Rob Sheffield, who laughed long and hard at many of singer Annie Hardy’s dry-wit one-liners.
To look at Hardy, you’d expect her to be the type of person who read chickfactor and listened to Elliot Smith, but she’s like a genetic melding of Sarah Vowell and Sarah Silverman — mousy and cute, but what a mouth. She said hello to the crowd and apologized saying that this was only the second show but it was already turning into the "broken tour. Last night I broke a mike and a purse strap, and tonight [drummer] Micah [Calabrese] broke his hymen. [Rob Sheffield laughed super-hard at that] This song’s called ‘You Fuck Like My Dad." She tossed off a few more like that throughout the set, including one about "taking it from the Lord pretty hard" which I wrote down on an ATM receipt so I wouldn’t forget it. But I wrote it in the dark and you couldn’t read it at all the next day. Luckily, this was the title of Fluxblog‘s post about the show.
You don’t really get the MBV-isms live, as it’s just the two of them. They’re more like the Breeders or Veruca Salt live. Calabrese plays bass via a mini moog or some similar keyboard while drumming. It fills out the low end, but it’s not like listening to the record. But yet it worked in the minimalistic setup, and the crowd was into it. Lots of picture-taking, and the Bowery Ballroom staff didn’t seem to care if you had a photo pass or not — probably only for headliners do the crack down — as I had my big-ass Nikon in full view.
I kinda wanted to see headliners Longwave but I had tickets for Art Brut at Mercury Lounge, so I headed out immediately after Giant Drag’s set. Managed to get in a quick bowl of pho at Pho Grand (Grand @ Chrystie) beforehand which is a great place for a cheap, tasty meal before any BB show — or after, in this case.
Here’s the remaining tour dates for Giant Drag, including a newly-listed November 20 show at Pianos. I’ll be there…
• 11.16 | Ascot Room: Minneapolis, MN w/ OK Go, She Wants Revenge
• 11.17 | The Annex: Madison, WI w/ OK Go, She Wants Revenge
• 11.18 | Metro: Chicago, IL w/ OK Go, She Wants Revenge
• 11.19 | Beachland Ballroom: Cleveland, OH w/ Giant Drag, Sound Team
• 11.20 | Pianos: New York City, NY
• 11.22 | The T.L.A.: Philadelphia, PA w/ Echo & the Bunnymen
• 12.05 | Doug Fir Lounge: Portland, OR w/ The Like, The Earlies
• 12.06 | Crocodile Cafe: Seattle, WA