Maybe the crazy weather kept people away — I saw more than one fallen tree — but nonetheless a very good, if sparsely attended, show by School of Language at Cake Shop on Saturday night.
I got there super early, as I’d tried to go see Lightspeed Champion at Union Pool only to find it "sold out" though I’m guesing it was really "guestlisted out" as no one in their right minds would pay the $8 service charge on a $12 ticket that Ticketmaster was asking for this show. (Seriously, why does a venue this small not use Ticketweb? I love the actual room but the people running UP move further and further up my shitlist every time I [try to] see a show there.)No one seemed to actually be in performance room of Union Pool but there were easily 30 people waiting around to see if spots might open up. I said screw it, not wanting to risk School of Language selling out or something (no advanced tickets at all for Cake Shop) I just headed over there.
I was so early I caught their soundcheck and stuck around, well, because I had nothing else to do. It turned out I didn’t need to go so early, but you never know in these situations and after being rebuked at Union Pool I didn’t feel like chancing it. Which meant I caught all the bands on the bill. One was pretty good (Chicago’s The Poison Arrows) in a Sonic Youth/Afgan Whigs sort of way, and the other… um… did a sloppy cover of Depeche Mode’s "Enjoy the Silence" that was the most memorable point in their set.
Anyway, David Brewis and his ace hired band (drummer Ryan Rapsys, and bassist Doug McCombs) ruled the night. I always considered Field Music to be a pretty tight band, but when you’ve got two ringers in your band it’s hard not to notice, especially when it’s the rhythm section who always elevate (or lower) the quality of a show. "I can’t believe these guys are here playing my songs," Brewis gushed but he’s no slouch either, obviously. With only one, short, album the set was obviously brief, filled out a bit with a cover of Roxy Music’s "If There is Something." Like the album, the show was bookended with the phonetic babble of "Rockist" songs (that babble being canned, via some sort of little mp3 device…I think), the first of which I shot video of:
School of Language continue their North American tour…
Mar 10 – DC9 Washington DC, Washington DC
Mar 11 – Beachland Ballroom Cleveland, Ohio
Mar 12 – Sneaky Dee’s Toronto, Ontario
Mar 13 – Pike Room (Crofoot) Pontiac, Michigan
Mar 14 – Empty Bottle Chicago, Illinois
Mar 15 – Scrummage University Detroit, Michigan
Mar 17 – John Waldron Arts Center Bloomington, Indiana
Mar 19 – Nectar Lounge Seattle, Washington
Mar 20 – Towne Lounge Portland, Oregon
Mar 21 – Hemlock Tavern San Francisco, California
Mar 22 – Spaceland Los Angeles, California
Mar 23 – Club Congress Tucson, Arizona
Mar 25 – Mohawk Austin, Texas
Mar 26 – TBA Norman, Oklahoma
Mar 27 – Record Bar Kansas City, Missouri
Mar 28 – Billiken Club St. Louis, Missouri