Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Hard Way

The Green Bean coffee shop in Greensboro, North Carolina is where I first saw Talk Demonic play. There was a good crowd and their pleasant post-rock was a great match for the unpretentious artiness of the place. This past Saturday night I saw the local Tiger Bear Wolf take the same stage.

It’s been ages since they’ve played out. The easy guess why would be that Jonathan is now married and talking about a family while he also records his own stuff and makes noise with The Subjective Collective’s Kaleidoscope Death. Matt’s about to get married himself and is wrapping up a post-grad degree while Noah has recently come off of tour with Des Ark. Larry, aside from his other band, has been spending time on his print work.

The news that David Berman is hanging up his spurs hit recently. Reading between the lines, Berman may be saying something about indie rock being time (maybe even age) senstitive. If the Silver Jews, on an esteemed label and with no small clout are bowing out, it’s not hard to understand why TBW aren’t exactly loading up the van.

But the show at the Green Bean was fantastic. The crowd was huge (Kemp, barista for the evening and honcho of Lookalive Booking made uneasy jokes about the Fire Marshal) and it was young (in the promising way, not the annoying way).

It was one of those nights that drew them out with the promise of a great live band and those expectations being met (in the form of effortless, heavy, post-core meets cock rock sonics) sent electric currents through the room. At risk of being a small-time nostalgia fest, the evening instead felt like a celebration of a town’s secret ace-in-the-whole. A secret all the better kept between a couple hundred people.

Tiger Bear Wolf practices in a space in the Glenwood neighborhood of Greensboro called Square One. It is the same place, in fact, where I saw Talk Demonic play for the second (and most recent) time. It’s essentially a concrete box. What it lacks in ambience was not made up that night by the few people there for the show. However, even without the scent of lattes and red wine in the air, without the sizeable crowd smugly pleased that they knew the difference between a violin and a viola, TD played a great set.

Being the guy who just goes to the shows, maybe writes about them, certainly chats about them; I can’t imagine how hard it is to get in the van, let alone find out you’re playing a vacant bomb shelter when the last time you played in town (not too long ago) you played a hip, downtown coffee shop. For those about to indie rock or who have been indie rocking or are wondering how much longer they can possibly indie rock- I salute you.


Ste. Goldie said...

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Jeremiah Paddock said...

I hadn't seen Tiger Bear Wolf in a year (ish) before the show at the Green Bean. It was awesome. Made me want to see them again soon!

Ben Meyercord said...

I met someone who just moved from NC tell me about Des Ark. Cool stuff.