02 July 2006

An Orgy Of Grief

I've heaped a fair bit of vituperation on Sven Goran Eriksson in my World Cup commentary, but this fellow from the Daily Mail has put me in the shade as he kicks off the orgy of grief and recrimination that is England's favorite part of every football tournament. Or at least the one part that it truly excels at. Railing against "the cancerous weakness of English football," he goes on to maintain that the national team's ignominious exit also reveals "the inherent malfunctions of English society itself."

The denunciations, blame-heaping and I-told-you-so's will go on for days if not weeks, and almost makes me wish I were back in London listening to the presenters and callers on Five Live shouting, sneering, snarling and snarking over the latest national failure. But here in the USA I can rely on the likes of Kendra, who informs us that if you Google "England are shit," her blog comes up in the top ten results.

But I'm in America now, so no more misery-wallowing for me; my sole remaining resentment is that yesterday's extra time and penalties meant I was late in leaving the house, and that combined with a missing 7 train (as in London, the powers-that-be assume that people who want to go places on weekends are a bit suspect and needn't be catered to) resulted in my missing both the Steinways and the Leftovers at Oliver's Punk Rock Barbecue up Astoria way.

Knowing I was already late beyond all reason, I stopped on Astoria Boulevard where a dozen Brazil supporters had hauled a TV out onto the sidewalk and saw the last ten minutes of Brazil's ejection from the Cup. America as a whole may not yet have gone football-crazy, but a mini-traffic jam ensued as drivers craned their necks and called over to find out how things were going, and a French-accented taxi driver tooted his horn and shouted "Brasil bye-bye!"

At least I got there in time for what was to be - sadly - the last Slaughterhouse Four show, featuring the inimitable Chadd Derkins and his equally inimitable sparring partner, Chris Grivet. Why do bands always reach their peak just as they're breaking up? Lefty Loosey, three girls and a guy who'd also played the previous night at the Bent Outta Shape show, brought the Brooklyn sound to Queens, and the name just about describes them: kind of lefty and kind of loosey, and that's just about where Brooklyn differs from Queens, I reckon. More on this subject later, as I look to stir up a scene rivalry between the boroughs, but for today we're all united, and LL (love those initials, too) went over well, especially with Michelle Shirelle, Stephanie and Carla, who were right up front rocking away. Edit: I've just been told Lefty Loosey are not from Brooklyn at all, but from Wisconsin. I don't care, they look and sound like Brooklyn, and Brooklyn is where I first saw them. But while it's always tempting not to let the facts get in the way of a good story, I don't want to incur the wrath of the Cheeseheads who may want to claim LL for their own.

What else? Oh yes, there was an impromptu Dirt Bike Annie reunion, which left everyone wondering why they ever bothered breaking up in the first place, as they were as great as ever, and an enthralling performance from MC Chris, who I'm fairly sure is the first successful rapper to introduce elements of pop punk into the mix. MC's apparently becoming a pretty big deal out there in the larger world, and I can see why; trying to keep up with his barrage of words and images had my head spinning. The guy definitely has star quality; the way he worked the "crowd" of maybe 50 people reminded me of the first time I saw Billie Joe Armstrong play: even though his audience consisted of five high school kids who'd never heard of, let alone seen his band, Billie, then all of 16, worked the room like a consummate pro. I may not be the biggest rap fan around, to coin a glaring understatement, but talent like Chris's is easy to spot even for a novice like myself. I predict big things. Well, bigger things, as MC Chris is already about a hundred times more famous than anyone else in our little scene.

The music went on late into the night, but I left relatively early, prompted perhaps by JoeIII greeting me with, "You look really tired, man." That's always nice to hear, Joe, even when it's true. Bloody World Cup. Bloody England. Thank God for two whole days looming with absolutely nothing to do. My guess is that it will be about two hours before I start complaining.

3 comments:

Nick G. said...

hey larry, if MC Chris interested you, you should check out MC Lars from California (stanford i think?). its the same kind of rap-pop-punk and it usually has a good message about the degredation of rap music or the music industry etc.

its not exactly my kind of music, but it might be woth checking out...the only rap i can ever bring myself to listen to is the Yeastie Girlz...

http://www.mclars.com/

Joe III said...

I know the World Cup gets a bit taxing, but I mean come on; I see you at a party where both The Steinways AND The Leftovers are hanging out, and you're NOT all smiles and dancing? Can't blame a martian for being concerned!

Jonathan said...

Lefty Loosie demolished me and my friends in a baseball game earlier that day. I harbor a little resentment.