Sunday, August 16, 2015

Shilly-Shallying, Dilly-Dallying, and Sitting on the Fence: Indecision Bordering on the Aboulomanic In Selection of Live Pop Music Performances, or Destroyer vs. Pure Bathing Culture and Wild Ones

Wild Ones at the Marmoset Day Party, MFNW (RIP) 2013
How do we make the aesthetic choices that we make and what are the bases for those decisions? Portland's Wild Ones will be performing at The Drunken Unicorn on Friday, October 9.  That should be all that we need to know to reach  decision to spend our evening on Ponce, but for additional motivation, here's a video directed by Montana Wildhack (a name that should be familiar to Vonnegut fans) for their song Dim The Lights.  

Unfortunately, though, October 9 is the same night Destroyer (the enigmatic genius and occasional New Pornographer Dan Behar) will be playing at The Loft.

There will undoubtedly be those who would choose Destroyer at The Loft over Wild Ones at The Unicorn due to the greater name recognition and Pitchfork approval of the former with regard to the latter and, all other things being equal, I would probably be one of those people, but tipping the scale in favor of the Unicorn is the fact that Wild Ones aren't even the headliners, but will be opening for Pure Bathing Culture.

As you can hear, Pure Bathing Culture have adapted a louder, more complex sound than in their previous songs, and even though we've already seen PBC twice before, it should be interesting to hear how they present these new productions in a live setting.  "It changed us," singer Sarah Versprille recently told Interview, speaking about the new sound, "and the way we think about our music." 

So how do we make the aesthetic choices that we make and what are the bases for those decisions? We could choose to go see Destroyer because they're better known, have more critical acceptance, and hearing them might make us seem somehow cool in front of those certain people who perceive hipness in terms of Pitchfork ratings and numbers of digital downloads, or we could choose to go see Destroyer on the basis of the fact that we've never seen them before and can check them off of the lifetime bucket list, while we've seen Wild Ones once before and Pure Bathing Culture twice.  

Or we could choose to go see Wild Ones and Pure Bathing Culture for the very reason that we have seen them perform before and now feel a certain affinity for their music, a sense of identification with the bands and their fans, and an intellectual interest in observing how their creative process has evolved over the past couple of years (i.e., what are they doing now?).    

Or we could choose to go see Destroyer because Dan Behar is, as previously described, an enigmatic genius and is likely to bring something special, unique, and memorable with him to The Loft.

Those looking here for a solution to this dilemma are going to be disappointed, as I still don't know the answer myself and may not until I stop thinking about it, and the decision isn't made any easier knowing that Autechre is also playing that same night over at Terminal West.  The more I consider the pros and cons, the list of reasons for and list of reasons against, the harder it is to choose, and I'm most likely to just go with the gut when the time comes and make my decision, not based on the intellect, but on impulse. 

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