Equation for the Nu Wave:
+ The Pixies (with some Breeders)
- The entire decade of the 90's
+ David Bowie (with some Ziggy Stardust)
+ "Turning Japanese" by the Vapours
- competent barbers or tailors (must stay true to their heritage I suppose)
= Ima Robot
A glorified Devo cover band (sure they're original songs, you'd just swear you've heard them all before), these guys actually had impressive stage presence and handled themselves well, considering they played to a room of maybe 30. With a Virgin record deal, lots of pricey promotion material (we came home with a free poster and more stickers than I care to count), and a video in decent rotation late night on MTV, one would think they could draw a decent crowd at an all-ages show in downtown Seattle, but one would also be wrong. Let's blame it on the fact that it was Wednesday. Or that local radio stations have yet to pick up the group's single (the undeniably catchy "Dynomite"). Or better yet, on the fact that the group of people most likely to embrace this type of band are largely NOT the same group of people likely to be at a Rainer Maria concert. Perhaps if their promoter had scheduled them better, they wouldn't have left the stage looking so clearly disappointed. [The Ima Robot website lists the show at the Graceland, but also says they're playing with the White Stripes. The White Stripes would most certainly not play at Graceland, it's to my knowledge the smallest-square-footage venue in downtown Seattle aside from the Croc and bars. But they did play a show at the Stadium Exhibition Center on Tuesday, with The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. A band with much higher exposure everywhere, but especially in this area, than Ima Robot. So our dear Robots went from sold out stadiums with the White fucking Stripes to a dank little hole in the wall -with bands that hadn't heard of them (Rainer Maria later commented on missing the robot set) and they probably hadn't heard of- that wasn't even full. Poor kids] I talked to four out of five of the members after thier set, and they were nice guys. They signed a poster for me, which because of its nifty robot design and my love of all-things-android, not my unadulterated love of the band (they entertained, that's my highest praise for them), will secure a place on my wall. Perhaps if they can sustain another single and do a little more press, their next show will be more rewarding.
As for the rest of the show - The Catch the sucked; Denali was good but I slept through much of it and my equation for them would look something like No Doubt + Evanescence - mass appeal = Denali, which sounds bad but I don't mean it in a bad way; and Rainer Maria was sonic bliss. I hope they never get big enough to have people try and rip off their sound, because it would only cheapen people's perception of their talent. They're unique, and I've heard someone try and do what they do, and it was a disaster.