Bottom of the Hill
San Francisco, CA
March 25, 2011
Wye Oak: Show Biz Kids
If you want to live the hipster life, you got to be ready to go out at night while the poor people sleep after closing time. To hang with El Supremo, making movies of himself; to be one of the Show Biz Kids, you need to be outrageous. You also need to wear flannel, horn-rimmed glasses and a plaid fedora. What you can’t do is sit through the middling opening acts, sipping bottled water, and bailing after the first three songs because you had a long week and the dog needs to pee. In other words, there are sacrifices to be made, discomforts to be endured and many more PBRs to drink.
It also helps to be young. It also helps to care. One great thing about getting older is that you don’t necessarily care that you bail after three songs when you’re tired. You just think I’m tired, screw this. I need to get up early to go make cheese. I’m probably no longer young enough to be a hipster but I’m also old enough not to care. That’s what fashion is about. However, it does make a review more difficult to write.
The hipsters were in full attendance at the Wye Oak show at the Bottom of the Hill on Friday. WO has plenty of good buzz swirling about the band. They fall into the guitar/drum duo category, a la White Stripes, Black Keys, Mr. Airplane Man, The Fumes etc. And I do loves me some good guitar/drum duo-alizing though WOak is not as crunchy or bluesy as these other acts. For the first three songs, I found that WO had a much more Indie rock band sound live, a la Arcade Fire, and less a folk indie sound that is found in their studio recordings. This is partly down to drummer Andy Stack who plays his drum kit with one hand and a keyboard with the other. This gives WO a big sound for just two people on stage. There’s definite talent in the band. Front woman Jenn Wasner has a great voice and can certainly play guitar. I think they are one good CD away from playing much larger venues.
I just wish I could have stayed longer or that the show started before midnight. Of course, I will continue to be on the look-out for the next hipster gathering. I just hope that, next time, I can stay up long enough to see the stars come out at night.
Wye Oak tunes to check out: Civilian, Take It In, For Prayer.