I've been spending more time this week watching 25-year-old bands than bands of 25-year-olds; don't know what this says about me, except that both Wire and the Mekons have been in town (and that ESG is playing this weekend--and of course so are Pere Ubu but I think I'm skipping them this time) (plus I suppose Spaceheads more or less count). They couldn't have been more different. Wire's show was pretty daring, I thought: the main set was entirely new material, some of it skeletal and underdeveloped but very fast and some of it really good and very fast, and the encores were newish arrangements of "Advantage in Height," "Reuters," "Lowdown" and "Pink Flag," the last of these reduced to a single chord. (There was one song where Colin Newman was playing an open-tuned guitar with right hand only, gripping a mic with his left.) Very tight, very intense, deliberately anti-nostalgic.

The Mekons, at CBGB's tonight, were concentrating on their 1977-'83 repertoire, and were as always drunk, affectionately combative, and enthusiastically entertaining. Lots of jabs at long-gone label affiliations (arguably covering Gang of Four's "Armalite Rifle" was one of those), a long-lost member or two rejoining them, etc. Weirdly, the opening band was the Sadies, as the Eagle somethingorothers (I think that was a "Dan Dare"/Eagle/Mekon joke), doing nothing but Mekons covers--FROM THAT PERIOD. You'd think they'd at least have pulled an Ex Lion Tamers move and covered Rock 'n' Rollin its entirety, if they were going to go that far. The result was the only show I've ever seen where the headliner's and opening band's set lists were about half the same--"Fight the Cuts," "Where Were You?," "Dan Dare," etc.

Much going on at school. Must sleep, though.



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