Evan Kessler Dot Com

The Home of the Brave

The Scream and The Smog

Posted by evankessler on August 24, 2004

I arrived at work this morning and upon checking my email on yahoo, I saw a news story on the My Yahoo page that piqued my interest. It seems someone in Norway raided an Oslo Museum in the daylight and stole two paintings. One of the two paintings was Edvard Munch’s The Scream. If you’re not familiar with this painting you’ve never been in a college dormitory or most places for that matter, you may have never left your house. My first, and still my reaction is that this is sort of great news. I’m not delighted for the people who were held at gunpoint, but I’m absolutely enamored with the idea of an art heist taking place. It’s not like anyone was hurt and though I know it wasn’t carried out by people in cat burglar outfits sliding through and around laser sensors, there’s something fascinating, exciting, and movie like about this sort of operation. You can sort of get the visual with the art thieves cutting the work out of the frame and rolling it up and fleeing the scene in a getaway car. Then I picture the rich art appreciator who had planned the heist in his private room as he gazes upon his newly acquired classic work of art. I was about to give up the concept of suspension of disbelief in Art Heist movies. I wish there would be more exciting heists but this time I would appreciate if they were done in the aforementioned cat burglar fashion. Besides nobody’s going to Norway to visit any paintings. How many people do you know who’ve been to Norway to look at art.

Oh No, I’ve been stolen.

Moving right along; tonight John Vacanti and I wandered down to the Bowery Ballroom to catch “Alt. Country” supergroup Golden Smog at the Bowery Ballroom. Their last album “Weird Tales” was released in 1998 and is probably in my top 15 of all time but that’s a stretch. It is up there though. Martha Wainwright was the opener. She was okay. She had a good voice but I felt like I was at Lilith Fair. Not that that’s necessarily bad. Plenty of good artists played at Lilith Fair, there just weren’t many I’d go see.

The male to female ratio at the venue was about 85 to 3. It’s like that song Surf City “3 Girls for Every 85 guys”. Okay so it really goes 2 girls for every guy but you get my point. Anyway, Golden Smog came on about 10:15 and opened up with Until You Came Along which is one of my Golden Smog favorites (“with my friends I used to follow nearly everybody’s daughter. That’s until you came along.”) The next couple of songs bounced back in forth between songs from their two full -length albums. Random note: Gary Louris looks exactly like Napoleon Dynamite. The highlight of my evening was when the band played what are probably my three favorite songs of theirs in a row, which consisted of “He’s A Dick:, “Jennifer Save Me:, and “Red Headed Stepchild”. Other favorites they ripped through were “Making Waves” and “To Call My Own”. Only about 40 percent of the songs were their own. They did a lot of covers of songs I didn’t know and some that I did. One of the oddest moments was a cover of Talking Heads “Life During Wartime” going into Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain”. Very interesting indeed. The night also included covers of bands such as Argent and The Fuggs, the latter of which closed out the show. All in all it was a kick ass show. I only wish I had a setlist so I would know what half of the songs were. I’ll see if I can find it online tomorrow. I’m going to post something on the message board on the hopes that people respond.

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