Whats the Answer

You ever been dumped? Not dumped quickly and suddenly, as in “I don't want to see your sorry ass anymore, bye!” but the kind of slow-building dumped, where that guy/girl you've been seeing just flat-out stops calling you, doesn't return your calls or e-mails, and you have no idea why? And even though you suspectyou know why, you're forced to do your own investigating because he/she is too afraid to come out and actually tell you that he/she is dumping you? And then—upon finding out that all along, you were really nothing more than his/her personal slab o' sticky-sweet sexual white chocolate—you wind up driving yourself nuts, questioning not only everything you did but also everything you see and hear?

For instance, what the hell were we doing at Chain Reaction when all we really wanted to do was go out and get completely sauced? And why were the just-okay Velcro —three women plus a guy drummer —trying so hard to emulate Sleater-Kinney? Not that there's anything wrong with that, but couldn't they have spent a bit more time practicing their mostly raucous alterna-pop sound? They were an all-right band, we guess, if a young and sloppy one, but are they not aware that there is lots of room for improvement? Or that their vocal-harmony attempts weren't exactly in-sync? Or that the flute playing on one of their songs was actually kinda pretty and interesting and would have been even better had their singer not simply recited the lyrics in a robotic, droning monotone? Their best moments were their noisiest—shouldn't someone tell them that their new song (cheekily titled “New Song”) was also their best song, full of rage and confusion? (Or was that just us?) A nice, if jittery, set—but who the hell was that guy at the front of the stage who kept shimmying and jumping around in front of everybody, wildly flailing his arms about as if someone had padlocked the men's room? Was he lost in his own private mosh pit? Did he not know what an arse he was making of himself? Or that after a while, people were watching him more than the band?

Hadn't we seen Telecast before? Like, about a year ago? Yeah—now we remember: the Long Beach band with the Finnish female singer? Who liked to point at stuff? But we still liked them anyway? Would they have improved any? Yes, it turned out, a lot—only, how could we properly blurb them? Perhaps something like “a rock band with colorful, glowing, ornery soundscapes, yet hard enough to not feel wimpy”? Should we talk about how much better they were than how we remembered them? Or how their singer (who has a husky set of pipes, in a Beth Orton sense) has become nicely adroit at building up elements of drama and tension, working it into a lather before spritzing it out all over the place? Was a new tune called “Outside” really our favorite, loaded with lilting, ungrandiose melodies? Do they really have a new EP called You Are Here coming out soon? Will it be available at local indie stores like Fingerprints? That's what they said, so it must be true, right? Will the band pay us anything for this shameless plug? Shall we just go ahead and hand Telecast our Most Improved award for 1999? And did Annoying Dance Man really have to come back out for an encore during their set?

Were Void's warm, peachy guitar riffs really that likable? In maybe a guilty-pleasure way, like Live (who at least one member of this trio thanks in the liner notes of their Time Is Now CD)? Though maybe just a tad too reminiscent, since their song “Chosen” sounds like a rewrite of “All Over You”? Nice band, though—very “commercially appealing”—like Third Eye Blind, only with some inspiration, perhaps? Could they possibly have made their melodies more ear-tickling and hummable? And what about that one ballad they did? A smart move to make it not appear wimpy, no? We liked them enough to actually spring 7 bucks for their CD—ain't we nice?

(Headlining that night were Havalina Rail Co., but haven't we waxed positive enough about them for a while? Yes, so we'll shine the commentary—but was it a great set? Of course—why are you even asking us this? Haven't you picked up on them yet? And won't you feel silly when everyone else finds out about them?)

Send tapes, CDs and tips on where we should go (besides hell) to Locals Only, OC Weekly, P.O. Box 10788, Costa Mesa, CA 92627-0247.

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