Third concert of the week on short notice? Not what I needed. Or was it?
By the time I got my assignment to cover UK indie-pop sensation The Boy Least Likely To's first New York City appearance, I was sick with the flu, exhausted from a string of late nights in the lab, and generally cranky. Third concert of the week on short notice? Not what I needed. I shot off an email to decline, only to wake up first thing the next morning somewhat recovered and more than a little curious. I realized that I did actually want to see this, one of the most essentially fun, charming, and perhaps disconcertingly mortality-concerned new bands around. I immediately shot off an email to un-decline. The show was on Friday night at R&R in the meatpacking district, one of those anonymous blank-doorway-and-cellar-stairs venues that somehow thrive in this city. In this case, R&R's outward invisibility was rendered entirely inconsequential by a line of concertgoers snaking out to the corner. Apparently the place is a meatpacking-district fixture (oh gentrification!). It's also a reminder of why I don't typically try to go anywhere fashionable. As press, I was among the last to actually be allowed inside -- after the ticket holders, the non-ticket-holders, and the members of "Val's party". This afforded me a lot of time for people watching (an odd mix of meatpacking chic and East Village indie fashionability) and to discuss the remarkable forces of hype which create anticipation for a band whose debut album is not even available in the states. As it turned out, the fellow I happened to be talking to was a pretty good authority on hype: he managed Clap Your Hands Say Yeah up through last Fall.