Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Blueskyreality Brings the Future of Rock to Nashville

Posted by on Wed, Sep 30, 2009 at 12:48 PM

click to enlarge Gross.
  • Gross.

Bands like Blueskyreality (yes, one word, no spaces) are the reason I shudder every time my phone rings at work. Back in the spring, the band--whose biggest influences are apparently plaid, argyle, molding cream and dog-tags--had their publicist calling and emailing me, with greater frequency than you would your weed dealer, to try and get them some press. They got what they asked for when The Spin described the "bludgeoningly mediocre" lot like this:

As a rule, there are a few things that should never leave a frontman's mouth while introducing a song, like, say, "We've never played this before," or "I hope this doesn't suck" or most especially "Third Eye Blind are, like, our favorite band ever." The first two we expect from entry-level New Face Night-type acts and we can write off as an amateur mistake, but the last one represents a character flaw so egregious it's unforgivable. It's one thing to like Third Eye Blind a lot (we don't understand why you would do that, but whatever), it's another thing to tell us about it right out the gate and ruin any hope we had for seeing you play even one decent song.

Seriously--Third Eye Blind? Were Dishwalla and The Verve Pipe too edgy for you? How does Third Eye Blind become anyone's favorite band? Is that what happens when you're too cool for Richard Marx but not cool enough for Semisonic? And how do come up with a band name worse than Third Eye Blind? How is that even possible?

This upcoming Monday (Oct. 5) has options for all factions of concert goers. You've got the power-trio-supergroup-de-jour Them Crooked Vultures over at War Memorial, Casiotone hipster-dance-party MC Dan Deacon screaming for ice cream over at The End, and for all you who managed to incidentally surf onto this post via Google Alerts, there is the return of teen-suicide preventers Third Eye Blind over at the Cannery. (I'd really like to see Dan Deacon perform for 3eb's crowd, and 3eb play for Deacon's crowd, but anyway.)

Dreams are coming true for our friends in Blueskyreality, as they have been tapped to open 3eb's "comeback" tour--including the Nashville show. Did we mention that BSR are signed to Universal/Motown? Yes, you just read the words "Motown" and "Third Eye Blind" in the same post, which should be enough to make you want to jam screwdrivers into your cranium. The fact that major labels are back to throwing money at the kind of dated, watered-down, unimaginative, tired, vapid pap that is Blueskyreality's stock in trade is a surefire sign that, as we have feared for a long time now, the return of the '90s is rapidly advancing upon us.

Last week, I was fortunate to catch Dave Paulson & Co.'s My So-Called Band--think Guilty Pleasures if they stuck exclusively to '90s pop/rock Top 40. If there's one thing I've learned from the various high-caliber cover events that happen on the reg in this town, it's that people fucking love to get crunk and sing along to songs they know--no matter how much damage those songs did to them as children. My So-Called Band were great. Each song sounded flawless, and a half-dozen drinks were more than enough to entice me to bum rush the stage, commandeer a tambourine and shake it along to a version of Oasis' "Wonderwall" that was worthy of a time machine.

The crowd during this event--Out the Other DJ Janet Timmons' Birthday Party--was divided into two camps: The majority of these tubthumpers were losing themselves in the moment, toasting to nostalgia and shamelessly singing along to a batch of songs that you'd think most of your friends wouldn't even admit knowing the lyrics to. And the rest uncomfortably shuffled to the back of the room because, for them, it was simply "too soon" to find themselves in a situation where Ace of Base's "The Sign" was a crowd-pleasing encore that brought the house down. I was in the former camp--and my 14-year-old self still wants to kick the shit out of me for singing along to "Two Princes."

But that doesn't mean I'm willing to hear this shit IN EARNEST ever again. Just because I'm not too cool to rock out to a birthday party cover of "Semi-Charmed Life" doesn't mean that I'm gonna step back from that ledge, don a striped beanie and hightail it over to the Cannery Monday to hear the real thing. And by no means will I abide Blueskyreality. You'd think, in 2009, a group of people who have dedicated themselves to the craft of learning instruments and playing music would have heard enough of it to not want to ape Matchbox 20. Anyone who knows how to play guitar should know better than that. Someone at least get these guys a Radiohead record. In the meantime, check out the video below of Caitlin Rose guesting on My So-Called Band's rendition of "Spiderwebs." Enjoy it while you wait for scrunchies, flannels, soft verses and loud choruses to come back into fashion.

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