Friday, June 13, 2014

The Both (Aimee Mann and Ted Leo) in Concert

I saw The Both in concert at the Great American Music Hall, with the opening act Nick Diamonds (Thorburn) of Islands.

Nick Diamonds of Islands
Nick and his accompanist were interesting. He plays indie rock. It was hard to hear the lyrics because the mics were too low; the music and melodies were pleasant; they were not catchy hit songs, but they also sounded like they were not trying to be. I think his music would be best at an acoustic house concert. Nothing in the arrangements stood out, and without full access to the words, it was just ok (he also performed a number of covers).

The Both
Aimee Mann is famous for her hit song Voices Carry from the band 'Til Tuesday in the 1980s, after which she has had additional success as a solo artist (Academy and Grammy awards, though no other top ten hits).

I know less about Ted Leo, but his guitar playing was very good. The two spent a lot of time bantering and telling stories with each other and to the crowd (too much time, I thought, though they were funny). The crowd knew a number of their songs, collectively and individually. Their melodies and arrangements were exceptionally good, and their play (including a drummer) was tight. Everything they played could be a hit record. Like with Nick, the mics were low and it was hard to hear the singing; what I heard was serviceable. I'm inspired that Aimee Mann still rocks out at age 54, but she doesn't (can't?) belt it out like she once did in the above video. I was pleased she played the one song I knew during the encore.


A description of the gamification conference is in the works.

The rest of my SF trip has not been notable. Pier 39 is so over-commercialized and so touristy I would compare it to visiting a web page that contains nothing but (mostly irrelevant) splashy and shallow advertisements. Shudder. I saw some sea lions that looked depressed.

Sea lions
Chinatown is funky if you dig Chinese groceries, but similar to what I saw in Sunset. Downtown is unremarkable and has lots of homeless. The one kosher restaurant is ok but overpriced. The area I stayed in, near the freeway entrance/exit, is bare and impoverished.

The only other moment of interest was a short trip to see my friend L'vannah and her baby. She lives in a gorgeous home in San Carlos.

L'vannah and baby

The view from her backyard


Steven Davis said...

Get yourself to the Exploratorium and the California Academy of Science!

salty-horse said...

Here's The Both performing at NPR's offices: