Jan 162017

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After an entirely too long concert hiatus—seriously, the last one was in December!–I went to see Pianos Become the Teeth at the Smiling Moose after work last Thursday, and it was a particularly shitty day at work too so I love when it works out like that. Makes it feel even more therapeutic, DO YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

Yeah, you do.

Since this show was at the Smiling Moose, I didn’t even bother asking Henry (or anyone else) to go with me. I love the Smiling Moose and have no problems blending into the wall there. However, the dumb doors didn’t open until 6:30, which meant I had to hang out downstairs at the bar, being sad and lonely with my hastily-ordered beer (Pumpking because I needed to quell my nerves fast). Look, I’m sure no one even gave a shit about The Girl Sitting Alone at the Bar, but I fucking hate it. I’m a social drinker and like bullshitting with people over drinks, but everyone around me was either engrossed in their own private conversations with their actual friends, or sitting next to their actual friends and scrolling through Facebook because this is where we are as A People.

Such social creatures.

I vacillate between SOMEONE TALK TO ME and NO DONT SEE ME, because I just never know what I want. To be left alone or to be harassed? That is the question. 

Anyway, while being acutely aware that some of the guys from Pianos were sitting right next to me (and looking at their phones), I ordered a second beer (a Hoegaarten, which Henry gets a lot and it tastes like floor cleaner to me so I don’t know why I ordered it so let’s just call it panic) and chugged it just as the clock hit 6:30.


I felt much more at home upstairs with the other loners who were standing around looking lost and praying for the first band to hurry up and get on stage. It was at this point where I realized that I honestly haven’t listened to much American music in over a month. K-pop has legitimately taken over my life. It’s like when the elective becomes the major. And I’m not even sorry. THERE’S ROOM FOR ALL GENRES IN MY LIFE.

But yeah, it was all BigBang in my head in between bands playing.


My people. This crowd was really great. I liked them a lot. I mean, from a distance. Because, don’t touch me.

The first band that played was a local band, total emo revival, the type of band with vocals that almost seem secondary to the music at times, like another layer of instrumentation in and of itself. They were raw and, well, you know, emotional. I loved them from opening to closing note, but I couldn’t understand for the life of me what their name was each time the singer said it.

I even, gasp, SPOKE to the two girls behind me to see if they knew and even they were like “Shrug.”

Turns out, they were Curse Words and I’ve seen them before….


But in my defense, I go to a lot of shows….so.

Second band was Primer & Grayscale from Beaver Falls and I was again pleasantly surprised at how lovely they sounded. There’s no good way to say this without sounding like a hater so please know that I don’t mean this in a terrible way, but you know how sometimes the local opener sounds just like…The Local Opener? Maybe a little bit amateurish and rough? A little garage-y? These two openers did not have that at all and I couldn’t have been more pleased at the line-up. Plus, only two openers?! Thank you, Drusky Entertainment. This old bitch wanted to be home by 10.

Nothing significant happened in between bands. When I saw some of the guys from Piano get on stage to soundcheck, I squeezed my way up a little bit further and then sent Henry a flurry of texts reminding him of my existence and filling him in on the all the things he was purposely missing.

I’m pretty sure he probably slept the whole time I was at the show. Henry’s dream life, realized.

Anyway, it wasn’t even 9pm yet and Pianos was about to start playing. I was scanning the room wildly, looking for their singer Kyle, but then I became aware of the guy gripping the mic stand, not moving, totally taking Kyle’s spot….until I realized that holy shit, that was Kyle! Gone were his long locks that curtained his face the other 3 times I’ve seen them live. He looked like…just some tall, thin guy. I guess I never really paid attention to his face before!

But who cares. Long hair or not, his voice was still trembling with the feels and I felt my heart begin to inflate from that sad, flattened state the last month had left in it. And I was once again glad that I came out to this show even though I didn’t have anyone to go with me, because really, it’s so much better this way. I don’t have to worry about if whoever is with me is going to enjoy the band, or if they want to leave early, or if they want to start talking over top of the band, or if they judge me for weeping like Henry when he forgets his gochugaru* coupons at home.

*(We’re a Korean-only kitchen now, you wouldn’t understand.)


I was sitting next to him at the bar and decided that we definitely imprinted. I giddily told Henry when he picked me up and he said he’ll be my flower girl for sure.


SHORT HAIR DON’T CARE. I mean, maybe he cares. It didn’t come up during in between song banter, though.

It blows my mind that a band with this caliber of talent and musicianship is only playing Smiling Moose. They deserve more attention, more love, more recognition. So do me a favor and watch this video (I’m pretty sure I’ve posted it on here at least 3 other times in the last 3 years because it’s my favorite), soak up the words, float on the beautiful music. And then if you still think I listen to shitty music, then by all means, continue to make fun of me for it. I don’t care anymore! Kpop has buffeted my sensitive feelings with a cotton candy cocoon, you guys. Ridicule just gets caught in my candy-coated web like a surly, mean-spirited old fly sent by those dickheads at Pitchfork and then I eat it with my new Korean-speaking mouth.

(Ugh, I only know like 5 words so far, but that’s three more since the last time I checked in with you!)

I also really like Ripple Water Shine but that video is about a dog dying and aren’t we all depressed enough?

I love nights like this. Even when I don’t have mean ol’ Henry next to me, grimacing at the sounds he doesn’t understand.

Choose Your Words Carefully

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