the loud bassoon concert scene

Longwave @ Empty Bottle, Chicago, USA
18 April 2003

It seems like every time I end up at the Empty Bottle, it's because I ran into someone earlier in the evening who insisted I had to check out this band – they're the fucking best!!!! Almost without exception, I end up enjoying myself, although I never know if this is attributable mainly to the fucking-best-band-of-the-moment, or to the amazingly cheap alcohol.

In any case, it was under these circumstances that I stumbled in to see Longwave, having heard hide nor hair of them previously. Earlier I'd checked out New York power-pop band Orange Park at Subterranean, and those guys recommended Longwave (scenester friends from Brooklyn, who have gotten a boost by touring with The Strokes).

I was expecting a poor man's Strokes, but what I got was more of a poor man's Radiohead with a comfortable man's Peter Murphy singing lead. Pretty good, though they're not going to conquer the world just yet. Much too much hiding behind guitar pedal effects and those vaguely evocative lyrics that, after a few drinks, make you think about all your failed relationships.

And who wants that?! But for what it was, it worked. High point for me was during the last song, the lead singer threw in a quote from David Bowie's "Quicksand," my fave Bowie tune. I don't know how many of the Stroke-offs in the audience caught that one, but it warmed my heart about as much as the poor man's connoisseur-beer I was drinking … Old Style, of course.

Review by Bryna Heavy-Flow