I've been living in New Hampshire for about a year now, and one of the things that's starting to sink in is how much I took it for granted back in Connecticut when I was living about 6 miles away from The Whitney House, with maybe another 40 minute drive to get to "bigger shows" (in New Haven and etc). If there’s a similar venue around here in New Hampshire then I haven't found it yet (but there’s gotta be, right?), and while it's great to have access to Boston and all the amazing stuff that goes on there, the hefty hour/hour-and-20-minute drive into the city forces me to pick my spots more carefully and be a lot choosier about the bands that I go to see. It completely removes the WGAF-ness of going to a local basement show really quick and not even caring if any of the bands were good or not because, hey, it’s only gonna take me about 6 minutes to get back home and go to bed anyway.
Last week I got to break away from that pattern for a bit, and headed up to Modern Gypsy, a 'vintage' clothing store (i.e. "we take the best stuff from Savers and put it aside for you") in Manchester, about 20 miles away. Notches was supposed to play and while I really love Notches, I missed them by showing up too late. They said they sucked anyway, but that's what bands always say. Since I wasn't all that invested in what was going on -- yet another perk of low-key local show-hopping -- I stuck around just for the heck of it to watch the last two bands, one of which was Big Eater, who were sorta like a yacht-rock version of Low crossed with Procedure Club*. Some of their stuff kinda blew, but they had a second guitar player who sat down the whole time, making all kinds of distorted spaceship noises and punching up tape loops and so forth, and that part was pretty great. Then there was Infinity Girl – who maybe don’t even know that there was already a band called Velocity Girl, just like how Parenthetical Girls probably don’t care that there was already a band called Theoretical Girls, but whatever – who are like an emo/shoegaze revivalist band, and guess what: they’re on Topshelf Records (no, seriously. I’m not making this up). Everyone else dug it, for me it was no big deal either way. The main point was, I was able to see some bands as a spur-of-the-moment thing and still got home at a decent hour, which is something that I’ve been missing out on lately. Support your local DIY venue. (*ha ha, I just dropped a Procedure Club reference for no reason, hopefully someone catches it)