Birdmonster / Ex-Boyfriends

February 2, 2006

Review by Jake Thomas

I love a free show, especially a free show with good bands, free mix CDs and free cupcakes! If it had free hookers and blow too it would have included all of the high points of a civilized society. It was also the third anniversary of my man Ted’s internet radio station Bagel Radio, which has won tons of awards and is great place to hear new music if you are into that streaming radio thing.

But on to the bands - the Ex-Boyfriends were ruling the stage. They sound better and tighter every time I see them, and I’ve seen them a bunch. Catchy, simple songs with plenty of harmonized vocals perfectly designed for bouncing up and down - like that first time you heard Superchunk or Jawbreaker, two bands that you could draw comparisons to if you ask me. They played a bunch of a new tracks that will presumably be on their album “Dear John”, coming out on Absolutely Kosher in the near future. It will definitely be an album worth picking up if you like the peppy music.

What ultimately got my lazy ass off the couch and over the bridge to the show was the chance to see Birdmonster. I’d been putting off seeing them for a while, but with the door cover set at my favorite price, and those cupcakes mentioned before, I just couldn’t say no anymore regardless of what Nancy Reagan insisted I do. Seems like there has been a bit of buzz generating behind the group and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about - I’d only heard one song, and while it was great, one great track does not necessarily mean they “meet or exceed expectations” as was checked on their evaluation form.

But I could see it from the first track - these guys have “potential rock stars” written all over them. They are extremely young, handsome, full of energy, and most of their material runs this strange balance between Modest Mouse and The Replacements…in particular, I would swear that the main singer dude were channeling the ghost of Paul Westerberg if he were dead, only minus the John Lennon glasses with colored lenses. I was hooked from the start. It would appear they have been recording an album in L.A., as they mentioned a few times how glad they were not to be there any longer - will it possibly be able to live up to the hype and the live show they put on? While I am a man that is normally pretty skeptical, I have high hopes things will work out here. See them in a small venue while you can is all I can say.

Check out previous Ex-Boyfriends' reviews:
January 14, 2005 @ Cafe DuNord
September 2, 2004 @ Thee Parkside