Posts Tagged ‘ rvivr ’

Life is Music April 30, 2013: Gay in the (w)NBA

It’s another rudieTuesday, which means another day where I equate a news event with a song.

It’s been a huge deal the past few days that Jason Collins is the first NBA athlete to come out as gay. (Phew, that was a lot of links.) I don’t care much for sports, but I do care greatly for fact-checking. And Jason is far from the first famous athlete to be publicly LGBT*.

Many women athletes have told the world that they identify as gay. The website The Advocate, for instance, is currently running an article on Brittney Griner, a gay woman in the WNBA. The article, which talks about how she came out before her first pro game, is being featured on the site at the same time as an article hailing Jason as the first out NBA athlete. And it’s not unrelated that the sub-headline of the article questions whether Brittney’s gayness will interfere with the femininity of women’s sports.

I offer many kudos to Jason. In this world that wants to know exactly what’s going on in everyone’s bedroom, it must be incredibly tough to be a public figure and share something so personal and private about oneself, to open oneself up to such criticism. Even in one that’s becoming more accepting of gay men, Jason has already had to deal with intolerance.

As if this blog doesn’t have enough RVIVR, “Wrong Way/One Way” offers a message appropriate with today’s topic. While I want to reinforce that many athletes (including many women) have come out with much less fanfare, what’s really important is that everyone is accepted for who they are, no matter who they love.

In which I review RVIVR!!!! (Exclamation points mine)

Every so often I go to a show where one of the bands look like they’ve having the best time of their lives during the show. Even less frequently does more than one band appear to be having the Greatest. Day. Ever. at that very show. And only once, in my experience, has that happened twice in one day.

And yet, this was Saturday at the final two RVIVR shows of the tour. I went to both, and going to see two RVIVR shows in one day is up high on my list of things in life that I did right. One show was better than the other, meaning they were both fantastic, crowded punk shows. Both took place in the tiny back rooms of bars, with a small stage that couldn’t quite contain the volume and force of the music.

Unfortunately, I didn’t plan ahead for taking photos, and my smartphone/high-tech camera was full to capacity and wouldn’t take any pictures. Luckily, I attended the show with F Yeah! Queer Music, where you can find a few photos and another great review. Both shows were so small and we planned well. Even at the packed and sold-out Union Pool, we managed to get close to the stage. This meant singing along and dancing literally alongside various bands before and after their turn on the stage. At one point, I found myself next to the members of Dogjaw, and told one of them how much they killed it at both shows. Saturday was way better than the third-to-last show at NYU on Tuesday, she told me. That one was weird. These last two shows really were the best.

And what more could you really hope for at the finale?

The Homewreckers opened the St. Vitus show with a classic punk sound and empowering tendencies. Guitarist Cristy C. Road also took part in an event at the New Museum the following day, and wrote a raw graphic novel that I plan to one day read in its entirety. “When capitalism falls/I’ll still meet you at the shopping mall,” went the awesome chorus of one song.

Dogjaw was next at St. Vitus. They played both shows, and they did so with furious intensity. They are raw and vicious and don’t hold back on stage. They will blow out your eardrums and you will want more. Listen to them. Seriously. They have a sound that will blow you away.

Extra Feeler opened the Union Pool show. Like Dogjaw and The Homewreckers, they’re a solid group of three with the basics of guitar, bass and drum. Three instruments, lots of power.

Shellshag is crazy. They’re reminiscent of the White Stripes in that the guy is on guitar while the lady rocks on drums, with a similar shoegaze-y feel on some of their songs. Wiki says they formed in the same year, so it’s likely a coincidence. Shellshag brought their own set up (a mic tower, three drums), started their set with a music video, covered songs by RVIVR and The Cure, and ended their set with a guitar handing from a chain on the ceiling, at which they threw drumsticks. Super danceable and insanely fun.

And then, RVIVR. Oh man. There are so many words, so many positive adjectives and adverbs to use for these shows. I described Dogjaw as empowering, but it’s so fitting for RVIVR, too. Free. Bold. Mind-blowing. Impossibly catchy. Real. They played through a good part of their discography, and their energy didn’t lag for one song.

Amazing shows. So glad I went to both. Can’t wait to see these bands again.

Freas’s vocals …

Freas’s vocals are probably the best part of the whole album. Not that Canino is bad, he has a perfectly fine voice and a great yell when he needs it, but as a friend told me recently, “I’m sick of dude voices,” especially in punk. They’re everywhere and a lot of them tend to sound the same, so the tracks where Freas takes the lead are real stand outs.

From a friend’s review of the latest RVIVR album, The Beauty Between. (You should probably go check out his blog, because it’s awesome.) I was going to write my own review on this album, but then I read his. And it’s basically pretty much everything I wanted to say about it. So read his review, and it’ll be like you’re reading all the things I would’ve written in my review. Also, I’m proud to say I’m the quoted friend who is sick of dude’s voices, especially in punk music. Yet another reason this album is awesome.

Okay okay, this is my last RVIVR post for a while since I know I’ve been posting obsessively about them lately. (At least until they put out a new music video. Or do anything else otherwise awesome.)

In case you want to watch all RVIVR’s new music videos in one place

because I know I do!

“Spider Song”

“wrong way/one way”

“LMD”

I have so much love for RVIVR. All they’ve done since their first album is get even better. They are near impossibly catchy; their songs have such good hooks that I can’t believe it.

If you haven’t picked up their sophomore album, do it here.

And catch them on tour! I will be at one if not more of these shows.

RVIVR – “Spider Song”

This song: so good
This video: so silly
Analysis: so good! So silly! Must listen to and watch over and over.

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