MidiMidis and Delays @ The Relentless Garage, 6.10.10

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiAxiGZKpGQ&fs=1&hl=en_US&color1=0x5d1719&color2=0xcd311b] Remember this tune? For anyone who grew up in the 90s, hearing the familiar, bleepy "doo doo dooos" can instantly transport you back to the days of playing Nintendo, watching Saturday morning cartoons, and swilling hefty portions of sugary, crack-like Kool-Aid through crazy straws.

For up-and-coming act, MidiMidis, mixing nostalgia with crazy electro rock is their name of the game. Their music is entirely composed of 8-bit and midi melodies. Imagine a British version of Julian Casablancas stroking himself with a Duck Hunt gun while watching "Tron", and you'll have some sense of what MidiMidis sound like. Or, y'know, you can just listen on their Myspace page.

The band were opening for Delays at the intimate Relentless Garage in London. An odd combination of bands, but they seemed ready to take on the challenge by performing with raw enthusiasm and fervor.

But despite giving an energetic performance, complete with brilliantly garish stage lights, the crowd was only mildly receptive. Perhaps they'd be more suited to opening for a band like Klaxons or Late of the Pier, rather than Delays.

Although, oddly enough, their performance seemed to have a Viagra-like effect on an older couple standing next to me, inspiring the man to gratuitously squeeze the bottom of his partner while she listened on to the bleepy, shouty spectacle going on in front of her.

Bottom line? MidiMidis are the perfect soundtrack for either your next crazy electro-rock warehouse party, or for people in their 'frisky fifties.'

Delays: Still Rockin' After All These Years

Six years is a long time to wait to see one of your favorite bands in concert again. The last time I saw Delays, I was just starting my first semester at USF. So naive, so innocent (but still with a kick-ass taste in music).

They've released three albums since then, including the recently released "Star Tiger Star Ariel." And judging by the crowd at the Relentless Garage, they've managed to maintain a strong fan base of hardcore followers.

The venue was packed with their most dedicated fans; the fans that can sing along to every single word whilst fist-pumping and pogoing up and down to every song.

Musically, they've come a long way since releasing "Faded Seaside Glamour," but they've retained the same freshness and exuberance in their live performance. And, somehow, they don't seem to have aged at all in the last six years. I'd like to know their secret!

Perhaps it's the same source of magic that gives lead singer Greg Gilbert his androgynously siren-like vocals, as he wails along to the lush, ethereal melodies and beats of the rest of the band.

Like the veelas had the power to hypnotize unsuspecting men in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" with their song, Greg managed to get even the toughest-looking men in the venue to jump around like hooligans at a football match.

The band played a good mixture of songs from all of their albums, including "Long Time Coming", "Cavalry", and "Valentine." As the songs continued, hands shot up into the air like some type of religious spectacle at one of those weird churches in a tent, where people speak in tongues and pass out from the power of Christ.

Luckily, no one passed out here. The band expertly knew how to command the stage and get the audience going. It's obvious that Delays are a band that have been doing this for awhile, without the awkward or nervous onstage moments. Greg, Aaron, Colin, and Rowly all play with a noticeable confident attitude, somehow managing to simultaneously engage the crowd and blow them away at the same time.

And the crowd wouldn't let them get away without an encore, enticing the band to come back onstage by clapping in time and continuing the melodic "Oooohs" that Greg left off with.

Bottom line? Like Super Mario Bros, Delays are still just as amazing (if not better) after all these years!

Lady Luck, that evil wench!

Do you believe in luck? That all good and bad things that happen to us by chance, happen beyond our control? I remember when I was little, my dad would take us to this Christmas party with his square dancing groups. At the party, they would always do a raffle.

I used to get a raffle ticket, always making sure to say, "Give me the winning ticket, please!" to the person selling them. Almost every time, I would win. Granted, they were small prizes, but they were prizes nonetheless.

On a few separate occassions, I was also picked out of a crowd of hundreds of people to participate in different on-stage events. For example:

  • Age 8: I went to see the killer whale show at Marine World. During the audience participation segment, the presenter chose me to come down and get kissed on the cheek and splashed by a whale.
  • Age 11: I was chosen as a contestant for a Nickelodeon children's gameshow at Great America Amusement Park. It combined two of my favorite things at the time: answering trivia questions and getting a cream pie thrown in my face!
  • Age 16: I was chosen to participate in one of the bits for an improv comedy show at Comedy Sportz. I had to make sound effect noises for the actors to riff off of on-stage.

It's not like I've ever won the lottery or anything, but I'd like to think that luck has always been on my side.

Academic Luck

Another form of luck that seems to follow me is academic luck. Throughout my years of school, luck has followed me when I needed it most.

There were a few instances when, for some reason or another, I completely forgot to do a homework assignment.

However, when I would go into class on those days that the assignments were due, by some good fortune the teacher would either be ill, they would have decided to change the due date, or they would have completely forgotten to ask us to hand it in.

And in classes that had consequences for tardiness, the teacher would end up showing up later than I did, or else not at all.

This little instances have followed me throughout my academic career, from kindergarten until even my Masters course now.

When Lady Luck Betrays You Sadly, the past few days for me have been filled with a series of unfortunate events:

  1. Snow Slow-Down: When I arrived back to London from San Francisco, I took the tube to get to my house. The closest station is normally about a ten minute walk. Being Californian, I didn't take snow into account. My walk ended up taking over half an hour, and a 67-pound suitcase doesn't exactly roll through inches of snow.
  2. Locked Out: I felt a sense of accomplishment upon arriving, out of breath, to my front door. I was ready to put my bags down, and knock out. I put my key in the door, and heard the satisfying click! of it becoming unlocked. I pushed on the door, but it wouldn't open. Turns out, the bottom lock had been locked. And I didn't have the key. I ended up having to wait a few hours for one of my housemates, who had been staying at his family's house in South London, to bring me the key. (Thanks, Ardo!)
  3. No Running Water: When I finally did get into the house, I discovered that a plumbing problem had not been resolved. So we had no running water for about a day and a half.
  4. The Laptop Incident: My laptop had started making a really loud grinding noise. It had done it a couple of times before, but never that badly. It sounded like little gremlins were gnawing away at the hardware inside. Last time, everything was fine after I turned off my computer and restarted it. This time, it wasn't enough. My laptop is now completely dead, and it took some of my important files with it.

Maybe Lady Luck felt like I was getting too greedy. Or maybe it's because my 'lucky year', the Chinese Year of the Tiger doesn't officially start until February 14th.

Maybe I should pull a Harry Potter and take a dosage of Felix Felicis.

Or maybe I should just forget about luck, and focus on getting my Issues in Journalism paper completed... ;)