Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Beauty Shop - This is hilarious...

Cruising the picture section of The Beauty Shop's MySpace site, I found this quite entertaining...

You can catch the Beauty Shop opening for Pete Yorn at The Canopy Club on November 30th ($17 in advance), and December 1st at The Illini Media Building with Lynn O'Brien and others for the Musicians On A Mission benefit ($5 at the door)

I happened to catch the Beauty Shop at a somewhat unexpected headlining gig in Bloomington at Paulies on Friday, November 17th. .

It was an unexpected headlining gig (to me and the band, judging by frontman John Hoeffleur's response) because all the signage posted had them going second. Instead, the alleged former headliners, Wiplot, went second. Wiplot were the worst band I've ever paid money to see. I actually contemplated waiting around for the payout from the bar owner so that I could take five bucks and give it right to the Beauty Shop. John commented at one point during their set..."I recognize these guys... I saw them on Dateline... the sex offenders episode." These were truly some strange older guys who played, with earnest I might add, some of the most uninteresting and just plain ridiculous songs I've ever heard. Now, this wasn't even entertaining in a "Return of the Killer Tomatoes" way. No ironic humor would be capable of providing a saving grace here, just the announcement of the last song.

The Beauty Shop's set had several newer numbers that I first heard at a Canopy Club gig of theirs some months ago. They sound more polished after some time on the road for some seasoning. The band said they don't currently have any plans to head into the studio, but I certainly hope these new tracks make the cut for whenever they do record again. Hoeffleur continues to be among the best songwriter's around, with songs such as "Ambulance" that are as caprivating lyrically as they are musically. Arianne and Creecher more than kept the backbeat; providing a sturdy canvas over which Hoeffleur painted vivid scenes of love lost (Ambulance), fighting mental illness (Monster), and music industry malarky (Babyshaker). The stage was Hoeffleur's playground, as well, with guitar swings and playful expressions which were energetic and engaging. All in all, a solid performance. A particularly funny happening was when an older African-American guy wandered in front of the stage during the 'Shops set and started giving an interpretive dance performance and lip syncing to the choruses. Priceless.

Paulies is a decent bar. It's sort of an amalgam of the Iron Post (no beers on tap, some darts, a decent sized room, some tables and a stage) and Nargile (sorta dark, has a downstairs bar with a DJ booth where the quasi-hip of Bloomington hang).

Bloomington's bar scene, however, is pretty lame and sometimes mildly creepy. There's the vanilla State Farmers and Country Companies lackies who are looking to get their kicks in their khakis, the ISU Greek scene (shallow fashion victims), the townie thirty-somethings who look like they just got out of a church Bible study circa 1993, and the twenty-somethings that are still consulting Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst for both music and wardrobe reccomendations. There's also a very unfriendly redneck bar just two doors down from Paulies, where I heard the doorman utter "That's right, keep walking you damn city-slickin' Cubs fan" as I walked by. The bars across the street were half-hearted attempts at recreating someone's basement rec room. Fat Jacks is their Guido's, although it's more like the old Two Main... just a stylized meat market where you're just as likely to spill your drink from being crushed at the bar as you are to actually finish drinking it. Rosie's is the only decent bar. It's similar to Bentley's in style with it's traditional English pub trappings, and it looks like they have a decent menu. It's sort of an upscale version of the Esquire. Ultimately, If you're looking for something cool and different, you'll likely find an offering more compelling and friendly in the confines of Champaign-Urbana.


At 1:25 PM, November 22, 2006, Blogger thenoiseboy said...

"That's right, keep walking you damn city-slickin' Cubs fan."

-Why, I've said that on numerous occasions at Mike & Molly's, which last time I checked was no redneck bar. (Although there are enough Cubs fans there to qualify it as a Scrubs bar.)

P.S. I agree about Bloomington's bar scene.


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