Friday, January 28, 2011
Props to Harlem
I’m taking a break from watching Arrested Development to write this, because that’s how much I care about you, the reader. I feel so bad about your lack of readable content that I’m willing to tear myself away from the show that’s quite possibly the pinnacle of sitcom excellence. For you.
What’s really funny is how easily I could tie Arrested Development into this actual post. At the tip of fingers is a story that could be titled “I’ve Made a Huge Mistake.” But I don’t feel like writing about that right now. So instead I’m going to write about Harlem.
Harlem is a band from Austin. Harlem also opened for The Dead Weather when they played Ram’s Head Live back in August. They made an impression on me.
First off, I liked how these three guys seemed almost oblivious to the audience. They were clearly operating on their own frequency, with their own banter aimed at each other, and the audience just happened to be there. It was sort of dope to witness people playing music and not necessarily playing music for an audience.
I also sort of feel bad for the opening act. I mean virtually no one is there to see them, so few people are singing along to their songs. The applause they get is generally sympathy or pity applause. The biggest pop they ever get is when they mention who they’re supporting. It’s really sort of sad.
But Harlem was very entertaining because they were just doing their own there. They were having fun and joking with each other and paying virtually no attention to the audience. I found it captivating.
Of course once they left the stage, my anticipation for The Dead Weather grew and I allowed their opening act to slip from my mind. In fact it wasn’t until I spoke to a coworker who also attended the show that I actually found out they were named “Harlem.”
While I was talking to him he echoed my sentiment about the role of the opener. Of course he added that despite that, he wasn’t impressed with Harlem. What was funny is that what put him off is what made me their fan.
So naturally I’m on one of my regularly scheduled visits to The Sound Garden when I spy Harlem’s latest offering, Hippies, in the used section. I snag it, because they really did impress me. And while I’m doing my due diligence on the band I actually discover that they’re really from Tucson.
That’s right, a band named Harlem that I saw in Baltimore and claimed to be from Austin is actually from Tucson, just like me.
And this revelation left me torn. On one hand, I was really proud that a hometown band was making a name for themselves. And I was glad that I was actually supporting, and enjoying a band from my home, Tucson.
On the other hand I was sort of salty that Harlem was claiming Austin and not Tucson. I mean, I love Tucson and I don’t see why anyone wouldn’t claim it. Are they ashamed of being Tucsonan? Granted given all of the immigration/border drama/shooting Congresswomen now isn’t the best time to be claiming Arizona, but still.
Eventually I got over it and accepted they for who they are. I’m now a fan and I look forward to the next time they’re in town, so I can try to get their attention and let them know I’m from Tucson too. Then maybe we can reminisce on life the Old Pueblo.
Or maybe I’m romanticizing the whole thing.
I guess my basic point is that I’m a fan of Harlem, so much so that Hippies just missed making my Top Ten of ’10. You ought to give them a shot and see if you like their stuff.