Thursday, November 26, 2009
Show Review : M-Lab at the Mercury Lounge, NYC .. M ... N-O.
So I was trolling for music that I haven't heard of before and I stop at one of my favorite spots, Mercury Lounge here in NYC. If you want to catch a live show any day of the week and literally sometimes twice on Sundays check out Mercury Lounge.
So I pay my door fee and walk in. I immediately notice that the place is packed. I look on the tally girl's clip board and this band M-Lab has more hash marks (five people) than I have seen in a long time. So I am eager to see what these guys have to offer. I was excited but it was a weekend, therefore all of the 9-5ers are out and willing to do anything to have a good story to tell on Monday. So I am eager but wary.
Sometimes wary should win out.
I walk into the backroom Budweiser in hand and proceed to see one of the most terrible bands that I have seen. Now, let's be fair. They weren't bad because they were technically non-proficient. The music wasn't out of tune, the singer while he couldn't really sing all that well (but most male rock and roll singers can't) was bearable. The keyboard player (usually a bad sign in a rock band but not always) was decent enough and the drummer wasn't off rhythm. What was terrible was the music.
M-Lab: Being Something You Are Not
Suitable Lyric: "I see it, the gimmicks, the wack lyrics. The shit is depressing. Pathetic. Please forget it."
-- Notorious BIG, Applicable to M-Lab
Terrible. This music is the reason that hard work is bad. Record labels for all the bad they present often have a reason for what they do. They sign a person either because they know they can make money, i.e. Lady Gaga (hey, they are a business after all and if you need further explanation, see the post about Lupe Fiasco's Gotta Eat (song of the day today)), or they really see talent, i.e. Bob Dylan. Either way they discern what they need and pick it up. Everyone who does not fall into the talent or money categories are tossed aside. If this was the pre-Internet, self-made label day these guys could go get jobs at the douchebag factory and call it a day. Instead, because of all the resources made available to all bands these days, worthy and subpar, these guys will survive on the butt cheeks of the musical world like a cyst.
So what's so bad about these guys? Well, for one their music is entirely soulless. Take one look, one listen, and you know these guys are singing to get famous. You want to piss me off? Make music for the sole purpose of getting famous. Yeah. These guys piss me off. There is no meaning in their songs and their stage act makes me burn up inside, like a girl is pissed when a guy meets her in real life only to find out that he misrepresented himself over the phone. They act like musicians but their really just technically gifted fame whores.
M-Lab: Rule #1 in the Cool Manual: Trying to look like you don't give a shit, makes you look
like you care waaaayyyyy too much.
Second, the lead singer has a serious case of LSD (Lead Singer Disease). The lead guitarist the night of their show was replaced and he was truly awesome. He could simply play the electric like it was nobody's business. The lead singer proceeds to sneer at the guy the entire night. The poor guy didn't even know he was on the chopping block ... all because he had committed the cardinal sin among the insecure ... don't outshine the talentless. The guitarist's chops were simply superior to all in the band. When the guitarist in a rock band outshines the drummer easily (as drummers usually are substituting percussion for required meds ... often successfully I might add) you know you've got skills. Well, that's what happened. And the lead singer was jealous of someone in his own band. Strike two.
Strike three? The band is full of sleeze bags. After the band is on their last song the lead singer tells the fans that they'll be partying around the corner and tells the ladies that they can come over "and spend the night with M-Lab." This confirmed the douchebag status instantly. If your in a rock band and you have to spell out that women can come "spend the night" with you, you are a) a rocker that's not hooking up and b) a rocker that weak sauce.
Finally, their fans were the type of fans that don't really like music, but they do like saying that they go to live shows. There were more conversations in that room during the bands set than Oprah has had over her career. It was like a coffee clatch in there.
M-Lab? Maybe they should rename themselves to NO-Lab. Late.