Architecture in Helsinki: The Losanjealous Review
545pm, Monday, 22 May 2006. I’m seriously crashed in front of the tube. Stuck to the couch. Silver Surfer underoos swathed in Burmese fisherman’s pants. Shirtless. Faultless. Flourless. I literally have no flour with which to make the bread. End-of-the-workaday nonsense. Laid out on the couch with the laptop curbside. Outlook makes that noise. You know the one. “Dee-doop,” it rings.
The sound of mail. Hell. Any guesses…
- WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE AN UNBELIEVABLE SEX DURING ALL THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT :) ?
- That asshole with the $9million he needs to wire-transfer to my account?
- Actual work?
Não assim rapidamente, compadres. It’s Lucinda Michele from LA Alt. She’s got a +1 for Architecture in Helsinki at the Troubadour. Zero hour. When have I been known to say no to anything.
New Hollywood Tradition, ladies and gents: Once a week you are to drag Ryan to a show at the Troubadour where beers are a very reasonable $7. He will watch a band he knows nothing about, feel like a “highroller” in the “loft” and eventually “review” the show on a “website” . . .
Our website, compadres. Yours and mine. Ours. We’re in this together.
Troubadour, 9pm. The Clippers are losing game seven. I’m getting loaded. The first band is wrapping up. I meet Lucinda Michele Knapp at the bar and we swap Monday tales. Tussle takes the stage. They have two drummers. “They sound like a Chicago band,” I say. “They remind me of Califone,” says Knapp. “Oh yeah. I saw those guys at the Getty. Didn’t like the singer though. Drums, yes.”
“I was at that show.” “Get right the hell out.”
The place fills up. And now suddenly here we are. Downstairs. Up close for the collective known as Architecture in Helsinki. It is determined we don’t actually know where the band’s from. “That dude on guitar has some serious white guy dreads. Are they from Boulder, do you think?” … “They’re sorta goofy-acting. And there’s eight of ’em. I’m guessing Canadian” … “Is that a UK accent?” … “Shit that’s right. Aussies. I think I knew that.”
They have horns. They have keyboards. They have tight-assed sheer coach gymshorts. They are Architecture in Helsinki. The lead singer sports one of those painter caps from the early ’80s. Like the one I had in grade school. What was on my hat, again?… Men at Work. Another Aussie outfit. The circle completes.
They play a spirited set of music. I manage to get a not-inconsiderable amount of confetti strewn in my hair.
The show is coming to a close. The non-Canadians wrap up the encore by bringing a fan on stage and having him shout-sing an impromptu song regarding South Korea. The whole band joins in at the chorus. “South Korea!” The place erupts. The place surges. The place empties. It is now time for breakfast.
The waiter at the Silver Spoon gazes into my eyes. “What’s that in your hair, and what have you been doing.” “Is it big and white? It’s either confetti, or dandruff.” He plucks out the biggest piece of confetti I’ve ever seen and lays it on the table. The world’s tiniest flake of dandruff spirals into the space above the table, meanders a bit and eventually comes to rest right next to the confetti.
“I have to get home to pass out on the couch in my underoos with a jar of peanuts,” I manage to wheeze before running out the door.
I didn’t think it would be humanly possible but this review may actually contain less relevance to the subject matter than the Nine Black Alps review. I’d do just as well to give you the story of the Charlie Copies.
The story of the Charlie Copies
When I was growing up, our neighbor Charlie had cable television and two VCRs. Essentially he had all the requisite trappings for VHS piracy. He would dub us movies, usually Steve Guttenburg vessels: Cocoon…Three Men and a Baby…Short Circuit. The tapes would always have some sort of bizarre flaw. Neverfail. “There’s 40 minutes of blank tape before the movies on this one,” Charlie would say. Other tapes would have their contents interrupted by sporadic five-minute static intervals and, occasionally, a brief glimpse of Charlie’s viewing habits as he flipped through the channels, muttered an expletive and flipped the switch back over to continue Short Circuit where it left off. “Another damn Charlie Copy,” my Dad would invariably deliver, deadpan.
[ End ]
Photos by Lucinda Michele Knapp.