Have you ever had that somewhat annoying run-in with the person who knows everything about every band, ever? How about the person who takes joy in evincing your lack of knowledge? While the Canberra cold has stunted many people's desire to venture out in search of live music, it hasn't stopped the know-it-all types from making their presence (and the limitations of your musical knowledge) known.
Music has been and always will be a divisive issue and - like any other interest, art or hobby - will always attract comment, criticism and debate. However, sometimes it is so easy to get caught up in the details and ignore the experience. Venturing solo to the recent Brian Jonestown Massacre and Raveonettes double-header at ANU Bar, I perched in a prime position with my overpriced beer for an enjoyable night of music. The Raveonettes were astounding and the headliners put on a solid (if not overly nostalgic) performance. What did not enhance the night was the running commentary.
Many people are partial to attending concerts by themselves for a variety of reasons. Sometimes a friend will bail or tickets will sell out; quite often it is hard to find anyone else sharing the level of devotion that you do to the band. Spotting the lone wolves at concerts is usually pretty easy, and often they are the know-it-all types. After all, who can be more devoted than someone who knows every little detail about the band? And who actually wants to go to a concert with one of these people?
Halfway through the Raveonettes set, a man came up and started talking commenting about the band's guitars. I politely responded. If I had of known that uttering a few words would make me his new best friend I wouldn't have bothered; it was my first and fatal mistake. Like a little puppy that got a pat behind the ears, my new best friend started telling me everything and anything. I was informed of the history of the Fender Jazzmaster, was given a timeline of bubble-gum pop and received a rather detailed academic analysis of every Raveonettes album. Escaping to go to the bathroom, I thought I would be able to lose him. If only. Waiting for me outside, beer in hand, was my new pal. Needless to say, the conversation was rather one-way for the rest of the evening.
With the final chords ringing out over a very happy audience, I bade farewell to my companion and walked home. Having waited so many years to see the Brian Jonestown Massacre, I felt like I had just watched a new Star Wars movie for the first time having had to endure a George Lucas commentary.
Sometimes it is just good to enjoy music for what it is. At the end of the day, music is about emotion and connection - save your analysis for your blog.
Liam Demamiel is an ANU student and music writer who - when not studying, working or writing - you will find headphoned to a turntable