You know how certain music just makes you feel a few feet taller? Last week, I heard ‘Dry the Rain’ by The Beta Band. I had to smile. There’s literally nothing wrong with the track. Nothing. The Beta Band performed that unique trick – they knocked out a short, but almost perfect body of work. Every album, every E.P. – brilliant. There’s nothing ‘spare’.
And so, it’s hardly surprising that Steve Mason, from The Beta Band, released one of the finest albums of 2010: ‘Boys Outside’. Every track has this ‘feeling taller’ impact on me. Don’t get me wrong – it’s far from a happy body of work – but it is just spot on. It’s like a grown up version of The Beta Band. Which, I suppose, is pretty much the point.
I live in New York. A lot of bands make their way from the UK to play here. Seeing relatively big British acts in small, intimate settings is one of the many things I love about this city. Steve Mason was scheduled to head over to these shores at the back end of 2010 in order to perform at a tiny venue. I was excited. Then, as with a few concerts over the past couple of years, it was canned: a lack of demand cited as the reason.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I am all in favour of people forming their own opinion about music. As long as they don’t like Muse. But, when an artist of the calibre of Steve Mason is not garnering enough interest to justify a gig in New York, then I have to question the people who I share this city with. It’s New York, for god’s sake. NEW YORK. Steve Mason doesn’t generate enough interest, but Vampire bloody Weekend can sell out THREE NIGHTS at Radio City? I mean, come on.
Hey – New York – just please check out the clips below, and get your priorities sorted. I’m a little bit ashamed of you right now…