Monday, August 14, 2006

Jason Lytle - Hotel Cafe - 8/11

The Onion recently reviewed the most recent (and last ever) Grandaddy album "Just Like the Fambly Cat and had this to say:

If ever a band begged for a greatest-hits collection, it's this one—strange, since Grandaddy albums are often marked with weird interludes and spaces that define their moods. But pack their best moments together—Fambly offers the weepy "Summer… It's Gone" and the bloopy, self-reflective "Elevate Myself" as candidates—and you'd have a stunner.

Well if you happen to catch the blink and you miss it solo Jason Lytle tour this is what you will get. I didn't even know this was happening, but thankfully I was clued in by a helpful friend. Lytle and a non Grandaddy friend pretty much did the best of Grandaddy in a stripped down, almost acoustic form. I say almost acoustic because there were some keyboards, a little drum machine action and some familiar Grandaddy effects. But it was all the "hits" in a concentrated form, and as a fan I have to say it was a delicious nerdy treat.

Everything was covered in the hour long set, from new songs (Summer it's gone) all the way back to the first EP (Levitz) to random tracks off Ep's (What Can't be Erased) and everything in between. I think Lytle knew he wouldn't be playing these songs again anytime soon, although I can't wait till the clamoring public calls for a reunion in 2023, so he cherry picked his and the audience's favorites. Listening to the songs this way made it seem for a second that the band could have been so much bigger than they ever were.

Of course Lytle has no stage presence to speak of and spent the whole set sitting in a chair, half way turned from the audience. He didn't look up and he didn't engage, but his voice sounded great and that's all I cared about. He did wear a trucker cap, but he wore one before it was cool and still has it now that it is out of style, so it was ok.

Side rant. I hate the Hotel Cafe. It is more of a bar than anything else, which isn't always a bad way to see a show, but this one is right between Sunset and Hollywood and the crowd it attracts kind of stinks. I was a hipster adrift in a sea of yuppies. Plus I haven't shaved my beard in a month so the guestlist guy looked at me like I was a crazy street person. And another thing! (I am starting to sound like my dad now): If there is a credit card minimum at the bar they need to post that info so I don't end up ordering without cash. I didn't want another beer dammit!

Ok that's enough of the grumpy old man portion. Like I said in my Grandaddy album review, I cannot be all that bummed that the band is no more, since it was more or less Lytle anyway. He will make more music for sure, but I doubt he will ever do a Grandaddy set again, so I was happy enough to have seen what was left of one of my favorites again. RIP sweet prince.