TOO BIG TO FAIL: Lemme put on my slick announcer voice: Here’s what the critics are saying about Banks, the new solo record by Interpol’s Paul Banks, who plays the Courtyard Stage at the House of Blues on Nov. 29 for the unbelievable low price of $19! Let’s just have a look at the reviews … Pitchfork’s Steven Hyden says, “The main problem with Banks isn’t the muddled words, it’s the uninvolving music.” Well, that’s expected; Pitchfork hates even itself. Andy Gill of The Independent writes that Banks is “stuffed with aloof, adolescent apocalyptism and self-regard set to lumpy, mechanistic beats.” Oh. Filter’s Mike Hilleary seems to like the record … I think (“Banks’ phantasms manage to construct a decent corporeal form”), and I hear that Entertainment Weekly gave it a nice review. And even if critical opinion of Banks is trending downward (Metacritic’s averaged critical score is 63/100), at least Banks has all that good Interpol shit to fall back on. And if he doesn’t perform any Interpol songs … Well, the show only costs $19.
SHARP: I was going to click my tongue disapprovingly over the high cost of tickets for ZZ Top’s Dec. 5 and Dec. 7 shows at the House of Blues; they range from $89.50 to $180, and don’t even include a free mustache ride. Then I remembered “La Grange,” “Sharp Dressed Man,” “Tube Snake Boogie,” “Tush,” “Legs” … and then I did some research on them and discovered that they’ve been together 43 years with no lineup changes. That’s not only worth $194; that deserves a damn parade of those chopped Ford coupes and a national holiday during which every American male has to leave his razor untouched.
NOW ON SALE: The Psychedelic Furs play the Hard Rock Café on the Strip on Jan. 1 ($32), with The Fixx opening the show. This is a very weird double bill: Back in the day, the defiantly post-punk Furs wouldn’t have been caught dead with The Fixx, who are as synthpop as they come. I guess advanced age makes collaborators of us all.