I love an offer I can't refuse.
Like when a worthwhile band slips into town on a Monday night.
That was Mates of State. On the fifth day of their eastern tour which began last Thursday. At the Canal Club.
With far too few people to do the band justice and just the right amount for an appreciative audience.
It was a good show start to finish, with Canary, Oh, Canary leading the charge.
I find lead singer Michael absolutely charismatic and no matter how often I hear them build a song's intesnity or lock into a groove, I am spellbound.
They encored with "Over the Underground," a middle finger to that most holy of hipster idols, Lou Reed.
The crowd for them was decent but not what it should have been. Come on, guys, what else is going on at 8:00 on a Monday/holiday?
Sean Bones followed with his guitar, his beats, his keyboard, and his hat with a chin strap.
"I used to have a band," he explained. "But we couldn't figure out a name for them, Sean Bones and the...so they said, 'Screw you. Go out on your own."
And here he was.
His jangly guitar over beats was as sunny as a day at the beach.
Midway through his set, he noticed some newcomers and said, "I'm Sean Bones Cougar Mellencamp if you just arrived. I have a gift shop over there and if you have any private questions, I'll be over there."
While he played his exuberant set, a girl sat against a column near me playing online Scrabble and never once looking up at Sean Bones.
By the time Mates of Sate began their set, the crowd had grown considerably, although a musician friend and I discussed how many more people were at the National show when they played there.
The band's loss, no doubt, but tonight's fans' gain.
Mates of State grab me with their fast tempos, high energy and unexpected song structures.
They hit the ground running, sliding in "My Final Offer" early and saving "Palomino" for last.
No MoS song ever goes the way you expect the first time you hear it.
Which is a good thing for some and not so much for others. Me, I just think it's poppy yet different enough.
You know, I don't always need my hooks handed to me on a silver platter.
But my shows? I'll take them any way I can get them.
And on a Monday night after black bean nachos at 821, I'll take what's offered with great delight.