Published on April 21st, 2012 | by Danger0
Joie De Vivre 2.0 in Chicago 4/6/12
What? Joie De Vivre, Into it. Over it. The Please and Thank Yous, Droughts
When? April 6, 2012
Where? Subterranean in Chicago
Didn’t that band break up recently? Yes
Joie De Vivre were an emo band from Rockford, IL that existed from 2007 until 2011. The band meant a great deal to a small number of people and nothing to a great many more. I fell closer towards the positive end of that spectrum (as evidenced by the two hundred times I wrote about them). I liked listening to Joie De Vivre’s music a lot but I wasn’t so bummed out that I cried at their last show (Geoff Schott). I felt saddened by the break up because I wanted to listen to the group create more music (an incredibly basic portrayal of break up melancholy) and also because breaking up is stupid. Johnny Ramone stole Joey Ramone’s girlfriend and they continued being a band for a good 15 years after that. My thinking at the time was, Why would anyone stop making awesome music instead of doing the opposite? I’m kind of an unreasonable person. Either way, that last show in May of 2011 was a great outpouring of affection for the group and the bands that it had made friends with over the years. It was like an Irish wake except not as fun (You can’t have booze at an all ages show). It allowed for closure. Breaking up is stupid but at least everyone had some catharsis about it.
Rockford, IL has a really shitty education system and it kind of shows because the members of Joie De Vivre apparently didn’t know what the phrase, broken up, meant. They kept working on a new album. Then, about 6 months later, some guy was like, Hey would y’all like to go on tour in Europe? and they said yes. That is a very conflicting set of events to hear about. I’m not sure if my reaction to the announcement was emblematic of anyone else’s but it went something like this, I knew you dummies weren’t broken up. Thanks a lot for making everyone sad, assholes. Then my reasoning kicked in and I thought, Who cares? How many times does a band you know get the chance to fly halfway across the world to play music? The answer is zero. Zero times ever. It’s a fucking awesome opportunity.
Here’s the end game: Joie De Vivre are playing shows again and they have a new album coming out in the next 4-12 months. They’re going to spend most of June and July playing shows in several European countries and one of them will probably get the clap from some Dutch hooker. Sure they accidentally pulled a bait and switch on their fans, but people make mistakes. Would you prefer that they not play any shows or record new music? That would be stupid.
This is not a fair review of Droughts. I only saw one song by Droughts but it was fairly solid, shouty post punk. There are lots of bands that sound like Droughts (and vice versa) but it wasn’t bad. I’m really tired of reviewing shouty, Chicago post punk. Brandon Lutmer said they were fantastic. He has a well informed opinion of the matter.
The Please & Thank Yous are a punk rock band from Chicago. I’ve said some funny things about them in the past . They play pop punk like they’re on a mission to rewrite the past and take the minor success of Pennywise for themselves. Fresh off a 6 or 8 month break from playing shows, TPATY had a revamped lineup (new boys on guitar and bass to join the Sonic & Knuckles core of singer/guitarist Geoff Schott and drummer Marcus Nuccio) and it showed. Shit was tight and punchy. By, shit, I mean the musical performance. TPATY performed lots of new songs off of their (probably) upcoming 2nd album. Shit was tight n quick.
Into it. Over it. is the music of a guy called Evan Weiss. He lives in Chicago and plays everywhere, and quite often. It’s the sort of music that I like to call, Earnest Guy With an Acoustic Guitar, music. Take a few seconds to imagine that and you’ll get the full picture. He had a song about Humboldt Park that did not have the chorus, I live here because I can’t afford Logan Square. I like to make up fake criteria and then judge people based on that. To his credit, he was a very adept guitarist with really strong tone. That really improved the overall experience.
What has changed about Joie De Vivre? Well they have different haircuts and two new members. Since the initial break up, Horn guy Paul Karnatz and organist Zach Staas both moved thousands of miles away from the rest of the band (I can’t blame them). In their place, a couple of fellows called Mark have stepped in to play. Does it make a difference? Kind of. Mark Jaeschke of Chicago’s The Island of Misfit Toys is playing basically the same trumpet parts that were recorded by Karnatz. The big audible difference is that where Zach Staas’s approach to the organ was often, Hey Danger, here is $20. When I point at you I want you to put a beer on my organ, Mark Gustofsan was more like, I’m going to play notes. It often showed. Much credit to all of the band. Despite protests of, We didn’t really practice. I’m sorry, the performances were much more muscular that one is often accustomed to. Set opener, You Ruined Everything That Was Ever Good, felt like a nice hearty shove to the torso. It’s entirely possible that this band will enter its second life with some fists in addition to the twinkles. Worse things have happened.
Some guy kept yelling, Sellout! and, Judas! during JDV’s set. That guy must be a pretty clever person who knows a lot about music and sticking it to women of the fine-ass persuasion.