Gooski's can be either a great place to see your favorite band, or the worst place, depending on your personal-space and oxygen requirements. But last Tuesday was just about perfect, as Scottish phenoms The Twilight Sad played to a comfortably-sized crowd of true believers. Starting with the moody drone of "Cold Days From the Birdhouse," vocalist James Graham had the crowd from the first heavily accented syllable. And, despite the music's melancholic nature, Graham proved surprisingly friendly, even garrulous, hanging out after the show. But the greatest part of the performance was its brevity. As when The Twilight Sad played Gooski's before, they quit after perhaps five songs and politely declined an encore. Leave. Them. Wanting. More.
The night also featured local opener Life in Bed, packing a grittier energy courtesy of new bassist Thomas Cipollone. And the end of the night brought a surprise: a sneak peek at Control, the much-anticipated biopic on Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis, starring Sam Riley and Samantha Morton and directed by Anton Corbijn. One of the producers for the film, which just premiered in New York City, is local entertainment entrepreneur Todd Eckert; with any luck, we'll get to see the full thing before long.
On the topic of stuff you'll have to wait a wee bit to see, The Breakup Society is readying a new CD for Get Hip Records, being released in Pittsburgh on Sat., Nov. 10 at 31st Street Pub. According to main man Ed Masley, the new disc comes loaded with horns, strings and keyboards, and features guest spots from pals Scott McCaughey (The Minus 5) and Ward Dotson (Gun Club and Liquor Giants). Also in the something old, something new category, the show will feature Part-Man, a new band with Johnny Monk of former garage-rock powerhouses Comrad and The Wynkataug Monks. Definitely intriguing.
But hold on just a sec -- isn't that Masley guy living in Arizona nowadays? And doesn't he have a band there that's called The Breakup Society, too? Well, sorta -- Masley describes it as "a new split-custody agreement." His role is "the child who lives with mum and her new family here in Arizona and on rare occasion gets to spend some time in Pittsburgh with that alcoholic bastard, dad, and his new family." Hmm, alcoholic bastards, eh? I'm not sure if that's a slight or a compliment ... but I'm not gonna argue.