Ditch the parties, see a show

Janie Boschma

“What are you doing tonight?”

“I dunno, what should we do tonight?”

Chances are you are probably going to do the same thing you do every weekend, the only difference being the house address and what brand of beer you drink. The problem is these repetitive, alcohol-infused weekends are not what they used to be. An easy response to this claim is, “Well what else is there to do?”

It’s hard to find alternatives to partying, especially in the college atmosphere. But one alternative available to everyone is concerts. I think a safe generalization to make is that everyone likes music, though disputes over the quality of music genres remain, i.e. “Hinder sucks” or “country sucks.” But no matter what group is playing or what type of music it is, it’s always nice to break routine and actually do something other than party.

A common reaction to going to concerts is “Well, I can’t afford concerts right now” or “There are no good shows near campus.” The people who say these things are usually uninformed or too lazy to check around to see what’s going on. A simple look in Volume One will show you a list of all upcoming shows in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

And a good concert does not have to cost a lot either. One band you should check out is the Laarks, who are as good as they are cheap. Their last show (Nov. 10 at Racy’s coffee shop) was five bucks, and other shows have even been free. Don’t let the price fool you; the Laarks pack more chilly dreaminess than a Wendy’s frosty, which is also good and cheap.

If you’re a fan of Deathcab I would suggest seeing the Laarks. Pay particular attention to the drummer Brian Moen. He plays the drums; I mean he plays the drums. In fact, the only way to aptly describe his efforts on stage is to say this – Brian plays the drums as if he has just visited the terminally sick children’s ward of a hospital, where a child said to him, on his or her deathbed, “Bwian pway your bestest tonight, OK?” Long story short, Brian’s giving it all he’s got.

Instead of going to another house party on Nov. 10, I went somewhere else. Enter Racy’s coffee shop on Water Street; the cold wind roars through the river valley, leaves blow against the windows. Inside jackets strung around the backs of chairs, scarves still wrapped on people, the dim, warming skylights and desk lamps create the atmosphere while the Laarks provide the live music. Drink in hand, I sit and watch far from the obnoxious worn out party scene, far from annoying drunk girls, far from drunk drama; I sit, listen, and am content with my Saturday night.

Don’t tell me there aren’t cheap affordable concerts around. If the indie electrorock of the Laarks is not your thing, I know Atmosphere and Brother Ali play annually at Stout, or check out any shows at the House of Rock. Either way, country, hip-hop, jazz, whatever, it doesn’t matter what kind of music you like or what your scene is just as long as you have one. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of the Friday night get-drunk-and-party scene. Not saying I won’t be back to it, but a change of scenery is nice every once and a while.