The Sleepy Jackson At The Mercury Lounge

Mercury Lounge is becoming one of my favorite places to see live music, especially on a night like last Thursday, when it wasn’t packed (five equally promising rock shows were taking place elsewhere in the city … did anyone see Jim O’Rourke? Please give me a setlist!).

My friend Marji had been begging me to see TSJ for months, and I do enjoy their album, so I bought a ticket at the last minute.

“Good Dancers” is so George Harrison-esque; that’s sort of what I was expecting. But after the first couple of songs, I felt like I was at a Def Leppard concert. What from I hear, the band’s live shows are wildly unpredictable. Once James explained to me that lead Sleepyhead Luke Steele is a crazy born-again Christian, I kept picturing Benicio Del Toro’s 21 Grams character onstage. The show was uneven, but Luke’s got mad stage presence. Mid-set, I went outside to take a phone call and when I came back, Luke was wearing around his neck a bizarre vocoder with flashing lights.

Cara and Marji (who begged me to come see this show) left early. They were clearly not impressed. In fact, the room had emptied out before the band’s set was over. When the house lights finally came on, I grabbed the setlist off the stage only because I had never done that before. And I did get some cool photos, so it wasn’t a total waste:

Sleepy Jackson fans = best haircuts in NYC.

James and I headed out to the Killers/SS* afterparty at Bar 13, which I have to say was pretty obnoxious, although I really enjoyed getting to chat with my fellow blizzogers Andy, Karen, Giulia, Audrey, and Lindsay. They wisely left the bar early, as did I. Everyone was buzzing about the Killers show — obviously I have to see this band live. They’ll probably be headlining by the time I get a chance.