New Noise :: Idlewild :: In Competition for the Worst Time

I tell this story every time that I'm drunk and Idlewild comes up in conversation, so if you're a friend or drinking buddy of mine and have heard this a million times, just skip to the end or something. I saw Idlewild at Irving Plaza in New York back in the fall of 2002 as part of the CMJ Music Festival. 100 Broken Windows had been a big hit with my fellow WUSC djs in 2000 as well as the more recently released Remote Part, and so even though I went to the show alone, I expected to see some kindred souls there. Slightly overweight or underweight guys with thick glasses, corduroy jackets, and way too many records at home. After all, it was CMJ. Pushing my way to the front, though, I noticed that the crowd was mostly girls. And not indie rocker girls, either! Very normal, kinda giggly, young girls.

I was freaked out. But the horror had just begun. The band took the stage, and the high-pitched squeals nearly did me in. See, I hadn't taken into account that Idlewild, while ear candy to a pretentious music geek, were scruffy Scots with sexy Scottish accents - eye candy to young ladies. There were even girls up front who had been waiting outside the theater since 11 am that morning. Even worse? The band ate this stuff up! I mean, I can't blame them really. But when you're expecting Roddy Woomble to be aloof and dour while conveying through music the harsh realities of growing up Scottish, it really throws you when he gives a smile, wink, and wave to some high school girl in the front row.

So I wasn't too surprised when the band's next album Warnings/Promises was full of watered-down, faux-sensitive crap. The kind that giggly girls everywhere enjoy. But with new album Make Another World scheduled for later this year, I'm hoping that the band has pulled itself together and gotten back to doing what they do best. I really can't judge by just this one track. There are things I really like in it that sound like the old Idlewild, but it hasn't sold me completely. But as that guy from Star Trek used to say, 'you don't have to take my word for it!' What do you think, folks?

Idlewild In Competition for the Worst Time

No comments: