Features | Concerts

Irwin / One AM Radio / Daedalus

By David Greenwald | 15 May 2005

So there I was, moments away from hopping in the shower and walking down to campus to catch The Walkmen play a free set, when…

6:15 PM: An errant AOL Instant Messenger window appears, and the course of my evening is forever altered.

Foopie*: Hey pal
Foopie: I’m going to see The One AM Radio tonight, you should come if you can
zenDaveL05: man that sounds awesome
zenDaveL05: where is he playing?
Foopie: The Echo
Foopie: It’s 8 bucks
zenDaveL05: wait, the echo site says montag is playing instead
Foopie: i’m on my way
Foopie is away at 6:17 PM

8:30 PM: The phone rings. If the show is starting on time, we’re going to miss Irwin. All I know about them is that they have the same name as my grandpa, which is good enough for me. Todd Barry, the comedian opening for The Walkmen, is probably about halfway through his set. I decide that this is the last time I go to a show with somebody who lives an hour and a half from Los Angeles. I pick up the phone.

8:31 PM: “Hey, we’re getting off the freeway. Want to give me some directions?”

8:40 PM: I get in the back seat of the cramped Toyota Corolla. I am introduced to my friend’s friend, and promptly asked for more directions. We realize none of us know where we’re going. Friend #2 texts Google while I call my girlfriend.

9:30 PM: Traffic on Sunset Boulevard is crawling. We get on the freeway.

9:50 PM: “Hey, I think that was our exit.”

10:30 PM: We park in a seedy parking lot behind the club in an even seedier part of downtown LA. A security van drives by, warning us to lock up our car so it doesn’t get trashed. My friends decide now would be a good time to pre-party.

10:50 PM: $8 changes hands. We enter the club just as Daedalus takes the stage. The meager, mostly unappreciative crowd sits down or huddles around the bar, leaving us with a clear view of his performance. For a guy whose only instruments are a laptop, a mixing board, and a sampler, his set is visually hypnotic. Dressed in what can only be called a Willy Wonka jacket, Daedalus plays his sampler - a square with lit-up cubes - with the dexterity of a concert pianist, layering “live” drum parts and instrumentation on top of a never-ending stream of samples. It plays out like Since I Left You in warp drive, with hip-hop party beats sandwiched between female showtune vocals and obscure film scores.

11:15 PM: I’m pretty sure he’s sampling “K’mo Kofim,” an Israeli pop song that, as far as I know, has to do with beating your chest like a monkey. “Foopie” and I cheer.

11:30 PM: Daedalus’ uninterrupted forty-minute piece comes to a close. He wipes sweat from a forehead covered in dark, scraggly hair. I head over to the merch table, finding a handsome young Indian male selling CDs and vinyl. I whisper to Foopie, “I think that’s The One AM Radio!”

11:32 PM: After a moment of nervous hesitation, I am proven right. I declare my undying love for his latest album and get a bashfully signed autograph. We find out that Montag, after renting a car and getting the “girl from Broken Social Scene” (Amy Milan, we assume) to come out with him, was stopped at the Canadian border because he didn’t have a proper permit to play shows.

12:15 AM: I have a pesto, feta, and spinach omelet at a nearby restaurant called The Brite Spot. It’s probably the best thing I’ve ever eaten.

1:15 AM: My friends are in no condition to drive, at least while I’m in the car. I take the wheel for the first time in nine months. We miss our exit.

1:45 AM: I get home, give my long-suffering girlfriend a goodnight kiss, and go to bed with only a signed poster and CD for a band I didn’t see perform to remind me of my fateful night. Word on the street is that The Walkmen were great. I should also mention that earlier in the day, I was witness to an in-depth conversation featuring Jason Mewes as to whether or not the new X-Box is coming out soon. (It is.)

*All names have been changed to protect the anonymity of the participants in this review.