Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Review: Islands Open for Psychedelic Furs @ HoB, 10/10/09

Syndicated from the writer's blog,!

Dear Nick (Thorburn, Diamonds, whatever),

Listen. I know you're really talented. I've accepted the sad truth that you know it, too. The Unicorns were genius. Return to the Sea was a turning point of epic proportions in the lives of college radio stations everywhere. I loved and defended Arm's Way even in the face of cynical critics who ripped it to shreds, claiming you "sold out." And I still hold that Islands' show at the El Rey during the summer of 2008 was hands-down one of the best of the year.

We get it: you're great.

I was even going to accept Vapours as the obligatory Under the Blacklight album of the band's evolution. But, I have a serious bone to pick with you, and all over a simple, easily avoidable issue: your shitty attitude.

You're not the only musician to ever gain a cult-like following. In fact, I'd say there are a few other musicians who are worshipped a bit more for their songwriting abilities. So when even your live performances, which require a stage presence and an act that demands entertaining qualities, it's disturbing that you seem to find your emotional funk wildly adorable to everyone in the room.

Nick Diamonds

Not only could we see on Saturday that you were not in the mood (yes, yes; we saw your tweet about having had a rough show in New York the night before), but it translated into an egotistical barrier that completely alienated 99% of the people in the room, including those (of whom I am a part) who came specifically to see Islands.

You did not want to be at the House of Blues, and sure, that's okay. But for god's sake, you're wearing white cutoff gloves with rhinestones you probably bejeweled yourself. ACT. And if you can't act, at least remember why you are a musician, because I pray (to whomever will hear it) that you didn't pick up a guitar because you wanted to be a god--you started a band because YOU LOVE MUSIC. So next time, when you feel like hating yourself and everyone else, don't let it affect the jam. "Swans" was great, because you and the gang actually seemed like you were enjoying yourselves. But honestly, I could've done without the rest of the zombified, dispassionate set. Where's the heart, Nick?

I don't want to see you fail. I know there's another Return to the Sea in you guys. And I know that your attitude can actually be kind of charming when you balance it with musicianship. That's why I say this. Because I can tell you that, even though I'm not one of them yet, there's a decent number of people who are quickly turning their backs on The Redeemable Nick Diamonds and His Band Called Islands. Do something about it.

Very sincerely yours,

Devon Maloney

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