The human mind has a funny way of disregarding the existence of certain things. Highway travelers don’t realize that the road outside of their cars is real until they have to stop in some desolate cornfield because their car-mate has to go to the bathroom. Soldiers don’t realize that their targets are (usually) human. I myself doubted the existence of East Lansing until last Thursday night, when I made the trip to see the punk band Pretty Girls Make Graves. An old friend of mine from high school wanted to meet his girlfriend at the concert so I, recognizing the young love more than the name of the band, played the part of the wheelman up to Michigan State University.
Getting there, I realized that I didn’t quite fit the profile of the average concert attendee. With the bassist of the recently-disbanded, uber-hip Murder City Devils playing as a permanent member of the band, the MSU concert hall was packed with so many scenesters it could have been a fire hazard. I looked over to my driving companion – damn, even he was wearing the uniform of this concert: dyed black hair and an obscure band T-shirt. Luckily, Andrea Zollo, the vocalist for Pretty Girls Make Graves, belted out music so gutsy that any fraternity pledge, any punk rock conformist, any 40-year-old could appreciate it.
An easy route to happiness is to start ironically enjoying really terrible things. Maybe you do it already – it’s how Wesley Willis, Captain Beefheart and TGI Friday’s became popular. With their perfect set list (sampling from the best of their two records), loud, raspy vocals and assaulting bass, Pretty Girls Make Graves will be your salvation from this trickery; they’ll be your new favorite band.