A Public Service Announcement
Peste Noire is touring in North America. They're not coming to the U.S., which is a pity on the one hand 'cause I'd like to see them - I can't make it up to the Toronto show since I'm playing a solo set at home that night, but I would otherwise go even if it meant I had to eat ramen for a month. Peste Noire are one of the best metal bands around right now.
On the other hand, though, once I put my own personal wants aside, it's kind of not a pity that Peste Noire aren't coming to the U.S. It's more of a triumph. Look at those tour dates: if you're from the U.S., chances are high that you've only ever heard of five of the thirteen cities Peste Noire will be playing. That's kind of awesome. Most bands, for fairly obvious business reasons, run tour routes that are predictable and practical. Nobody who pays rent can fault any working band for doing exactly that. But I assume that most musicians, like myself, dream of a world in which it would be possible to launch ridiculous & memorable tours whose routings would be fanciful and creative but whose ledger sheets at the end wouldn't lead to profuse apologies to one's family or threatening notes from one's creditors. When I lived in Iowa, I used to joke about doing a full tour of the 99 counties; I wish I'd actually done it. Don't get me wrong: I'm certain that about 95 of the shows on such a tour would have turned out to be hard lessons in learning humility. But a tour like that would have been something to marvel at later. (Having no illusions about the cross-pollination between readers of this site & my other concern, let me say here that I have been giving long and hard thought to the question of what makes a show or a tour special ever since Zoop! last year, and that one possible answer to that question will be announced on Tuesday morning.)
I view this Peste Noire tour as something special. You don't have to make your living in the music business to look at those dates, bracketed as they are by a quote from Leviticus and titled as they are with imaginary or posited stages of the plague, and feel like art's been put way the hell ahead of commerce in planning it out. I could be wrong; maybe Chicoutimi is a huge-money gig & I've just never heard about it. But my suspicion is that a black metal band from France has just arranged for an extended holiday in Canada and decided to do something really cool while they were at it. Hails from LPTJ to Peste Noire for setting such a good example, and curses on the heads of any Canadian readers who don't show up in howling, drunken, infernal droves.
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