Back in the old country we have a saying of great sagacity for which, sadly, there is no sufficient translation in English. A literal rendering goes something like this: For the making of whoopee or the tanning of hides, five hours is but an instant, but for the active consumption of live music, five hours is 154 minutes overlong. This is why Bruce Springsteen never opens for himself, and why I was among the few people to arrive promptly at First Avenue's Best New Bands of 2003 Showcase at 7:30 p.m. (okay, I was five minutes late) on January 14 and stay until the last note gave up the ghost shortly... More >>>