4 Knots is sort of a Monsters of Meh Fest for my cranky old ass. Christigau may have been an obstreperous old cuss, but at least he knew his shit. The last couple years of the voice curated Siren Fest were unspeakably nightmarish, and as they've paired with the Seaport this year It's certainly nice to not have to go all the way out to Coney Island to see a gang of overrated bands. And they were there in spades. I had seen Mr. Dream open for Archers at Webster and was firmly meh-d on them, Eleanor Friedberger (ex?-Fiery Furnaces) never did too much for me, and the two middle bands appeared to be a nightmare from cursory web perusal, as did the headliner, so a surgical strike seemed to be in order. Get In, see Titus, get the hell back to the couch.
Titus Andronicus get huge props from me from the jump for having the temerity to actually post the time that they were going to play. Duly informed, I rolled up and within five minutes Titus were up and throwing down. They attracted a pretty big crowd and the young kids seemed to dig them. They were ok, but sported some questionable arrangements. TA are a five piece. They have a guy who does keys and guitars, and while this was my first time seeing them, he seemed mostly extraneous: there were no times when they needed three guitars, and the keys seem just as easily played by the singer kid. There is also the Irish thing. Titus have opened the last couple of Pogues shows here in town and got positive feedback from people I know that have seen them, but they are certainly no Pogues, especially when the lions share of the Celtic stuff seemed to be canned and triggered via the keyboard, save for the Big Country type stuff the frontguy would do on guitar. They definitely had a couple songs that seemed well-written and seemed to be into it, but I would have been pissed if I had paid to the see the set. I would definitely go and see them play again for free, though and have picked up their records, so maybe tune in for a fitting of Emporer's New Clothes toward the end of the Summer. In the interim, you can find Titus Andronicus on the web here.