mewithoutYou / Owen / Despistado

mewithoutYou / Owen / Despistado: live in Chicagolive in Chicago (2004)
Tooth & Nail Records

Reviewer Rating: 2.5

Contributed by: JesseJesse
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Despistado started out the night by affirming everyone's claim that they're just a two-bit At The Drive In rip-off. They played generally boring songs that I thought took just as much from Q And Not U's No Kill No Beep Beep as they did from Relationship Of Command. The music itself is supposed to .

Despistado started out the night by affirming everyone's claim that they're just a two-bit At The Drive In rip-off. They played generally boring songs that I thought took just as much from Q And Not U's No Kill No Beep Beep as they did from Relationship Of Command. The music itself is supposed to be high-energy and exciting, even danceable at times, yet the entire crowd stood still and bored while they finished up their set. Nothing exciting, but hey, At The Drive-In and Q And Not U are good influences in my book. Just maybe not to the extent that they are played out with this band.

Mike Kinsella played next as Owen, just him and his guitar. Now this was the biggest let down of the evening, not Mike, but the crowd during his set. It was full of rude assholes here for mewithoutYou and fans of Owen, but the annoying kind. You know, the ones who sing along to every word, and sometimes feel the need to fill in a missing melody that appears on record but goes missing during an acoustic set. He started with an amazing cover of Nico's "These Days," and went on to play songs from his new record and some older ones too. Sorry, I'm not very familiar with Mike's solo work, but after the show I wanted to be. He is an amazing guitar player and writes some beautiful music complimented with his unique vocal stylings, all in all, a superb singer/songwriter who puts on a great live show that would have been better had the audience not been full of idiots.

mewithoutYou is a trainwreck. The music is nothing special, like a mashup of a mid-90s indie band with some guy who half sings half shouts (and does neither one well). I'd heard some tracks before the show, but had to leave during the first song due to them being a sloppy mess with no inherent desire to play on time with each other, or to play good music. It's like a band full of those kids in high school who always tried to be artistic even though they lack inherent talent.

Yeah, Despistado gets a 4, Owen gets an 8, mewithoutYou gets a 1. Averaged out, that equals 4 and 1/3. So I'm rounding it up due to the fact that Owen was really good. An overall 5.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (October 8, 2005)

The guy who wrote this review needs to quit going to shows and hit the textbooks because there is obviously a ton about music in general that he just doesn't get.

Anonymous (January 19, 2005)

hahahhahaha. that review was horrible.

"uh, yeah, i didn't like the book after the first chapter, so it sucks"

you're an idiot.

if you HAD stayed for mewithoutyou, you would have realized that the only reason you think they suck is because you have your head up your ass.

you would also realize that aaron weiss is one of the most original and entertaining frontmen of our time... have you even read the lyrics? probably not. because they're amazing. have you seen aaron weiss dance? probably not. it's hard to see a show when your head is up your ass.

and the comments about owen were retarded also.


the real idiots were at the graceland show, only like 15% of the people were even watching him, the rest were talking and making fun of him.

fuck you and your shitty musical taste, pre-bias, and... well, everything.

Anonymous (December 19, 2004)

This a horrible review for a decently credible website. You only watched one mewithoutyou song, therefore you are not at all in a position to judge them. Not to mention when you review a show you should review the live performance, not who you think the band rips off. In order to review a live show you should be farmiliar enough with the bands that you can compare them recorded to them live, you clearly were not farmiliar with ANY of these bands. I have no idea why this review is allowed to be up on this site.

Anonymous (November 30, 2004)

this show was pretty good in Iowa City the next day.

people should have been at the hot water music show the night this tour was in chicago. it was wicked.

Jesse (November 30, 2004)

I've heard the band before and didn't like them. They sounded even worse live.

lastlifenick (November 30, 2004)

I agree, I don't think anybody deserves a free pass either. I just don't think somebody can judge whether a band has no musical talent based off one song. That's a heavy indictment against broke ass professional musicians and before I made it I'd damn sure do so after I heard an entire set. I remember reading a review posted here about death cab, where they fucked up so badly on the first song they had to scrap it entirely...but they still got a favorable review because they made up for it.

Anchors (November 30, 2004)

Afu-Ra, rather.

Anchors (November 29, 2004)

Working your ass of is all fine and good, and just about every band not on a major has to do it to stay alive, but that doesn't mean you deserve a free pass if your music sucks.

And I really don't think the issue at hand here is "indie snobs" attempting to look diverse. I'm sure quite a few of the kids on here are really into hip hop, but the fact is most talented hip hop artists haven't released as seminal of an album as that one. Amazingly talented underground artists like Brother Ali, Af-Ra, Frog One and others release incredible stuff every day, but it doesn't receive the kind of exposure that album did. Thus, nobody thinks a review of their material is warranted, and when one single hip hop album is put on here, it seems so far out of place.

That's just my feeling, though.

lastlifenick (November 29, 2004)

Ok, that last post was a little muddled and doesn't really make sense unless you can translate through the typos... I like to post inebriated.

lastlifenick (November 29, 2004)

I do recognize the talent of The Wu-Tang Clan, and ODB was a frequent late night favorite of mine, hell, I even like the way Eminem holds nothing back. But the hype machine for rap music is giant, where as the none-pop coverage pretty much comes down to this. I guess it just makes me die a little each time a good band like mewithoutYou, who are broke and working their asses off gets torn apart because of one song, and a rap CD is praised on a punk site just so indie snobs can say "look how diverse my music taste is; i'm so good i can cross genres, i am open minded!" Also, anybody who has any knowledge of music knows that the sound on stage can be because of a few times; the band can fuck it up (last time i checked these bands were comprised of humans) or, which often happens, a bad sound guy can fuck it up (i've seen it happen to plenty of bands). For these reasons, it just seems unfair that these guys got ripped a new one. And if the review is for Owen, why not put a Polyvinyl label next to it? Judging whether one has "inherant" talent is a stance that cannot be taken lightly, and yet you did it after hearing one song at one show...just my two cents, as punknews is an open forum and all...

Anchors (November 29, 2004)

I'm not denying the relevancy, or talent of Rites Of Spring, Fugazi, or any of the like, but if you can't recognize the obvious talent of The Wu-Tang Clan, than you need to open your mind to music without chords or drum fills.

Rites Of Spring to this day remains one of my favorite bands of all time, but I can also recognize that hip hop has some talented musicians, and Wu Tang are at the top of that list.

lastlifenick (November 29, 2004)

I am just joking about the punknews dig, by the way. This site is a hell of a lot better than ap.net.

lastlifenick (November 29, 2004)

"garuentee" it? you must write for punknews...and yes if the wu-tang clan is better than fugazi, minor threat, sex pistols, beefeater, rites of spring, and social d, then i guess you do.

Anchors (November 29, 2004)

The Wu Tang Clan is better than anything you listen to, kid.

I personally garuantee it.

Jesse (November 28, 2004)

Hey, they really did suck that much.

Anonymous (November 28, 2004)

"Staff volunteer" - isn't that just another name for a dumb kid with an internet connection just to get free CD's and guestlist hook ups?

I think it says it all that you tore them up after listening to one fucking song.

Anonymous (November 28, 2004)

I do not agree with the opinions stated in this review. I have seen despistado numerous times, and they have always managed to be the highlight of the show for me, whether they were headlining or not.

Jesse (November 28, 2004)

The reason I don't get paid for writing reviews is that Punknews doesn't pay writers. I'm a staff volunteer. Not everyone likes my reviews, but some people do. If you don't like the review, go see the show yourself and write a review. Punknews is an open forum ?? basically the only website that's true to the forum form, and everyone is able to write a review.

And by saying that I have a shitty taste in music because I hold a hip-hop album in high regards makes you the one who is close minded. That album has some of the most intelligent lyrics and inventive catchy beats ever melded. Regardless, it all boils down to your opinion vs. my opinion ?? both of which hold the same amount of sway due to the fact that Punknews.org is an open forum website.

Anonymous (November 27, 2004)

wow you are retarded how could u compare q with these peeple... nothing alike

Anonymous (November 27, 2004)

"This album is hands down cemented permanently in my Top Ten records of ever." - Jesse on Wu Tang Clan

Oh, ok, never mind, I get it. You just have shitty taste in music. Oh and another thing, stop writing reviews that pretend that they are smart but just pander to the masses who want to see a slaughter.

Anonymous (November 27, 2004)

Wow, I've heard a lot of bands in my time...and mewithoutyou definitely stands out. Despistatdo and at the drive in? are you retarded? you must be, because you got mad at fans for getting into owens set by singing along. isn't that what people do? first they aren't into despistado enough, but then they are too into owen? wow, you write reviews for a fucking website. you think you are a lot more important than you really are. stop going into a show thinking you somebody that has a natural ear for good music, like j. robbins, or alex newport or something. there's a reason you don't get paid for your review: that reason is because you suck at writing them. a good critic goes into a show with an open mind where as you just wanted to fuck over some unknowns, and be too kind to a guy you already enjoyed because he's on a trendy label. just like scott, who loved slowdance records (which is an amazing label), but hated a lot of great bands that ended up on equal vision (his comments on the snake the crown the cross review are evidence of this). man. i swear, i really respect adam and aubin a lot, and i really really enjoy what adam has to say about the music industry. it just makes me sad that they hire the likes of yourself to write reviews.

PS: the reason you don't get paid to write show reviews is because you suck at writing.

darkstarm (November 26, 2004)

the atdi/despistado comparisons are blown way out of proportion. despistado is more dancy and bubbly than atdi, most of their tracks have a much looser and relaxed sound. the only thing that could be compared is the vocals, but it's not like at the drive in invented shouting. i think despistado is really quite original, and I am eagerly awaiting their LP, whenever that may come out. "the emergency response" is my EP of the year, easy.

darkstarm (November 26, 2004)

the atdi/despistado comparisons are blown way out of proportion. despistado is more dancy and bubbly than atdi, most of their tracks have a much looser and relaxed sound. the only thing that could be compared is the vocals, but it's not like at the drive in invented shouting. i think despistado is really quite original, and I am eagerly awaiting their LP, whenever that may come out. "the emergency response" is my EP of the year, easy.

Anonymous (November 26, 2004)

score is for review.

mewithoutYou is one of the tightest live bands you will ever see. maybe they started sloppy, but you didn't even stay for a whole song, and then wrote a review downing everything about them?

damn, you suck.

backupdork (November 26, 2004)

i hated Despitado. i thought they sounded like a terrible ska version of Q and not U.

owen opened with the smiths' (or morrisey's?) "Please Please Let Me Get What I Want" at the cleveland show. it was awesome. what wasn't awesome was the way the crowd acted during his set. they were talking and heckling him. he stopped a song to say "that's awesome how that cell phone is louder than i am. next song. i hope your call was important," and after the set, he said "thanks to everybody except that guy right there *points* who was talking the whole time." i was glad to hear The Ghost of What Should Have Been," even though he stopped it short. i wish he would have played "In the Morning Before Work."

it was my 8th time seeing mewithoutYou, and it was the first time i wasn't blown away. they are surely my favorite live band.

score is for the cranberry sauce.

ElVaquero (November 25, 2004)

good review.

Anonymous (November 24, 2004)

I saw Despistado open up of the Weakerthans in Cleveland and thought they put on an amazing set !! It may not be "too" overly original, but more interesting than a lot of the current "touring"bands out there. Jesse, I enjoyed the review, I think it's good to give an honest opinion, favorable or not, and better to have a review of a show than nothing at all !!


Jesse (November 24, 2004)

Whoa! Unmet agression! Time to respond to defend my honor!

"i can't get over how much of an asshole this guy is"

Really? I've been an asshole since I became a reviewer for this site like a year ago. You've got issues if it takes you a year to get over the fact that I'm an asshole.

"and getting mad at people for singing and having a good time?

were you just upset 'cause you had to go to this show alone?"

I'm mad at people who sing louder than the person on stage. I came to hear Mike Kinsella sing, not the pre-pubescent kid next to me. And to be honest, the real reason I went to this show is that my friend wanted to go and wanted me to go with her, so no, I was not upset because I was not alone.

Anonymous (November 24, 2004)

this review licks nuts. review the show and tell me about your PMS another day, try to smile sometime kiddo.

Anonymous (November 24, 2004)

i never really saw the despistado / atdi comparisons everyone makes either

Anonymous (November 24, 2004)

i can't get over how much of an asshole this guy is

"i had to leave..."

and getting mad at people for singing and having a good time?

were you just upset 'cause you had to go to this show alone?

Anonymous (November 24, 2004)

Score's for hating on Despistado. I've never understood why people harp on them for sounding like at the drive-in; i've seen them 15 times, and i don't think they sound like at the drive-in at all. Five stars to their full-length, which, if it ever comes out, will blow away your shitty hip-bands like owen and mewithoutyou...

Jesse (November 24, 2004)

I know Ted Leo better. I have more to write about him. I'm not very familiar with Owen.

Anonymous (November 24, 2004)

Half of the paragraph on Owen consists in you complaining about the crowd, you're pretentious enough to judge a band's performance in two minutes and the idea of an average for the show is lame.

Your review for Ted Leo is very good but in this one you sound like a whiny misanthropic elitist kid.

Anonymous (November 24, 2004)

score is for Owen being better than everybody else on this tour.

Anonymous (November 24, 2004)

this jesse kid sucks.

not everyone has the cash to go out and buy every cd that they think sounds good based on a fucking review.

if you read a review and can't find an mp3 or something do you just go buy the fucking record? i doubt it.

Anchors (November 23, 2004)

God damnit.

I knew somebody would call me on it.

bemused (November 23, 2004)

I like your writing style Jesse but you are one critical guy. Nearly every Cd you review gets half a star, and even your live reviews are heavily critical. There is no way mewithoutyou is as terrible as you make out, even if you don't like their style. They play quite an original formula, and are tighter than your little sister live. Score's for Mewithoutyou


matt81 (November 23, 2004)

Score is for Owen. Best band I've come across recently. I was a huge fan of American Football, but not a fan of Joan of Arc, although I haven't really heard much from them. Regardless, everyone needs to check Owen out. Really great stuff.

Jesse (November 23, 2004)

MIKE Kinsella.

Anchors (November 23, 2004)

Frito, check out Owen, you'll be doing yourself a favor.

It's Matt Kinsella of American Football/ Joan Of Arc, but sounds nothing like either.

Jesse (November 23, 2004)

I went to go see Owen. Polyvinyl (through Punknews) put me on the guestlist so I could write a review for Owen's live show.

Anonymous (November 23, 2004)

MeWithoutYou suck, but I would just have not gone to the show. Plenty of bands start sloppy and tighten up during their set... You can't declare that a band sucks just because they're not the best musicians. "They weren't even playing in time with each other!"? How many punk bands do?

Of course your reviews are still 10 times more intelligent than most of the others on this site, but you have to take stuff for what it is. I'm not going to review the Terror/Sick Of It All show, because I don't recognize/want to recognize the hugely popular Terror as art. So what's the point of reviewing a band you hate, besides just to piss their fans off?


fritobandito (November 23, 2004)

I don't know much about the Owen guy, but I personally like MeWithoutYou a hell of a lot. They'll be here mid-december (well, up in Baltimore), and I'll probably check it out.

Jesse (November 23, 2004)

Anchors - order it online then. It's not like Polyvinyl is some huge label who's just wadding themselves with dough made from CD sales.

Oh, and this guy, the one who said:
"yeah who is this cock sucking review, 1 song and you vanish, so you make up reviews to pass on trying to ruin a site"

Congratulations! That was the most incoherent insult I've ever received, and trust me, I've gotten some incoherent insults before.

Anchors (November 23, 2004)

I've told you this before, record stores in upstate NY are almost non-existant. I can't afford to spend 15 dollars on gas to take an hour trip to Syracuse for one record, that chances are they don't have anyway.

I love supporting bands, and own about 400 cds, but I can't afford to spend money on things I may not end up liking. It's easy for you to say Jesse, you work for this site, and have press kits, samplers, demos and entire cd's sent to you for free all the time. It doesn't quite work like that for those of us with jobs and other things to pay for.

If i were a millionaire, I'd spend half the money on albums for bands like this, just for the sake of support, but I don't have those kinds of resources. Not to even mention the fact that bands get next to nothing for cd's. I'd be helping them out a lot more if I bought a tshirt or something. At least then I know I'm not padding the pocket of anybody who works for a record label rather than the talent who put out the music.

Anonymous (November 23, 2004)

yeah who is this cock sucking review, 1 song and you vanish, so you make up reviews to pass on trying to ruin a site

TheOneTrueBill (November 23, 2004)

The Effigies show afterwards was better ;)

Anonymous (November 23, 2004)

Wow, what a terrible terrible review.

Anonymous (November 23, 2004)

Good review. Short and curt.

Jesse (November 23, 2004)

Yeah, because buying the album is way out of the question. Jesus man, fork out some dough for a starving artist. They're on Polyvinyl, it's not like it's going to be hard to find.

Anchors (November 23, 2004)

I read the Aloha review, and it sounds like something I'd be into.

Anywhere I could find that online? Nobody on Soulseek seems to have it.

Jesse (November 23, 2004)

You say this like this is a new type of review for me...

I'm not going to suffer through a terrible band's set for the sake of journalism. Music is supposed to be enjoyment. I was not enjoying it. I already saw what I came to see.

For the first comment, read the Aloha review. That ought to shut you up.

Anchors (November 23, 2004)

I hate you and all Jesse, and while I agree with about 10% of your viewpoints, your writing style shows you're an intelligent kid.

But I honestly thought this was written by somebody who's user name was going to be 'AsimpleSOTY182' or something to that affect. Granted, mewithoutyou is awful, but that shit was so short and choppy it hardly qualified as a review.

Come on man, if you hated the show or not, at least put some substance in the review.

Score's for Owen.

Anonymous (November 23, 2004)

YOU are a fucking trainwreck dude! Get a grip on your shitty taste and post something coherent! How do you write an intelligent review about a band when you leave after the first song? Holy shit dude....you suck!

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