Arts and Culture » Our Critics Picks

Bad Friend

With a Little Help


Do you flake? Forget names or birthdays? Screen phone calls? Are you a bad friend? Stuart von Stein can sympathize. It’s the conundrum at the center of local shambling rock quintet Bad Friend. “People are always putting a guilt trip on you, and you feel if you don’t do this, you’re a bad friend,” von Stein says. “At the same time, how can you be a ‘bad friend’? Because a friend is a good person. And that’s tough to be.” Indeed, who are we to judge? As they point out in the somewhat undiplomatically titled “Taco,” “sometimes a bad friend can be a good friend too.” The song conjures memories of Dinosaur Jr.’s fuzzy, sun-baked warmth, Sebadoh’s ramshackle charm and the Pixies rhythmic thrum. Von Stein sings about a late-night hook-up arriving “without warning like some car crash/scam,” and confesses his worst nature: “It’s a lie when I say, ‘I’m lonely.’ It’s a lie when I say, ‘It’s strange.’ ” It’s here that a bad friend comes in handy. “It’s one instance where you don’t really know what’s good for you, and I think that tends to happen to a lot of us in the band,” von Stein says with a snicker. Read the full article here.
Tue., Aug. 12, 9 p.m., 2008

Add a comment