Saturday, June 02, 2007

One Plus One: A Night of (ALMOST) All Duos with Matt and Kim, Japanther, Mika Miko, and No Age Friday June 1, 2007 @ the Echo

Blarg. This should have been a week long concert going extravaganza, however Matt & Kim seemed to be the only stand out show worth making the effort for. The fact that I was witness to crowd surfing for the first time in forever was just one of the highlights Friday night over at the Echo.

There was a chance this show was going to (or had already) sold out so in an act of desperation we showed up at the Echo before the doors had even opened to try and get in. Waiting paid off, but getting there that early meant we would have to stay there for the next three or so hours. Usually this is horribly painful but tonight was an incredibly solid line up of bands that made sticking it out worth while.

What a night for duos. First up to play were Los Angeles guys NO AGE. They prove my point that two people can make a lot of melodic noise. Pounding the crap out of their instruments they still work through some interesting beats and harmonies. The great thing is that there is little difference between them live and their recorded stuff, it translates well, which sometimes can be a difficult task even for bands with years under their belts. I highly recommend going to see them, and you can if you're in the area on June 10 at the Smell, also playing with this band:

Mika Miko. They sound like a combination of late 70's NY new wave/punk and mid 90's lesbian hard core, except they look like they're 9th graders. This bizarre picture forming in your head right now actually produces some fun partying music. Scurrying around the stage, bent over instruments and telephone microphones, this group of girls pump out an obscene amount of energy that really got the crowd jumping around. And the crowds really do love them. They play constantly and chances are wherever you see a group of concert posters somewhere, their name will be on it.

Third up was Brooklyn based Japanther, the second duo for the night. Two guys with a bass and a drum kit and I'm pretty sure some sampling thrown in. They play hardcore anthem music that will make your ears bleed but you want to stay around and sing along. Lightning Bolt came to mind while watching them. Oh, and they had a telephone microphone too.

Headlining tonight was Matt and Kim, the third duo and second Brooklyn based band. These two kids are probably the happiest people on earth. I've heard this about them, but seeing them live, with Kim's giant grin plastered on her face the WHOLE time they played was kinda nuts. Their music is happy poppy indie stuff, sorta like Mates of State in reverse, except grittier, much grittier. The album hasn't seen much of the light of day but you couldn't tell with the crowd at the Echo, it was SO packed there with just wall to wall people. And it was wall to wall people pumping their arms in the air and singing along to the music. One thing about the songs they play is that they are catchy, but also seem meaningful somehow, like you can't help singing your heart out along to the words. And live, when you watch Matt belting out the lyrics it all seems connected. Anyways, tonight they played tracks off their EP and the full length including No More Long Years, Yea Yeah, Silver Tiles, and It's a Fact. And the whole time people crowd surfed. I'm not kidding, really, lots of people. The whole night was just waves of energy that culminated with probably the question, "How else can we show we're excited?" to which was answered, "We can dive off the stage."

The only downside of the night was the giant glass of beer that got accidentally poured down the front of me. GodDAMN there were a lot of people there.

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