Friday, March 28, 2008

They're Still Head Banging Over Here: 400 Blows, Tweak Bird, Ancestors @ Charlie O's March 21, 2008

One band I rave about but find hard to get people to listen to is 400 Blows. Either the person doesn't know the band, and when I explain what they sound like they do not want to go see them, OR they've heard of them and are scared to go and see them. I think I need to work on my explanation of the band a little more. I guess Loud doesn't cut it. I could throw in they have a good beat? ... You can dance to it? I dunno, anyways, this post, eventually, will be about Ancestors, Tweak Bird, and 400 Blows downtown over at Charlie O's.

LA Record loves to host shows at Charlie O's. The name, for me, is funny because it is the name of this crappy seafood restaurant/bar back in my home state of RI. And then to go to this wonderfully decrepit bar/club here, well, calling it Charlie O's instantly makes me twinge slightly. The memory still persists apparently.

K, so the first band up was Ancestors, a local band, which got an ok review from a friend of mine prior to the show. They play loud, slow, metal, droning rock.. and the singer/guitarist still HEAD BANGS. This amuses me for some reason. They were ok enough to listen to; live maybe better than recorded. I found them a slow choice to play with the other two bands tonight. But, whatever, it had been a LONG while since I've seen a band like this and I didn't' DISlike it, so...

2nd to play was Tweak Bird. Tweak Bird is a fun band that at first reminded me sorta of DFA1979, but somewhat harsher. And then a friend chimed in with "sounds like early era Rush except more metal...". Both, I find, work as descriptions. Their live show is pretty energetic, very sweaty and the losing clothing kind. Getting closer to the stage, one realizes however that the audio set up at the place sounds 'off' the closer to the stage you are. That can be fixed if you move off to the side though, or outside. It sounded pretty clear outside too. The one comment I'd like to reiterate about this band is this: SIGN THEM. Really, they would probably sell a bunch of records. They are good.

3rd and last was 400 Blows. Again, the audio comment. WTF was up with the vocal mix for them? Terrible. Getting someone to go see them for the first time and having to apologize for the way it was coming out into speakers was sad. Their performance was great except for that part, so distracting. Blarg.

Anyways, there's a 'secret' Jay Reatard show tonight. OH, and sorry for no live photos, I even had the camera out a one point but forgot.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Then, What IS Your Name?- The Ting Tings @ the Jensen Rec Center March 11, 2208

This is going to be a short post, for a couple reasons. Firstly, I'm going to a show tonight, therefore I'd like to have all my 'pending' reviews cleared out of the inbox. Second, this was a short show.

So, the Jensen Rec Center looks like a ratty shit hole on the outside, but inside is this uber slick artistic 'space' that they say you can turn into anything you'd like (to pay for). Maybe my superhero costume themed birthday party can take place here... I'll have to inquire about their fees. Anyways, since venues never like to post actual times up for bands, we showed up somewhat early, and in finding that the band was not scheduled to be on for another hour- and having no clue who the other bands were playing with, oh, sorry, tonight we came down to see the Ting Tings- perhaps I should have mentioned that at the start of this post. Although there will be a title when I finish writing this so I guess you would have read it.. there.. ok, moving forward, we ended up taking a detour drink break over at the Little Joy and happened upon a dead pony:

There seemed to be a miscommunication as to whether or not the Rec Center had a bar. Apparently it is event specific. They had one tonight, however, thank GOD I had some cheap PBR over at the LJ, cause drinks at the Rec were pricey. $10 is WAY too much, especially when it is a rec center.

So, tonight's show I guess was hyped up by a local popular radio station and, knowing that, was porportionately crowded. Oh! But they have air conditioning vents blasting up from the floor, which is clever- sorta. So we found one and parked ourselves stage right. We lucked out with some kinda less crowded bubble there unexpectedly. The side stage view was totally fine, she kept turning towards us during the set and the drummer was positioned so that he was pretty much looking to the side of the stage anyways. We were pleased, except for the camera flashes from the front, which made me do what I usually do not do, and that would be to shoot with the flash on.

The whole set I think lasted maybe 30 minutes. This would have been acceptable except for a few reasons. Mainly though that the price that was posted EVERYWHERE before the show turned out to be $2 MORE, even if you were showing up ONLY for that band 5 minutes before they started and had every intention of leaving as soon as they were done. I hate that, very much. Also, their outlandish drink prices. It was just irritating. But I will admit that the music was fun. The sheer hilarity of some of the lyrics shouted out above delayed music loops and possibly laquered chuck taylors was amusing. And it's always fun to bounce around a bit, I will never knock that. The fact though that when some music stations hype stuff ultimately leads to the price of the freaking air going up in price just for the event just seems abusive. However, it is a business and that's the way they choose to do theirs, and many people do not have a problem with it. I guess it's cheaper than the Staples Center. Eeesh.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Dork Out!- Nerf herder, Killola, Echo Hawk @ Safari Sam's March 7, 2008

Catch up time. I have another review sitting from last night, however, since this is steadily growing into a several day old show, by default- Nerf Herder.

Yeah, really, Nerf Herder. Like, from my high school days about a decade ago. That is one thing you can count on in this music blog, variety, and bands you've either never heard of or you thought had broken up years ago.

Right now, when describing a band as pop-punk, I usually get a sour taste in my mouth. It immediately makes me think Blink 182. That is the connection in my head pop-punk=blink 182. However, Nerf Herder comes from a time when pop-punk usually meant 'fun', like the Mr. T Experience or one of those bands. But for the sake of consistency and not seeming like I'm mixing terms, I'll refer to their style by their self described 'nerd rock', which is appropriate if i say their name and suddenly the image of Princess Leia calling Han Solo that jumps into your head- I know you're out there reading this....

Anyways so walking in to Safari Sam's we caught a set by Echo Hawk first. They were sorta a mixup with garage band mentality- and I do mean garage band, as in playing to some friends in a garage the night prior, and sorta drony stoner rock. Although they seemed pretty new to the stage (tuning between songs is ok if you can do it in 2 seconds not if it takes almost a minute), they did have an excellent drummer, a good beat, and catchy songs. So, there, just maybe some more time and they'll be a whole package. I liked them well enough and I stayed for the whole set. Unlike the next band...

Killola. There was some mixup of times for tonight because at 10:30 Nerf Herder was supposed to be playing and then some band comes on with a chick singer and me and my friend turn our heads and question if we are in fact really seeing Nerf Herder tonight or there is some sorta horrible mix up and we're forced to watch this band. Now, keeping this all in mind I was NOT giving this band a chance. At all. Cause I thought maybe enough time had passed that some sort of severe line up change had taken place and I was bound to hear 'Van Halen' played by a screaming woman's voice with bright yellow eyeshadow. But then they said they were thrilled to be playing with the band tonight and suddenly I felt really stupid to think that I could have thought I'd forgotten Nerf Herder so much that I was actually thinking that this was the shell of a band I once enjoyed, a long time ago. So stupid that I felt the need to share this embarrassing story with you all. So once we new we had at least 20 minutes to kill we left and got some air only to be accosted by some drunk dudes who went by names similar to Johnny B and the Lieutenant. Killola had a decent sized following this night, what with scores of kids singing along, but I just wasn't into it.

So if you don't feel like standing amongst a pitiful excuse for a mosh pit, there are some great balcony seats at Safari Sam's. I prefer the ones to the left of the stage... Looking at some notes I took while Nerf Herder played, the first idea I apparently had was that it's funny to see a band where the lead singer can be confused with the guy that changes the toner on your xerox machine at work. But that's the great thing about some of these dudes still playing in the band that you liked 10 years ago, they just seem normal and happy to be playing. That normality they portray in their awkward stage antics, or goofy lyrics is making some kid out there feel a little bit more secure with their current high school social status. Everyone is a nerd in Nerf Herder land, and that's fine. Tonight was great for the variety of people on the floor- fists punching, one finger pointing into space, and even, Primus Jackets. Oh, and the set was fun too. They insisted on their right to play new songs (they do have a new album), but did some old ones too (Diana, You're Gonna Be The One Who's Sorry, Pervert). It made me reminisce a little and made me realize how many other kinds of music I listen to now.

The only incredibly disturbing element to this night was the young girl who kept molesting this old man in front of the stage. To set the scene a little, earlier that night she was grooving by herself, dressed relatively nicely- nothing to indicate that later should would break into some kind of psychotic episode where she has to grind up against, and pull the small, white tufts of hair from a man upwards of 60. She, with her lack of general good taste in public, kept stealing the show. I had to make a mental note to close my gaping jaw at one point. Wow... you gotta love the people watching at these shows sometimes.