Friday, October 29, 2010

the dig and the henry clay people @ bottom of the hill 10.28.10

i missed most of the dig's set arguing about why 'the monitor' is the best album of 2010. i'm pretty sure i won the argument. however, i did catch their last two songs where they were joined onstage by joey, eric, and andy of the henry clay people. one of the songs was a neil young cover, and the other was an original. they both sounded great. the henry clay people didn't go on until after 11 seeing that this was their first headlining tour. i had to catch the bart though, so i didn't get to watch their whole set but what i saw made me very homesick. they opened with 'end of an empire' before going straight into 'nobody taught us to quit.' they then played 'rock in roll lost its teeth' which i had requested earlier in the night because for some reason its been stuck in my head and i've been singing it for the last two weeks. after that they played 'slow burn' which is hands down the best song on their latest album. at this point i told them i had to catch the bus and could only listen to one more song. i asked them if they could play 'andy sings' or 'can't hardly wait.' joey asked the audience if they wanted a shitty old song or replacements song, but they went with 'andy sings.' i guess they don't really play it anymore. as i was leaving they were about to start 'saturday night.' i am sure the rest of their set went as well as what i got to see. even though i only watched five songs, they reaffirmed its status as my favorite band.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

graf orlock, ghostlimb, godstomper, violent ruler, no statik and what we do is secret @ 924 gilman st. 10.22.10

it was nice to go back to gilman. my friend manny and i took the bus there. again, the public transportation in the bay area is my favorite thing about living up here. the show was supposed to start at 7:30 and we showed up a little after 8, and there were only like three people there so i didn't think the turn out was going to be too good, but i guess everyone knows to show up late because it didn't actually start unitl about 8:30. what we do is secret played first. they were okay, nothing about them really stood out. but they have potential. unfortunately no germs covers.
no statik played second. they were a female fronted hardcore band. they rocked a lot. their lead singer was very confrontational and was in the crowd the whole time(no one was safe). they were cool, i can't find a myspace for them though, but they're worth checking out if your research skills are better than mine.
the third band that played was called violent ruler. they got added to the show last minute. the lead singer said he was high on mushrooms. the guitar player had some technical difficulties to begin with, but managed to fix whatever was wrong by the second song. the other guitar player shredded though, so i would see them again.
godstomper was pretty funny. first of all their name is really brutal. second of all, before they played their drummer came out and perfectly sang luther vandross's 'always and forever'.
they were really awesome though. they are just two brother who thrash. it's drums and bass and sounded really cool. they talked too much between songs though which was kind of annoying.
i've only seen ghostlimb maybe one other time, but they really really good. the guitar player said they haven't played gliman in three years but that it was good to be back. he had problems with his guitar at first but once he got it started they jammed. this kid with a dead kennedy's shirt on was heckling the band the whole time. saying things like, "is this what all l.a bands are like." "oh my god cutest band in l.a." and finally the bass player was like i'm from san mateo. and the kid was like "san mateo sucks." and this went on the whole show. by ten minutes into their set everyone hated this kid, and the guitar player was like "ya know, he's alright. he's a little rough around the edges, but high school can do wonders for kids." the kid was like "what's the name of your band." the guitar player said, "we're the dead kennedy's but with a different singer." one dude that was standing behind the amps got so frustrated with the kid he just threw his water bottle at him. it was sadly funny. i thought the back and forth banter was hilarious. but because i was so entertained by that i didn't pay too much attention to ghostlimb's set. however, the do fucking rock and i wish i was more familiar with their recorded music.
graf orlock is one of my favorite hardcore bands. i remember when i first started going to hardcore shows, i hated most of them because i could never tell what the singer was saying and therefore was always somewhat bored, and unimpressed. but graf orlock changed that for me. from then on out i needed more from hardcore. or maybe i just loved the novelty, i'm not sure. either way, they fucking kill it. cinema grind at it's finest. "captives of the thuggee" was my favorite song last night. i love this band, and anyone who hasn't seen them live needs too.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

the lovely bad things - shark week

out of the ashes of curmudgeon comes the lovely bad things with their debut full length, shark week. the album begins with a moody instrumental intro before kicking it into high gear with "my kin." lead singer camron ward's vocals are super grungy painting a picture of 90's seattle teenagers dressed in flannel. bass player lauren curtis' ooh's become an instrument of their own, almost defining the sound of the album as well as the band - they're haunting and i like them. the catchiest song on the album which rounds out the A side is "cult life" which gets stuck in my head for days at a time. i can't help but sing along with, "there’s nothing like losing out so long/to the bad things, to the bad things i’ve done wrong/i’m leaving this place it’s not for me/please tell me, please tell me who are we?" On the B side 'surfing on skulls' has a really rock 'n' roll feel to it, making it really stand out. however, it's 'big sur' that has the catchiest guitar line on the whole album. not to mention lauren's vocals towards the end of the song almost remind me of bjork which rocks. tim hatch sings on the albums closing track showcasing the bands diversity. available on cassette tape from ultra vivid recordings, i think the label has one left so hop on it because they're hand numbered and limited to 50 and trust me you want one! for fans of the pixies, this is a great introduction to a promising young band. the artwork is by drummer brayden ward and is totally rad.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

joyce manor/summer vacation split 7"

muy autentico records just put out a split 7" by two of my favorite bands. joyce manor picks up where constant headache left off with holiday heart, a minute long pop punk slam dunk. in a change of pace, the bass player, matt, takes lead vocals on my elise. i really like this song a lot - especially the guitar solo at the end. they finish their side with dfhp? barry's vocals are super catchy: "can you climb on the roof/can you yell at the sky/can you see in the dark/can you stay up all night." summer vacation kick off their side with super orgy, a poppy jam filled with na-na-na's. i really like the dual vocals on don't panic, but summer vacations best song on this release is definitely the closer the many faces of mental chillness when mark sings, "you're a blessing/you're a curse/i hope we never marry/ i hope we never see each other again." barry did the artwork which looks great. these are limited to 300: 150 black/150 opaque yellow. i have the yellow vinyl it looks rad. grab these before they're gone!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Yi, Hard Girls, Big Kids @ The Yellow Room 10.02.10

so last may when the carpentry stopped having house shows in berkeley, i was super disapointed. that is, until last night when i went to the yellow room in oakland. it easily has one of the coolest most comfortable vibes out of any house show i've ever been to.

yi played first. they're from oakland, and sounded like really good hard rock 'n' roll. i couldn't hear the vocals very much, but it didn't seem to matter because they jammed so hard. the bass player plays without a pick which was cool. their guitar player is a rock star. he's the kid on the first day of kindergarten when you're looking around trying to decide who your friends are going to be for the next twelve years, and you see him and immediately know he's the coolest kid in class. i really like this band and would definitely see them again.
I have been wanting to see hard girls for about six months now, and was really glad to see that they were playing a house show with big kids. i've been looking forward to this show for a few weeks, and it was the reason i left hardly strictly bluegrass early, and the reason i passed on listening to the arcade fire on the hill at school. lets just say i made the right choice.

before their set the guys in hard girls were all joking around, and having fun. the drummer has a petrie tatoo from the land before time on his arm. it made me laugh really hard. hard girls is putting out a 7" on asian man records soon. i think this band is going to get pretty big. all their songs were awesome. they opened with 'quinceanera' which is my favorite song. both the guitar player and the bass player sing. the dual vocals are great. their set jammed. one of favorite new bands.
i have been listening to the songs on big kids' myspace religiously for the past few weeks. i was super excited to see them play. they definitely delivered, and didn't disappoint at all. they opened with '48th street' and then went into 'parents are still a handful.' all the songs were good. i don't know if you can tell by the picture but the drummer sings too, which was really cool. 'our team' was stuck in my head the rest of the night, and 'get motion!' was perfect. their sound has such a positive feeling to it. i haven't had an immediate love for a band like this in a long time. they are definitely my favorite band in the bay area.

this show reminded me of what it would have been like to see alkaline trio and against me! at an early house show before they both blew up. it was really something special. it made me feel lucky just to be there. the yellow room is perfect. i hope they have more shows here.

conor oberst @ hardly strictly bluegrass 10.02.10

this weekend was the tenth anniversary of the hardly strictly bluegrass festival. it's a completely free festival in golden gate park. people bring blankets and picnic, and just drink all day. it's one of the best free festivals i've ever been to. the stage that conor obest was playing on, was pretty deep into the park though, and it took about two hours on public transportation from berkeley to get there, but it was completely worth it. i couldn't really see him from where we were standing so we just found a comfortable spot, and sat down. i guess the felice brothers were his backing band, and they were really good. most of the songs he played were from cassadaga, and i'm wide awake it's morning. four winds sounded really good, so was train under water. there were a handful of songs i didn't recognize. i'm not sure if they were monsters of folk songs. i'm not too familiar with that album, and i don't think he played any mystic valley band song . . . so maybe they were new bright eyes songs? he ended the set perfectly with method acting and then poison oak. i've only seen bright eyes once, and last time i wanted them to play method acting really really bad, but they didn't so it was awesome to hear live. poison oak was stuck in my head for the entire trip home. i really love that song.