Wed 17 Sep – Japanther, Shearing Pinx
There's something quaintly kickass about paying $10 for a gig. Something delightfully indie/punk/fuck you about seeing live music three feet away from your face. No smoke machines, no raver laser lights, no holographic effects and flying robots that will do your taxes for you because you're a BIGRICHROCKBAND. Something fantastic and wonderful and oh-so-goddamn-underground.
Even if you get to the venue and THEN realize that everything in the venue is targeted towards people UNDER 21 years of age. Which means:
1. Colored-in pictures on the wall.
2. Some extremely little kids. I saw a baby in the audience at one point.
3. No booze.
I'm sorry people if anyone reads this and you were at the show and you were under 21. I'm an age snob. I like my gigs full of booze. I'm a dick. And a drunk. That's probably why I got divorced. Or because she's a bitch. The choice is yours.
For the first hour or so, I sulked at this show. I kicked the air. I frowned a lot. I pouted. I wanted to get drunk. I wanted to see some other non-minors in the audience. I felt like I was seeing myself 10 years down the line, "that old guy" at a concert where everyone is
dressed really well.
I even ran outside in between bands, looking for a bar or a liquor store. The only thing I found was a sign that said "No liquor around for miles you drunk fuck". That's when I gave up and just decided to have a good time.
And boy did I have a good fucking time. Even though I was sober. Even though I had thought there was only going to be one opening band. Even though I had been at the gym all day and my back legs and ass felt like someone had screwed me with a eucalyptus tree. By the end of the night, I had discovered how to be sober and still have fun at a gig. A longer version may follow for ktmrocks, but here's my 21st century ADD version of a gig review. In bullet perform. Complete with cocksucking internet acronyms. LOL. I'm joking.
The Raggedy Annes:
I heard a few people complain about this band at the end of the night. I don't know why. I thought they were original, tight and a great start to the show. They play a combination of swing/jazz/ragtime (I suck at genre-lizing music. I once called "Holy Molar", progressive synth rock noisecore). Vocalist with axe, lead guitarist, a bassist that looked really really sad, a drummer and an intermittent trumpet/clarinet player. They played a host of originals and at least one cover (Tom Waits). Good sound, tight band and the tightest MUSICIANS last night. Loved the lead guitarist of this band. Totally Ren and Stimpy intro. I love saying totally. Totally think that the wind guy needs to play more songs with the band. There was a moment where they broke into a Jewish jig that was very Todd Solondz. I was grinning like a dumbass. Best moment with this band: The closing song Ana Marie. Totally loved the vocal harmonization. Ok, I'm done saying totally. Only complaint: Maybe just a little degree of variation in the song writing.
I had no idea that there were more opening bands. When Strong Killings took the stage, I was expecting Japanther. I got all scared. I went out to go look at a venue schedule to make sure I wasn't at the wrong show. Then I realized they were another opening band.
Fucking blew me away. The best opening band without a doubt. Noisy, bass-driven with a drummer that made me want to say fuck you to immigration and go join a band. Hard-hitting, explosive and very very energetic. I got a chance to say hi to "Nate" the vocalist after their set. He told me that they only had a rough demo they self-recorded out right now. Why, guys, why? Loved the Dan Electro guitar. Loved the guitar "riffs". Best moment of the show: The opening song and Stegosaurus. Great stage presence. I am a certified fan of this band. Maybe I'll get to see them play again before fatass USCIS fucks my life up.
When Shearing Pinx got on stage I was pissed. I was so fucking tired and fucking pissed. Where the fuck was Japanther. I ate a candy bar. Then I ate some Whoppers. The Whoppers got stuck to my teeth. Then a group of people crowded the stage in front of me. My ass started to itch. I think I need new soap. Then Shearing Pinx started to tune their guitars. Did they really tune them? Does it even matter?
You know why?
Guess what Shearing Pinx turned out to be.
Think Arab on Radar having sex with Lightning Bolt while Steve Albini's guitar watches with a video camera.
Noise fucking core.
My metaphorical penis was hard and ready to go.
Two guitarists and a drummer. When they first started playing and losing sound and drumsticks, I winced, but they did explain that border patrol would not let them bring their own instruments over. Shearing Pinx is from Vancouver. That's right, Canada. Noisecore from Canada? Holy shit. I thought Canada was all about free health care and figure skating. Apparently they make kickass noisecore too. I know how much it sucks to have to play on someone else's instruments so mad props to these guys for still pulling off a wicked show. I don't know if many people in the audience liked it. But I was grinning like a jackass. Loved the discordant harmonization between the two guitarists. Also the only vocalist that dared tell the extremely bizarre sound crew at Vera to turn up the motherfucking vocals. Best moment: When the girl guitarist started tuning her guitar halfway through a song. Way to go guys. I sincerely hope you get to tour with bands that play the same type of music you do so that you reach a like-minded audience.
MY ONLY COMPLAINT ABOUT SHEARING PINX'S SET:
What was up with the gang of groupies that showed up for your set and then disappeared? If you're going to play a show with a group of other bands, hang out for everyone's show. Don't show up to shake a fist at your friends and then leave. That's just rude. If you did actually stay then fuck me. Not literally.
By the time Japanther took the stage I was ready to leave. I was tired as hell. I was hungry. And I hurt everywhere. But as I saw them set up and as the telephone microphones, the tape player and a whole host of gadgets came out, I was ready to go. Because Japanther was fucking amazing live.
First of all, they invited everyone on stage. A group of us went... and rocked out on stage with the band. I loved what Ian said "don't give a shit about what people will think, just have a good time" and so I did. Japanther is just two people and a casette player. They sang into yellow telephone headsets. They talked to the audience, made fun of those idiots in the audience that couldn't figure out how to turn their cocksucking portable devices off and joked incessantly. Ian acted out the samples and that was hilarious. Hearing these songs that I've been singing along to played live after so long was amazing. I think they sound WAY WAY WAY better live than they do on record. I danced, I sang, I made weird hand motions, my shorts almost fell off... but it was great. Best moments: When they invited everyone to hug each other and $100 Cover. $100 Cover has to be one of the best songs ever written.
MY ONLY COMPLAINT ABOUT JAPANTHER'S SET:
I'm all about having fun at a gig. But to me, moshing is the lowest form of fun there is. Moshing is something that jocks invented because they didn't know how to have fun at a rock and roll show. Moshing is something you do when you don't know how to dance. Moshing is the most neanderthal way to enjoy a rock and roll show there is. I am so fucking glad I stayed on stage and danced. I would have punched one of those hyperactive little shits if he/she would have bumped into me and pushed me just to live up to some pre-conceived notion of "how to show people I am a tr00 music fan at a concert LOL". I know, I know, I'm a 26 year old fart, a dinosaur, a relic... but screw you kids anyway. The whole point of going to a show is to watch the band play live and listen to the music. I looked at some of you in the audience and I swear to god, it didn't matter to you who was on stage. You were there just to punk and kick people.
TO THE SOUND TECHNICIANS AT VERA:
I didn't hear shit when it came to vocals. Seriously. I hope I'm not the first person to tell you this, but you need to rethink your sound strategy.
This review is all over the place. I'm hungry. I don't give a shit.
What the fuck was up with that beach ball?