Sounds Four Shows, Four Weeks 16.2

Four Shows, Four Weeks
By Jennifer Sherowski
You might have noticed that people who work at magazines are always really, really cool. They live the dream life, you know? Cutting out early every day to catch art openings and VIP screenings across town; creeping into the office late after all-nighters in chic, backdoor clubs. But what you may not know is that this summer I went to four shows in four weeks. So hip.764-HERO and Carissa’s Weird
The Casbah: San Diego
It was the weekend of the Coachella Music Festival, so most people were off in the desert near Palm Springs catching acts like Oasis, Bjà®rk, and The Strokes. But ever since a scarring experience at Lollapalooza involving the contents of a “water bottle,” I’ve been deathly afraid of those huge outdoor concerts. And apparently eight or nine other people had that same fear, too, because that’s how many showed up at this show. It was so quiet you could hear planes landing at the nearby airport in between songs. But opening band Carissa’s Weird kept things moving with strange, ambient movements along the lines of Seam or Bedhead, captivating the vacant bar space with thick layers of buzzing vibrato. The lead singer was almost whispering, and the bass player-a dark, stick figure of a girl who looked tougher than nails-exhaled the most fragile and captivating backup vocals. For such quiet music, the sound was BIG. Even with all the empty club space-maybe because of it-the three-person band known as 764-HERO rocked out extra hard. David Atkins, the epitome of that one awkward kid you’d never pick to be a rock star, belted out lo-fi riffs in a way that made him drip with stage-hero appeal. It was amazing how his bright, unguarded voice and his guitar’s clear, warm sound came together-playing like twins reading each other’s thoughts. This was an amazing, secret show for those few who went. Best of all there was no scorching sun, no fights to get near the stage, and no chocolate “treats” for sale from a guy with bad hygiene. The Dwarves and The Real McKenzies
Berboti’s: Portland, Oregon
Let’s see … what do I remember about this performance? Oh yeah, the guitarist for The Dwarves didn’t seem to be wearing any clothes. He wasn’t completely naked, though, if you want to count the leather bondage mask. But first off, The Real McKenzies held up their end of the bargain with bagpipes and bratty punk beats-music for pints and punching people. “They’re better than Flogging Molly!” exclaimed legendary shredder Mike Estes after the last song died down, and it was true. It’s funny how bagpipes add an exciting, multicultural dimension to the most mundane of punk music. You couldn’t even make snide comments about all the guys wearing “skirts” because of how damn tough the music was. And they’re called kilts, damnit-how many times do I have to tell you? This was a dark punk show in keeping with the raw, smoky guts of the Portland bar where it went down. The Dwarves came on and had the had amps swelling with junky feedback, as spit, sweat-all manner of discharge-flew around the stage. The lead singer dove into the pit fists first and let the crowd get in its fair share of cheap shots before dragging himself back onstage. It was a solid 45 minutes of eardrum carnage, and I’m a better person because of it. Pedro The Lion and Damien Jurado
The Casbah: San Diego
Apparently people just haven’t warmed up to dancing at rock shows yet. There was a strange reluctance by the crowd at The Casbah to tap a foot or even bob a head to the cranked-up guitar rock coming from Seattle’s Damien Jurado and his band The Gathered In Song. Despite the lack of crowd involvement, Damien took advantage of the full house with a diverse portfolio of folky, narrative garage rock and sunburnt power pop. The band was bursting with energy … but the audience wasn’t quite channeling into it. I’d be racked with guilt for not telling you this, so here goes: I cut out before Pedro The Lion camon. There’s a whole string of brilliant excuses for this, but in my defense I sort of know what it would’ve sounded like. David Bazan, the frontman and until recently the only band member, plays melancholy lo-fi ‘core and sings about today’s spiritually dysfunctional landscape. He’s a born-again Christian, and it seeps out in the music-not quite “Christian rock” but stripped down, mournful tunes with the “darkness before dawn” theme. I bet it was serious, I bet it was captivating, and I bet it made the audience rethink the currency of their own spiritual bank account. The Promise Ring and The Weakerthans
The Scene: San Diego
Rarely does a live performance spark me to buy everything the band’s put out, but The Weakerthans did exactly that. The lead singer used to be in Propaghandi, and there was a major showing of politically sensitive hardcore kids at the event. This wasn’t hardcore, though, but winsome folk punk dragged in off the barren prairies of central Canada. It was strange, sad, bright music made more luminous with unique instruments like the saw and whirlywind. Upbeat rock jams detonated the sea of static heads. Slow songs leaked out in hollow waves, and the crowd, who knew the stuff word for word, sucked up every note. The Promise Ring finished off the night with self-deprecating humor and mellow tunes on the Elliott Smith tip. Todd Richards had warned me earlier, “The new Promise Ring album really sucks,” but after a few songs I began to realize that Wood/Water is just a different, more mature output-the kind people always hate at first. It was murky, almost Brit-rock-type music with dirty vocal effects and layered, warm guitars. I was kind of relieved to see the guys had finally switched up the power-pop formula but were still telling sweet, funny stories with their songs. On the other hand, I guess they’ll have to mourn no longer fitting into the infamous genre known as “Todd Richards Rock.” Mixtape Madness
Two fresh compilations to cop.
By Jack Orin Spilberg
4CE Concrete Beats, Volume 2
Wicked snowboard boots aren’t the only thing 4CE has pulled through with over the past year. Resident 4CE DJ J-Rocc of The World Famous Beat Junkies and the Mixwell crew blends the latest and greatest of the company’s notorious mix CDs. J-Rocc’s selections on the exclusive release are on the less jiggied-out tip, featuring more inspired and skilled hip-hop artists. Up in the Mix: Madlib, Mos Def, Dilated Peoples, Reflection Eternnal, KRS-One, Biz Markee, Beatnuts, De La Soul.Cop it: Call 4CE at (805) 641-6400, send a note to 50 W. Main St. Ventura, CA 93001, or go to 4CEfootwear.com to get your copy.Analog Mix Tape, Volume N.4, featuring A-Dog
DJ A-Dog slices and dices Analog’s masterpiece-of-a-mixtape album. Hailing from the East Coast, mixmaster A-Dog comes through with a ruthless set worth ten times its weight in ice. It’s a smoothed-out voyage from deep-cut funky tracks to hot, remixed instrumentals and fresh joints from some of the illest lyricists. Up in the mix: Nas, Jurassic 5, Dr. Dre, Fu Schnickens, Busta Rhymes, St. Germain, Mary J. Blige.Cop it: It’s promo only-you can get them from Burton if you know the right people.Sunday’s Best
The Californian
Polyvinyl Records
Sunday’s Best sure is proud to live in Los Angeles. With its second album The Californian, the band sings Cali-friendly songs like “The Salt Mines Of Santa Monica,” “Our Left Coast Ambitions,” and “The Californian.” But unlike smog, horrendously overpriced real estate, and the Clippers, California should be proud of this group. This album had me bobbing my head while dreaming of running through fields with my lover. The indie quartet revels in their hushed vocals and dreamy guitars-and although it’s not quite on par with the Pacific Ocean, fake boobs, or the 49ers, Californians won’t hesitate to call Sunday’s Best their own.-Gabe TaylorRepeat Offender: Karp
Mustaches Wild
K Records
If you’re a Black Sabbath or Melvins fan-and I would hate to meet the person who isn’t-you need this album. Hailing from Olympia, Washington, Karp is pure, unadulterated crunch. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say it’s one of the best albums to come out of post “grunge-era” Seattle. My favorite song, “13 Ways To A Cavity,” feels like someone rolled up a flannel shirt real tight and cracked ya in the ass with it. Of course, like any band worth a damn, Karp broke up a couple years back. One of the guitar players is now the lead singer of The Tight Bros From Way Back When. But be warned-if you’re a Tight Bros fan, don’t buy this expecting the same AC/DC-type rock ‘n’ roll sound-nothing could be further from it. This is more of a Melvins during their Gluey Porch Treatments-put-it-on-and-scare-the-crap-out-of-your-mom type record. To recap, if you don’t like songs that go, CHUNK-CHUNK-CHIGGITY-CHUNK, then stay away from Mustaches Wild. If you do, then run to your nearest record store and scream “I NEED KARP!” at the person behind the counter … at which point they’ll either hand the album over or punch you in the face. I hope for your sake it’s a punch in the face.-Chris CoyleThe Lukas Huffman Collection
Top five albums of all time:
1. I’ve definitely listened to Van Morrison’s Moondance more than any other album.
2. Metallica, Ride The Lightning. I’ve had this tape since f-king fourth grade.
3. Miles Davis, Kind Of Blue
4. Digital Underground, Sex Packets … way ahead of its time.
5. My DJ Ali Goulet mixtape, circa ’97-that thing is so worn out.
In his stereo now:
1. My Morning Jacket, Tennessee Fire
2. The Kings Of Convenience, Remixes
3. Pedro The Lion, Control
4. The Clash, The Clash
5. I always see what’s on the radio before I play any of my music.
Movie Mew-Sick Giveaway
It’s fall, and that means one thing … new shred videos! As you rip into the latest shrink-wrapped masterpiece, remember that directors are selling their souls for music rights these days. Have you been giving respect where it’s due? Tell us what snowboard films from the past feature these ten songs, and you could win a set of this season’s movies: Kingpin Productions’ Happy Hour, Xodus’ Voice, Standard’s Notice To Appear, Robot Food’s Afterbang, The Wildcat’s Nine Lives, and Mack Dawg’s Pulse. Include the video name, as well as the rider whose part the song was in, if applicable. Three lucky winners will be chosen from correct entries. Send entries to Movie Mew-Sick, TransWorld SNOWboarding, 353 Airport Road, Oceanside, CA 92054.
Primus: “Jerry Was A Race Car Driver”
Modest Mouse: “Came As A Rat”
Neil Young: “Heart Of Gold”
Dead Kennedys: “Holiday In Cambodia”
The Rolling Stones: “Paint It Black”
Mà®tley Crà…e: “Kick Start My Heart”
The Beatles: “A Day In The Life”
The Coup: “Dig It”
The Pixies: “Gigantic”
Good Riddance: “Sometimes”
If you’re a Black Sabbath or Melvins fan-and I would hate to meet the person who isn’t-you need this album. Hailing from Olympia, Washington, Karp is pure, unadulterated crunch. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say it’s one of the best albums to come out of post “grunge-era” Seattle. My favorite song, “13 Ways To A Cavity,” feels like someone rolled up a flannel shirt real tight and cracked ya in the ass with it. Of course, like any band worth a damn, Karp broke up a couple years back. One of the guitar players is now the lead singer of The Tight Bros From Way Back When. But be warned-if you’re a Tight Bros fan, don’t buy this expecting the same AC/DC-type rock ‘n’ roll sound-nothing could be further from it. This is more of a Melvins during their Gluey Porch Treatments-put-it-on-and-scare-the-crap-out-of-your-mom type record. To recap, if you don’t like songs that go, CHUNK-CHUNK-CHIGGITY-CHUNK, then stay away from Mustaches Wild. If you do, then run to your nearest record store and scream “I NEED KARP!” at the person behind the counter … at which point they’ll either hand the album over or punch you in the face. I hope for your sake it’s a punch in the face.-Chris CoyleThe Lukas Huffman Collection
Top five albums of all time:
1. I’ve definitely listened to Van Morrison’s Moondance more than any other album.
2. Metallica, Ride The Lightning. I’ve had this tape since f-king fourth grade.
3. Miles Davis, Kind Of Blue
4. Digital Underground, Sex Packets … way ahead of its time.
5. My DJ Ali Goulet mixtape, circa ’97-that thing is so worn out.
In his stereo now:
1. My Morning Jacket, Tennessee Fire
2. The Kings Of Convenience, Remixes
3. Pedro The Lion, Control
4. The Clash, The Clash
5. I always see what’s on the radio before I play any of my music.
Movie Mew-Sick Giveaway
It’s fall, and that means one thing … new shred videos! As you rip into the latest shrink-wrapped masterpiece, remember that directors are selling their souls for music rights these days. Have you been giving respect where it’s due? Tell us what snowboard films from the past feature these ten songs, and you could win a set of this season’s movies: Kingpin Productions’ Happy Hour, Xodus’ Voice, Standard’s Notice To Appear, Robot Food’s Afterbang, The Wildcat’s Nine Lives, and Mack Dawg’s Pulse. Include the video name, as well as the rider whose part the song was in, if applicable. Three lucky winners will be chosen from correct entries. Send entries to Movie Mew-Sick, TransWorld SNOWboarding, 353 Airport Road, Oceanside, CA 92054.
Primus: “Jerry Was A Race Car Driver”
Modest Mouse: “Came As A Rat”
Neil Young: “Heart Of Gold”
Dead Kennedys: “Holiday In Cambodia”
The Rolling Stones: “Paint It Black”
Mà®tley Crà…e: “Kick Start My Heart”
The Beatles: “A Day In The Life”
The Coup: “Dig It”
The Pixies: “Gigantic”
Good Riddance: “Sometimes”