Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category
In an act of unparalleled musical terrorism, San Diego bands Transfer and Family Wagon reduced local music venue the Casbah to rubble, broken glass and flailing limbs Saturday night. The bands, joined by Oakland’s Mister Loveless and local band the New Kinetics, descended upon the helpless venue with serious megatons of sonic fury and gnarly weapons of mass distortion. Not a single eardrum survived the melee.
This writer arrived in time to see Family Wagon take the stage, and was consequently blown back several yards by the band’s sheer intensity. Heel tapping and head bobbing kicked in by themselves, defying any attempt to stop them. Before long the scene was one of total annihilation of any people looking bored or not acting completely rowdy and riled up. Lead singer Calen Lucas made a performance out of flipping out righteously and crushing any semblance of sanity, and bassist Gareth Moore’s hair became the 6th member of the band as he redefined the motion ranges humans are capable of while holding a mahogany log. CDs were sold and stickers were passed out.
Transfer took what was left of the place and utterly smashed it with their set, which was part loud, electric fury, part intense vocal power, and part frightening volume levels. Besides their obviously high-impact stage show, their songs are extremely catchy and somewhat sing-along-able, unless one is stunned into silence as was the case with “White Horse” and “Wake to Sleep.” Listening to those is similar to standing in the middle of a hurricane while demons scream at you and pound on your head with giant drumsticks. The experience was traumatically awesome.
Acknowledgement of Long Delay in Posting
Seeing as it has been a little while (around 2 ½ years, give or take) since I have posted anything here, it really took an event of this magnitude to spark things up. To keep it short and sweet, the impetus here is two bands.
Transfer: The indie band you actually want to hear even though you know they’re an indie band
Take everything people don’t like about indie bands, throw it into a garbage bag and toss it into the cement bed of the LA river, because sometimes indie bands can be powerful, confident and put together. And no, they’re not venturing into lame underground hip-hop or being produced by Timbaland. Listen to this song, this song, and especially this song, and see whether you agree they may have the force to drive music blogs back into publication.
Family Wagon: The indie band that sort of makes you want to try shooting Southern Comfort
I have been acquainted with this southern-style rock band for roughly 40 hours, but I have faith they will be on your TV on a late-night show within a year or so, and will one day become one of those bands that headlines for an act they once opened for, causing all of their fans to exuberantly recount their rise to glory, a la those kids from Detroit Rock City. That’s because aside from their music being fun and loud, their stage presence ensures it is cheerfully rammed through your brain, with a toothy grin and a “you’re welcome, ma’am.”
Stay tuned for more rants, stale news, and unfounded musical armchair analysis. The ship has left port once again.
I got home at 1 am Thursday morning knowing I had to wake up in five hours, and the tinnitus roaring in my ears could probably have woken up the neighbors then and there. But I was extremely, utterly, brazenly happy.
I had just seen the Smashing Pumpkins live at the Viper Room. One of the most scarce, long-shot bands that also happened to define half of my generation’s high school, college and post-college experience had played less than 20 feet from me in a venue the size of a large studio apartment. There are a handful of lifetime events I decided long ago were essential in order for me to die happy, and this one just got slammed out of the park.
After making the crowd wait about three hours (except the die-hards who had been posted up outside since 7 am), The Corgan and ensemble trickled up the left side of the crowd and onto the stage, where they started up a feedback frenzy that could best be described as very fucking loud. (This is where the aforementioned tinnitus kicked in.) Corgan wore a thin, dark, long-sleeved shirt reading NATURE, which recalled his trademark ZERO shirt and made everyone feel back home in 1996. His head glistened like a well-polished agate.
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I thought the Palladium floor was going to break through during the brief minutes between the end of the Shins’ set and the encore. The crowd was screaming, stomping and chanting like wild animals, and I can only imagine the band was backstage feeling kind of frightened.
The Shins, a band I think everyone should see live before they die, Had just walked offstage after a fun, tight set at the Hollywood Palladium Sunday night, and the crowd immediately went from a mellow, jovial pack of smiling faces to a shrieking, frothing pile of freaks. I guess they didn’t want their serenity to end.
Going on after openers Delta Spirit (who is definitely worthy of their own review, just not over this lunch break), The Shins took the stage amid another uproar, accompanied by a couple of new band members. They started with “Australia” and a few other songs from their latest, Wincing the Night Away. Not to spend too much time on words (there’s a video here, too), they swept through a smooth, clean set of third, second and first-album favorites including the now-becoming-obligatory “New Slang,” “Phantom Limb” and the trippy-in-a-good-way “Sea Legs.” Aside from the album songs, the band also let everyone in on some of their newest material, including “Double Bubble” and the punchy “The Rifle’s Spiral,” which featured some sweet guitar hammering.
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