Biscuits, Triscuits…


Weekends fall like stones part 1
July 23, 2009, 10:46 pm
Filed under: music and musings

On Friday, July 17 I worked the door at a loft party in Bushwick. It was terribly hot and disgusting, I smelled awful afterwards and I was basically hated by most of the people who entered because who wants to pay money to go to someone’s house? I know I don’t.

It got me thinking though, because I’d started to wonder not why I go to shows but how I go to shows and still have a great time enjoying the music despite my height causing me sometimes to not even see the bands or get my ass kicked. During most of this show I was sitting and I couldn’t see, my back was mostly to the bands and I felt lost. I wished I could have been up there watching their faces and their fingers move or even just feeling the energy of the people in front of me (blocking my view) but alas I was stuck being door wench.

The first band of the night was Scary Living, a local four-piece who recently gained the magnificent drummer Sal Garro of Quiet Loudly. They had a really great full sound from what I could tell from being in the back of the loft.  There was wailing guitar, melodic and jangly with pinging drums to match the fluidity. I’ve learned that it’s hard to write about a band when you can’t pay that much attention and they don’t have a myspace page. But needless to say, I thought the vocals were pretty strong and was definitely interested in hearing more of them, possibly seeing them as well.

500 mA came on next with a distorted, noisy sound that could be completely overpoweringly loud were it not for the subtle details that grace their songs. The vocals are bathed in a bit of white noise and the guitar sounds winding and wire-y in a sparse way, despite the constant noise. The bass is low and fuzzy and mashes along wall with brutally tight drumming. Again I couldn’t see them at all, but I’ve seen them before and realized it took a couple songs at first to see that there is something there. Their myspace songs also barely do them justice, so it’s definitely worth seeing them live to get a feel for their sound.

San Francisco’s Trainwreck Riders was the following band, and by this point it was so gross and people were starting to get cranky at the door. People being me. There was this sweet twangy, quality to their tunes with heavy plodding bass and wailing vocals. There’s a slight Modest Mouse quality to the vocals and the chugging drums with twisty guitar parts but a more organic, roots-y feel to it. I wished I could have watched them, I feel like their live set is very different sounding than their album, which is clean cut and sounds awesome but live there felt like there was more action to the music.

I finally got to take a break, which was the deal that I would get to watch the next band, Mean Creek.  I have been following them for a while and I absolutely adore their sound. I think their new music is fantastic and they maintain this Americana, rock and roll, bold-folk style. Each song sounds epic, important and beautiful but not forceful or coarse in its message. Their tunes are soothing and explosive, harmonizing with male/female vocals and blasting thick drumbeats to break up their melodic, wailing guitars. With a slight Appalachian feel to their full-force vocals, the endearing four-piece never ceases to amaze me live.

Gunfight! performed last. I have written about them on numerous occasions, they are my best friends who wear bandanas, weird sunglasses and get practically nude on stage only to later embarrass themselves further by spitting beer at each other. The show though, was pretty great. They were totally on with their rocking post-country form. Newer songs with harmonies and an even more relaxed country rhythmic quality graced the walls of McKibbin. They keep their rocking, post-punk edge with heavy bass and clanging drums.

It was a bummer not being able to watch the bands and dance for most of the night. It was strange having my back turned to music and still being able to recognize something I liked in each band. I realized that though sometimes you may opt to sit down on the grass or a couch during a set instead of watching them, there’s still something about physically being a part of it, and I barely was on Friday night. But I still felt like everyone played a great set, and at least I got in for free! Zing!

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