Skilled gamers could have completed all the levels in Super Mario Bros. in the time it took San Diego’s GAMMA GAMMA to set up their eight-bit analog synthesizers. But the duo’s solar shades straight from ‘82 and their video-game beats and bleeps kept a small crowd grooving during an intimate show at Café Coda.
Chico synth geeks (all seven of them) united for the multimedia Atari-style dance party—complete with a makeshift video screen showing rapid-fire shots from old-school games like Rad Racer interspersed with dudes doing the robot and an oft-repeated clip of two women showing their tatas.
Synth player A-Drive and drummer Hexagon Sean produced a much larger sound than would seem possible from just two guys. With intermittent vocoder vocals and tight beats on both the skins and electronic drum pads, GAMMA GAMMA delivered spastic original tunes that managed to overcome the elaborate setup and campy theme.
Hexagon Sean later accompanied Chico’s Dr. Yes! on stage for an improvisational take on the local’s brand of white-boy funk. With a drum machine setting the pace for most of the songs, the pair breezed through a set of retro-sounding electric piano grooves, dreamy delay-laden vocals and soulful rhythms. Although there was very little interaction with the audience, Dr. Yes! and his dance-friendly vibe are the perfect complement to a summer house party.
Both performances helped pump up the laid-back mood established by opener Nice Monster. The Sacramento quartet played a blend of anti-climactic folk rock and quirky Pavement-esque songs. As their name suggests, they would probably tuck you in and sing you to sleep if you found them hiding under your bed.