Blame the Russian judge, salchow breath
Beating around the fur:
Sacramento’s Deftones released a new track this week, “Rocket Skates.” I wanted to know if this was some kind of Winter Olympics theme song—a tribute to Apolo Ohno?—or just a ditty about women’s roller derby. So, I visited www.deftones.com to investigate.
First, “Rocket Skates” will be the first single off Diamond Eyes, the band’s first album in four years, which drops on May 18. (By the way, this is the same day as Far’s first album since 1998, At Night We Live. May day, O.G. Sacto scene, no?)
Anyway, Deftones pulled a serious fail with “Rocket States”; a flood of visitors crashed www.deftones.com, and there were technical difficulties downloading the track.
Here’s what you’re missing: The usual Chino Moreno half-throat garble, him moaning such confusion as “You’re red soaking wet. / I’m right next to you. / Let’s writhe. / Let me see you trip. / That will keep you wet. / Let’s fall / in a long sadistic trance. / Put the keys / in our hands.”
But before the song gets vague to the point of being nebulous metal gobbledygook, Moreno cuts to the chase, screaming on the chorus: “Guns. / Razors. / Knives. / Fuck with me.” Word from the Deftones chat rooms is that Moreno actually scribbled these lyrics when he was in seventh grade—still, consider this as-yet-unconfirmed Internet gossip.
Anyway, Stephen Carpenter’s guitar—a ferocious palm-mute metal riff that gives way to the now predictable, throbbing, shoegazey chord strumming—is the song’s saving grace. (Nick Miller)
Saturday night was like a scene from Donnie Darko. I was alone, wandering the streets of Midtown—or was it downtown? Who knows? Needless to say, things were bizarre. The wind picked up and, like some kind of portal, I was whisked away to another place. A strange, rock ’n’ roll refuge beholden to neither time nor space.
The evening began in 1994 with Green Day. Confused, like in one of those nonsequential Lost episodes, I stood in front of all three members as the band rolled through their big hits. Hair was pomaded. Elbows locked and clicked, picks crunched against strings, sneers were sneered.
Then, it was suddenly 1966: Janis Joplin, as part of Big Brother & the Holding Company, a raspy chanteuse downing swigs of sugary Wild Turkey in between belts of “c’mon, c’mon, c’mon, c’mon.” The groove was thick. And still confusing.
1966’s mystery machine continued with the Monkees’ Davy Jones and Co., who took the stage looking uncannily like members of Knock Knock, the Four Eyes and Rock the Light. The crowd cheered their classic Cali pop sound.
Then, like a bolt of lightning exploding a flux capacitor, it was 1994, and Hole’s Courtney Love appeared, full band in tow. She repeatedly told the crowd to go fuck themselves while appeasing the masses with her only hits. Love somewhat resembled local performance-art musician-cum-deejay Mom.
And in the end, like a spaceship blasting out of an eyeball-shaped planet, San Francisco’s Journey ended the night with hits that didn’t quit. So strange. I remember hearing about these annual Halloween shows, which took place at the Loft, a former Midtown venue. I’m told the first one was in 1994.
The first Halloween jam was a “punk” theme. Later themes were “coke bands,” “yacht rock” and “Goths.” In 1998, Echo & the Bunnymen talked down a knife-wielding tweaker. Another year, themed “British Invasion,” George Michael seduced most of the ladies in attendance. Maybe. It’s all a blur, right?
Anyway, this Halloween night ended as it began: Back on the central city sidewalks, my mind erased, sans a few short-lived memories of California rock bygone. (N.M.)
No Love for holding the Sauce:
I purchased G. Love and Special Sauce tickets for my wife as a Valentine’s Day gift, thinking this would avoid the normal holiday clichés but still be romantic. The word love is in the band’s name, after all.
But what was supposed to be a laid-back and romantic evening started as a frenzied race to get to the gig: I mixed up the show’s date and realized this mistake with only 30 minutes to spare, leaving little time to make it to Harlow’s.
Still, the evening was great—until G. Love’s downbeat encore, which lasted nearly as long as the band’s set. It’s an odd practice to get the crowd worked up, then leave the stage, then come back and play subdued ballads that aren’t indicative of the group’s best, liveliest vibe. Thankfully, Harlow’s kept the Winter Olympics on at the bar to keep some of us awake. (Frank Miller)