Haters, lovers, spankers, fakers
Awards shows suck?: This Old Pistol is the best rock band in Sacramento. And I know this because I attended the “first annual” SacShows Local Music Awards at Empire last Sunday, where said band took home the big prize (side note: no such thing as “first annual.” Think about it.)
Anyway, a full disclosure: Awards shows are tough, both to put on and also to sit through. I also know this because SN&R puts on the Sammies each year. That said, props to SacShows giving recognition to the Sac scene and giving it the ol’ college try.
I wasn’t going to type a lick about the SacShows awards, because, as they say, if you don’t have anything nice to write … but then I read Laura Winn’s quasi-diss over at Sacramento Rock Music Examiner and, you know, just had to join in.
And with that: ding-ding! How the hell did some of these bands get nominated, let alone actually win? The only award This Old Pistol deserves to take home is “Best Derivative Bro Rock,” what with odes like “California” (“You’re bleeding through your eyes / but to my surprise / you say you want to stay / well I don’t care either way / I hate you / but California loves you”). Or maybe “Best Silverchair Cover Band”?
“Best Indie Band” went to Bidwell, four local dudes who get their hair cut by Kate Gosselin’s stylist. Oh, the music? Think saccharine mod buttrock, like their song “Sugar”: “If you bring the love / I’ll bring the sugar” they chant on the chorus. You’d rather have type 2 diabetes, trust me.
Still, it was nice to see Autumn Sky win “Best Acoustic Artist”; how can you hate on that girl winning anything? Well, I probably could find a way …
Speaking of which: The night ended with a local music producer laying into me for being exactly that: a local-scene hater. Maybe it’s true, but let’s at least put it to a vote? (Nick Miller)
One slice of pelvic thrust, hold the crack: Sub Pop’s Pissed Jeans took it all off last Monday at Luigi’s Fun Garden: Seriously, all hell broke loose when P.J. frontman Matt Korvette somberly removed his baby tee and partook in the most debauchery and hedonism any moderately priced pizza joint in Sac has ever seen. The band’s merciless brand of punk, delivered at a punishingly loud volume, was refreshing, though, and Korvette entertained, giving the air around him a good and long-overdue humping. I was seriously impressed at his mastery of this craft, as he performed with no ass crack to be seen (a lost art, really). Other such antics, like deep-throating the mic and making sweet love to various onstage items, hearkened of the late, great Lux Interior. Upon leaving I strongly considered visiting a therapist—or finding a good orgy. This is when I knew I’d seen a great show. (Lindsey Walker)
Mickey slip: Philadelphia-based singer Amanda Blank first hit the scene with Spank Rock, an East Coast rap group with a sound rooted in crunk, electroclash and party rap—if by “party” you mean the part where it’s 6 a.m., the lights are back on and you’re trying to figure out if someone slipped something in your drink.
Now, Blank’s solo debut, I Love You, is climbing up the charts, fueled by the public’s hunger for more Lady Gaga-styled dirty-girl dance pop. But, next to Gaga’s high-energy Red Bull-and-porn-styled pop, Blank’s lyrics and beats are lethargic and lazy. Here, she shamelessly appropriates Gaga’s pop-chart success, tries to rough it up with some Peaches-styled grit, but ends up with a sound and ethos that falls flat. It’s not sexy, it’s not provocative and, worse, it’s barely danceable. The songs spark only when the singer appropriates lyrics from the likes of LL Cool J and ’80s new wave band Romeo Void, but even hearing Blank coo “I might like you better if we slept together”—her voice robotic instead of sensual—is more depressing than hot. There’s just nothing intriguing, interesting or original about songs such as “Big Heavy” or “Lemme Get Some”—other than perhaps the disturbing sense that Blank is staging a dance-floor plea for someone to date-rape her. (Rachel Leibrock)
I’m sorry, Mr. Jackson: As a lifelong fan of M.J., I had myself psyched for the tribute night at Badlands last Friday, featuring a performance from impersonator Carlo Riley. Since the King of Pop hadn’t a single tour stop in the United States beyond my eighth birthday, this was as close as it gets.
It couldn’t have been further from the truth. As soon as Riley opened with “Billie Jean,” it was clear something was amiss. The footwork was there—and nothing else. His vacant and soulless stares were reminiscent of Britney at the VMAs. If Michael’s family could make up their damn minds about his burial, he’d have been rolling in his grave.
At night’s end, I spoke with Riley about his encounter with Michael Jackson in 2007—humble, funny, misunderstood—our shared enthusiasm for the real man the only saving grace of the evening. (Kimberly Brown)