Homeless frat party
The Brodys’ Web site (at www.thebrodys.com) offers a glimpse into Sacramento music history in the form of a lengthy gig list dating back to 1995. On the list are the band’s earliest gigs: house concerts and frat parties in Davis mostly, with the occasional Sacramento show at Old Ironsides or Café Paris thrown into the mix. From 1996 on, the site lists shows with such now-defunct and legendary local acts as Far, Magnolia Thunderfinger, the Amazing Sweethearts, Little Guilt Shrine and the Okra Pickles. Mixed in with those gigs are shows at high schools and private parties. (“Party at Jud’s House” on June 20, 1998, is followed by “Party at Tim’s House” on June 28; at least there were eight days to recover in between!)I don’t think the Brodys would dispute the fact that they are the world’s most perfect undergraduate-frat-house party band. Lead singer Tony Brusca’s trademark sunglasses (one lens busted out, perhaps in a beer brawl in some Greek-system front yard) speak volumes about the band’s approach to music: The Brodys exist to keep your attention and to ensure that you have a good time.
Nonetheless, there is a difference between the good times you have when you are in your 20s and the good times you have when you are in your 30s (or 40s, or 50s, etc.). So, I found myself in a rather cynical mood last weekend as the Brodys took the stage at Cesar Chavez Plaza (known affectionately to most local music fans as simply “the park”) after blistering sets by mod grunge rockers Dungeons & Drag Queens (featuring members of the Proles and mind-blowingly great drummer and sometimes SN&R contributor Eddie Jorgensen) and Clash-sound-alike punk rockers (in a good way) the Snobs. Could an older, curmudgeonlier Brodys still capture the drunken undergraduate grandeur of their younger days?
Simply put: You’re goddamned right they could.
From their fake 10-foot-tall, garishly painted amps to their infectious stage presence, the Brodys showed what they’ve done with the 10 years of experience they have accumulated: They have honed their stagecraft to a perfect gem of 100-percent entertainment. (As their Web site claims: “You will sleep well after a full night of the Brodys!”) Particularly interesting, given that it was a park show, was watching the usual gang of (assumedly) homeless folks grooving to the undergraduate pop tunes. Frankly, I found myself wishing that more of the seated families and music fans would take a clue from the freaks in the front and start dancing with the same glorious abandon. It certainly looked like they were having a good time of it, and I’m sure they slept well after that frat-party workout.
Bravo, Brodys. You’re still a damned fine pop band. And if I ever join a fraternity, you’ll be the first band I call.
In other news, Lee Bob Watson’s departure to the Orient on a six-month vacation has left a hole in the lineup of Jackpot. Rumor has it that James Finch Jr.—a singer-songwriter in his own right and one of the area’s best all-around instrumentalists—is at least temporarily replacing Watson in the band. It remains to be seen if this personnel change is permanent or temporary or if Watson will return to the band when he ventures stateside once again (rumor has it that he has left the band permanently).