Pimping shows for libidinous gals and bros
Sacramento, CA 95814
Ménage à gig:
Monogamy is generally preferable for show outings, but due to simultaneously intriguing offerings, live-music promiscuity was in order Friday night.
It began early at house show on the southern side of the grid. There, Pennsylvania’s Br’er hauled out an arsenal of instruments—harmonium, cello, Autoharp, clarinet, glockenspiel, ukulele—which induced excitement and anticipation, but ultimately didn’t stimulate. I wanted to like it and frontman Benjamin Schurr’s exaggerated foot stomping, but maybe I wasn’t there long enough to be sufficiently wooed.
And therein lies the problem with show hopping: You get intimate for three songs and split. You never really get to know the band’s set.
But Friday was about quantity—and dousing curiosity.
Halfway across Midtown at Luigi’s, I just missed Sea of Bees, but not Ellie Fortune, who did a jim-dandy job with an attentive crowd. Honcho Jesse Phillips was joined onstage, one at a time, by a full band: double bass, drums, guitar. Next, was Bay Area sextet Picture Atlantic. They’ve got a radio-ready sound, like a less inane version of Plain White T’s, and, honestly, they kinda cleared the room. P.A. may have fared better if they were booked at say, The Boardwalk, with a band like Eisley, vs. being wedged between local folkster Fortune and electro emoters Sister Crayon. (Oh, look, P.A. is playing with Eisley next month in SoCal. I win.)
The band did provide some highlights, though, including the guitarist’s emo-tastic leaning against the wall (see photo!), and waifish frontman Nikolaus Bartunek’s spazmatic moves and multitudinous, bizarre facial contortions.
The night continued a few blocks away at another house show, where many of the Luigi’s crowd also eventually migrated to see Robby Moncrieff (missed his set), Teddy Briggs (who earlier drummed for Fortune) and Neal Morgan, where I got up close and personal with his vocal-and-drums compositions in someone’s living room, maybe too close, embarrassingly flinching with each percussion.
In the end, gig licentiousness failed to offer much by way of connecting to the music I was witnessing, but at least did get to connect to the acquaintances at the shows, threefold. The choice to repeat the experience? It comes down to commitment, and not slutting it up too much. (Shoka)Do the splits:
Local punk trio Boats! has a new split 7-inch, which they did with the Enlows, on the very near horizon. The Boats! side features three songs, all under two minutes in length, which is at once punk and increasingly conducive to our flash ’n’ cash lifestyle.
The first new song, “A Why,” is something a little different: more retro ’80s and dissonant than the usual one-four-five punk structure, it has the energy of, say, a Drive Like Jehu rocker or, even, some of the stuff off the forthcoming Zach Hill/Nathan Williams Wavves album.
The other two tracks, however, get back to basics. “On My Mind” is a simple verse-chorus bruiser with some slick riff change-ups, the chorus screams also doubling as the song’s title. The final track, “Staph Infections” is equally “traditional” but nevertheless infectious, what with its 32-beat snare pops and simple punk-anthem vibe.
Boats! will play a Halloween show with Magi-Kool Doods and Spider Friends on Saturday, October 31. (Nick Miller)G.Green plays too much?:
I’m typically averse to local bands playing more than one show a month, but in the case of relatively new indie foursome G.Green, exceptions most certainly should be made. And no matter: Last week was only my second time seeing the band; they’ve definitely blossomed into an engaging group. And dangerous—especially when bassist Dylan Craver and guitarist Julian Elorduy crashed into the audience, then “flung” back onto the “stage,” only to “ricochet” back at the audience again.
Of course, unbridled horsing around inevitably leads to fuck-ups—which the last two songs of the set unequivocally were. Still, I dug G.Green’s vibe all the same.
Here’s why: Singer Andrew Henderson’s songs are short and sweet, his vocal styling increasingly less abrasive and, at this point, charming in its rawness. The more he learns how to work off the mic and sing from his belly, the more dynamic their already addictive songs will become.
Elorduy’s guitar runs—soaring, reverb-soaked, atmospheric harmonies—never grow old. Liz Liles pounds the kit, smiles and holds it all down when bassist Craver—the scene stealer—goes a bit too nuts.
The band will play a Handle District shopping-night show at Bows and Arrows on November 12. (N.M.)