Sister acts and oddfellows rap
Punk sisters: Lucy Giles’ 17th birthday coincided with her band’s record release party—a night to beat prom by a long shot.
But instead of Dog Party fans delivering a celebratory cake to the stage—come on, fans!—it’s Lucy who actually provided chocolate cupcakes for the people. Pink frosting to match her pink hair, of course.
It was a Monday night, but the local sister duo of Lucy and Gwen still drew about 100 people to Harlow’s. The evening started out with a zippy set from Little Tents, a new-ish indie punk band with screamo elements. Pookie & The Poodlez, a classic Burger Records band, followed with low-fi garage punk encapsulated into one-minute, grimy pop songs. The hand-drawn backdrop of a puppy with a Slurpee sealed the deal.
But the show belonged to Dog Party—it’s what finally got everyone out of their damn seats, after all.
The indie punk sisters were celebrating the release of their fourth album,
Vol. 4, which is now out on cassette via Burger Records and on CD and vinyl via Asian Man Records. Produced by Chris Woodhouse (Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall), Vol. 4 sounds tight and polished, with 13 sassy, pop-punk tracks sure to please fans of 2013’s Lost Control.
Live, Lucy is a fireball to watch. Her wide, eyeliner-painted eyes compete with her cadence for top-tier expressiveness. She screams, squawks, squeals and laughs while she sings and drums. On guitar, Gwen provides structure. Duh, they work well together—they’ve been in the band for eight years.
As such, they’ve built a fanbase familiar with their work, and their set spanned their long music career. ”Peanut Butter Dream” and “Dead Guy” were two new, catchy songs performed with electric energy. “I Can’t Believe That You’re Real,” an Agent Ribbons cover, was another highlight from Vol. 4. But the crowd really got going when Gwen asked for requests—and she got more than she bargained for, as the set expanded to include one and then three and then six additional songs.
One of those additions was “The World Is Not A Game,” which Lucy said she wrote in the friggin’ fifth grade “because some kids were being mean.”
Oddly enough: Los Angeles hip-hop collective Odd Future is best known for a few top acts—Tyler, the Creator, Frank Ocean, Earl Sweatshirt—but its Harlow’s tour stop last Tuesday actually featured some artists not even signed to Odd Future Records.
Still, it was a pretty fun show. The crowd was young, energetic, mostly white and excited to be at an all ages hip-hop show. This being Odd Future, I had thought there would be more costumes. I didn’t see one horse head, although one guy was dressed like Hunter S. Thompson. The crowd seemed to know most of the words to most of the songs, and they all stood at the front of the stage—it was a small group, probably because the Golden State Warriors were in the process of winning the NBA championship at the same time—and danced like teenagers in the summertime.
Pyramid Vritra’s laid-back, slightly off-kilter and very introspective flow had me nodding, and I do like these modern-ass, psychedelic-type beats the kids are using these days. They make me feel like I am on drugs even when I am not on drugs.
Mike G. and Left Brain were cool, although I would have dug them a little more if their music tracks had been better prepared. Here’s a tip for all you aspiring rappers: take the lead vocals off of your performance tracks! No one wants to hear you rapping along to your CD—it might as well be karaoke at that point. Bizarre (of Eminem’s old group D-12) brought solid energy and closed out with a brazen, man-boobed, bare-chested romp through the almost classic song, “Purple Pills.”
Although I would have liked to see a local act or two on the bill—SpaceWalker and her loopy party beats would have fit right in—this show was pretty good. Yet again Sacramento managed to have a hip-hop show without any problems or violence or nothing. How about that? Shout out to Harlow’s and Abstract Entertainment for continuing to support live hip-hop and to all the young white kids who know all the words.