With friends like these
A top-five memorable show of the year:
Bands usually want to play shows with their friends’ bands. I get this. But sometimes there’s nothing worse than sitting through a night of groups that sound alike, sometimes painfully so.
But Saturday’s Kill the Precedent, the CUF and Storytellers show way the hell out in Orangevale at The Boardwalk, however, broke the mold—and then sculpted it into something new, memorable. Attendance was modest, but the crowd was loyal and I didn’t take my eyes off any of the performances beginning to end.
This set was Storytellers’ third of the day, but it didn’t show because they closed out with the usual “Kung Fu” chops, an uptempo, rock-steady rocker, and there were as many ’goers near the stage as there were for their first song.
Living Legends founder Sunspot Jonz joined the CUF for one track of their sound-guy-cut-short set, which featured DJ Mad G on the turntables, doing things to The Boardwalk’s subwoofers that probably haven’t been done in a long, long time.
Pete B. was particularly inspired, cozying up to the front of the stage for his raps and egging on N8 the Gr8, R.J. and Crush. I personally could have watched this set for another 30 minutes; others in the crowd agreed.
The CUF are friends with Kill the Precedent, the evening’s headliners. They all used to play gigs at Distillery back in the day, when KTP was Diseptikons, Tha Fruitbat, Shots Fired and Red Tape—and other bands, too.
During the band’s cover of the Smiths’ “Death of a Disco Dancer,” two burlesque artists took the stage, smacked lead singers Twig and Sean Smith with their dominatrix whips and then bronco-rode lead guitarist Jesse Mitchell like he was an ax-wielding stripper pole.
So it was a lineup of friends in bands that don’t sound alike—what a concept! (Nick Miller)
RIP, Byron Blackburn:
I met Byron Blackburn and his wife, Kathy, in 2004. Byron and I clicked due to our mutual interests of jazz, Neil Young, pro wrestling and a few other quirks we had in common. And Byron became one of my closest friends.
He was rare in that he was both a great bassist and also a tireless promoter of Sacramento music. We played and put on concerts together around the area at several different venues, including Javalounge and Palms Playhouse. He constantly worked toward his vision of creating a better music culture. I can’t express how much his contributions mean to our music and arts community.
After fighting cancer for more than two years, he died peacefully on Friday night, September 17, at the age of 43. He was surrounded by friends and family. To say that he will be missed is a gross understatement. His death uproots a cornerstone of Sacramento culture.
Byron loved his wife more than anything, and even near the end of his life he looked forward to making music with friends. I’m very grateful that I was able to have the time with him that I did. Thank you, my friend. You may be physically gone, but your music and spirit will stay with us. (Ross Hammond)
Fleeting Joys is an unusual, industrial-rock duo, Rorika and John Loring, with a new self-produced album, Occult Radiance, which is fleetingly enjoyable: I like the more Ken Andrews bits than Evanescence digressions. Local producers Matt McCord and Chris Woodhouse play drums on two tracks each, including “You Are the Darkness,” which unexpectedly sounds like a Pains of Being Pure at Heart song. The rest is pleasant, but a bit too woozy on retro-’90s shoegaze.
Nick Reinhart (of Tera Melos) and Zach Hill’s new band, Bygones, has a new album, By-, a 10-track opus of spirited art thrash. A lot of critics have slapped Hill with the “unlistenable” tag, but those same scribes might be surprised at how lost they get in By-’s songs, which are of course in many ways like Frank Zappa tunes, save the absurd and riddley lyrics, enter fast-tempo aggression and experimental virtuosity. Hill is on tour as member of Wavves, with Ganglians, but maybe Bygones will play locally upon his return in October? (N.M.)