4/17/09 Los Angeles, CA @ Synchronicity Space
Underground Railroad to Candyland
I was nervous going to an LA show at an Art Gallery. I had a haunting premonition that I might get trampled in an art snob hipster dance party. I thought I might feel like an alien loser the whole show but I met some down to earth and cool kids. I shared drinks, conversation, smiles.
Torrence, CA’s Joyce Manor were a last minute addition to the show and had 10 minutes to play. They were excited to be on the show and they were rushed. Those elements made them all boil over energy. They were fun and fast. Poppy punk with a Weasel influence. The melodies were more along the lines of The Thermals but more sing along style.
Seasick from Oakland played reverby surf punk. Their drums slid everywhere and I held them with my foot for two songs. I got knocked over. We got a big amp and placed it in front of the run away kick drum. Problem solved. I also picked up the mic once when it got knocked. I was on duty. I couldn’t hear the vocals very well. The drummer had it going on, keeping things popping like early beach boys on speed in sweaty plaid boxers.
URTCL from San Pedro is reminiscent of FYP and Toys That Kill (shared members). I’d say they experiment more with tempo in this band. They’re easier to nod your head to and more playful sounding. The tunes were full of jangling, catchy riffs and melodies. Very solid drumming. Awesome tall guy as second vocalist. Keyboard. Their set was great considering how well they played while people were mobbing them; singing along and going nuts.
Ninja Sonic was next from NYC. I couldn’t tell if they were just hype or hip hop. I lost interest in their self glorifying / gratifying nonsense.
Japanther closed the show. I have to admit, when they are on, they are a phenomenal live band. Their strained sweaty faces and body movements are primal and contagious. The music drives but still allows room for good old fashion, I don’t give a fuck who sees me dance pit. Pop hooks delivered with rudimentary rhythms and some electronic background make movement almost necessary. It’s interesting to see a band on the fringes of huge success. How much do they value the independent? How many rules will they make for themselves and how many mainstream standards might they resign to, if any? Will they just become a hipster band that kids in funny boots and head bands go to see and get fucked up? Will they stay in the van till they play?
“We’re Japanther, from Brooklyn New York. We know we’re assholes but lets forget that and tear the roof off this place!”
Well they recognized me and who doesn’t like to be recognized. Of course I danced.
After the show we went to a pie shop. I table dove fries that maybe the person who I thought had left them wasn’t done with yet. I think they just made a bathroom trip. Oops. I slept on the carpet of Madison’s apartment.