Monday, December 04, 2006

Weekend Recap: Ken Club Ska, WMMF, & Yuppie Rock

I didn't have a chance to even check my MySpace or blog yesterday because it was a packed day, but let's start with Saturday. Apologies for the ridiculously long post ahead.

After having been up until 4:30 or so on Saturday night/Sunday morning, it was a good day to be completely lazy, decorating my Christmas tree a little more, watching the extras of Clerks 2, and catching up on the Real World: Denver. I decided to take a late afternoon nap and was awaken a bit later by some crazy loud music. I assumed it was just an obnoxious car at the gas station across the street, but when it continued, I decided to investigate. In a little corner business strip across the street there was a full on dance party going on. Some woman who sounded like Kylie Minogue was singing and hollering out to the dancefloor things like "kids under 12, show me what you've got" and "teenagers! now dance with a partner! now dance with a stranger!" Weird shit. The kids all had similar moves and I think I heard them say they were from Evoke Dance Theatre (is that the same thing as Eveoke?) I don't know, it was weird and loud and then they wrapped up and then was an interpretive dance by 'Justin' and his fabulous jazz hands. I think this was part of the Art on Adams deal that I completely forgot to mention was going on all day Saturday. My apologies for totally missing that listing.

After watching 2 episodes of "My Boys" on TBS (the best new comedy on TV if you ask me), I decided it was time to be social. There were 3 ska bands at the Ken Club, and I'm not really a fan of ska, but I do it for you, dear readers.

The bar was extremely crowded when I arrived, but it was tolerable. The Christmas decorations were up and it's my favorite time of year because of how cozy the bar feels when decorated. I found some friends at the bar and we hung out for a while. I heard a little bit of the Fabulous Rudies and my friend Sebastian and I joked how ska is dead and ska bands just play the same old covers. Fine if you like ska but forgettable if you're not. Eventually the Hi-Lites were onstage. I made my way over and while not a fan of the genre in general, there's something to be said if a band can squeeze 10 people on that itty bitty stage and getting the skinheads to dance. Ska music is also really good for the bar...those kids can drink. So a fun night all in all. Afterward Scooter and Gabriel came over and we watched Clerks 2 until I crashed out around 4.

Come Sunday I was awaken by a call from my sister to meet for lunch at El Zarape. I also had a call from Pete. His message said they were at Rimac and he had no wheels, but was hoping to grab lunch at his favorite San Diego spot, El Zarape. I love coincidence. So I picked him up and we met my sister, Sara, and my brother in law at the taco shop. I haven't seen Pete in something like 7 years and I just recently found him on MySpace after hearing an old Sumack song on the radio and letting my curiousity take over. Over the years he's done drums for many big acts, including Cake. Apparently he was here at the Adams Avenue Street Fair in September playing with Greg Laswell, but I had no idea... Anyhow we had lunch and caught up until the road manager got antsy and I had to take him back to the tour busses at UCSD.

From Rimac, I headed to M-Theory to see "What Made Milwaukee Famous". They were an hour and a half late, but I would've missed them had they been on time. I missed their street scene performance but was really impressed with this instore appearance, although they could've gotten away with playing a bit longer to make it worth the 3 hour drive. Alex from Swim Party went to school with one of the guys, and apparently Daye and Andrea know them, too, so it was nice shooting the shit with them before and after they played. They really have a great sound and are one of those bands where I feel like a music retard and wonder why I don't have this CD. I grabbed a shirt from them and then Matt, Andrew, Andrea and I wandered around until we took of a while later. We passed the band on the way home as they made their way to El Zarape. How awesome would an El Zarape expansion be? Like maybe a location downtown? North Park?

We swung by my house to let my dog out, then were on our way to Rimac. (My third time driving there in the same day, in case you're keeping track) We had good "guests of the band" seats and Mike Doughty was really good. He and Pete had great onstage banter, too, and since it was the final show of the tour, the entire BNL crew came onstage to get Mike's autograph on random things...a trash can, a rubber chicken, a standup bass case... He played some Doughty solo stuff (Looking at the world from the bottom of a well), a couple Soul Coughing songs, some random sound mixing, and a cover of GnR. Good stuff and Mike's voice is amazing. They played in the very front of the stage in front of a curtain, which I hope they do again for Pete Yorn on Saturday.

Because it was the last night of the tour, Mike Doughty's band took off as soon as they were off stage and loaded their gear. I said goodbye to Pete but we stayed for the show. It's not really fair for me to review this show because there is nothing that I like about the Barenaked Ladies. Maybe I thought their performance would win me over. It did not. This is white bread music for white bread people who think the band is somehow witty or otherwise humourous and thereby brave. The floor was packed but they could've fit a lot of people in the "wallpaper" seats which makes me think that Rimac should offer day of show cheap seats for $10 or so. Bigger crowds always make better shows in large venues. Andrea said that Barenaked Ladies are like a wannabe Tenacious D, but lack the funny. We were fascinated by how crazy the crowd was going for them...dancing and fist pumping and even a little do-si-do here and there. This crowd is the epitome of the white tennis shoe crowd/teva wearing soccer moms and dads/minivan driving people who live in the suburbs- the kind of people that kept the Danielle Van Dam case in the headlines for months on end. I really thought I should give the band a shot and had planned on staying the whole show, but I couldn't take anymore of their on the spot raps and obnoxious sing songy banter mixed with joy to the world and random other crap. After about a half hour we left the show.

On our way out I tried to give someone our tickets to "upgrade" their seats as was once done to me at a James Taylor show, but people were perfectly fine being far from the stage, far from the action, which to me, speaks volumes about this band. We bumped into a guy who works at the venue who asked why we were leaving and we were honest about it all...he had fixed our seats earlier because they weren't secured before so we had already met him...we told him it wasn't our thing and he asked if we were coming this weekend for Primus and the 94/9 show. "We can't spend money on every show," Andrea told him. So he gave us his email and said he'd put us on the list for Primus. Nice. Because if you haven't guessed by now I will go to pretty much anything if it's free.

On the ride home, we listened to The Local 94/9 and on a whim, I turned to Rock 105.3's new program "The Inside Track", hosted by Scott Riggs, which was really good. Not even close to Rock 105's regular format so definitely give it a listen. I called in and won some tickets for the Belly Up tonight. Amos Lee and Mindy Smith. So I get to hang out with the white tennis shoe crowd again, but at least I know that I like both artists. I have an extra ticket if anyone wants to join me, just pop me an e-mail.

catch ya all later. and make sure to catch the catdirt and chickrawker recaps today, too. links to the right...


andrea said...

How is it poassible for one band to be so whack, Rosemary? I'm still trying to recover from the horror that is Bare Naked Ladies. Seeing Mike Doughty was soooo worth the trama, though.

Unknown said...

The Killers, Modest Mouse, The Raconteurs, The Shins, and Silversun Pickups @ Not So Silent Night 2006. (SF)


MM,Shins,Yorn,and Silversun Pickupin in La Jolla.

Looks like these are the best two holiday concerts. Which ones gonna be better and will 949 ever have an original lineup..?

Rosemary Bystrak said...

I don't really have the need to see the Killers again, especially after the weak 2nd release, so I'll go with San Diego getting the better lineup.

As far as 94/9 being "original", it is my understanding that the station was not even going to have a holiday concert until one of the bands approached them...Modest Mouse from what I've I don't know that "originality" can really exist when bands are booked by the same machine of agents and labels across the country. I'm just glad San Diego wasn't skipped over by some of these bands, and we get a Saturday night out of it, not some middle of the week crap, so I think we should be glad with what we've got...