Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Anti-Monday League Recap: Hostile Combover, Bob Wayne and His Outlaw Carnies, Waxy

Anti Monday League Recap: Hostile Combover, Bob Wayne and The Outlaw Carnies, Waxy, Ricksha.

First, let me start by saying there will not be a review of Ricksha as I walked into the Casbah during their last song. See, I would’ve been there on time, but it was raining so when I took city streets from Kensington to Middletown, I was making good time, but made the mistake of turning left from Washington to Hancock and a taxi basically forced me onto the freeway and the next exit isn’t until Front. Lame. I love driving in the rain.

Second band up was Waxy. I’ve been thinking hard about what I wanted to say about them because I liked their performance, I thought they were good, but they reminded me of a band I loved in high school that is so uncool that the band would twist my compliments as an insult, so I’ll skip the comparison and say that I liked their show. And they had lamps onstage. Every band should have lamps onstage. The drummer had a huge bass drum which was cool as they had projection lights onto it. Maybe this stuff isn’t important to you, but to me so many rock bands are just rock bands and really do a whole lotta nothing for me unless there is something to appreciate. I also appreciated that the singer/guitarist played guitar solos but they weren’t just gratuitous and actually fit with the songs, showing his skill without showing off. I got the feeling that this was a more mellow performance than usual which they did intentionally because the crowd was so sparse. Yeah, it rained in San Diego, so everyone was bunkered at home for fear of flooding or melting or something. He also commented that everyone there “must be in one of the other bands or unemployed.” No, actually some of us were there for a show of bands we haven’t otherwise seen and still had to get our asses up at the crack of dawn for work today.

Plans for the night switched and Hostile Combover was moved from playing in the Atari Lounge up to the main stage after Bob Wayne, so it seemed everyone in the Casbah had some part in changing over the stage to make sure there was time for everyone to play. Some dude from OB started talking to me telling me I was about to be blown away by the next band up. When he asked who I was there to see (Hostile Combover) I told him, and he was sure that after the show I would be so won over by the band. He told me that the band isn’t on a label, they record, produce, and sell all their records themselves and they’re only available at shows, and that the band is closely tied to Hank Williams III who has played on Bob’s albums and shared the same backing band. I prefer not knowing all of this before a band plays, but I tried not to let it influence my ear too much. Not too long later, Bob Wayne and The Outlaw Carnies took the stage.

I’ll just say that I’m neither a fan nor am I against Bob Wayne and the Outlaw Carnies. I loved his “carnies”, a guy who switched between mandolin and guitar and the other one who played stand up bass. Bob Wayne himself reminded me of Harley from Deadbolt with a dash of Elvis, though apparently Bob is a year my junior. The band are very much in the vein of Hank III, loving Johnny Cash, singing about the Devil being after them, and pretty standard themes of barfights, drunks, and even recovery. I know a lot of people like this music. For me, after a while, I’m not so much buying the act. I started thinking of Steve Poltz playing back in the day when he’d drink and go into his Dick’s Automotive type stuff and could pull off ad-libbing songs that sounded no more or less authentic than Bob Wayne, and when Steve did it everyone accepted that it was jokingly. And if I wanna listen to the country hillbilly rock, I’d rather take it even one more step and listen to Murder By Death who at least add something to a repetitive genre. Add to it that Bob Wayne was so kind to dedicate a song to the ladies in the house. I don’t remember the lyrics exactly but it was something to the effect of “when I come home, don’t start your bitchin, do us a favor and go back to the kitchen…you’re lucky I even came home at all”. Maybe I need to lighten up. Maybe he should save that song for when there’s more than 3 chicks in the room. I’ll leave this and say again, I don’t love or hate Bob Wayne, I think he’s playing a niche genre that high-fiving dudes from OB love and I think for his genre, he’s pretty average.

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The night closed out with Hostile Combover. Aside from Ricksha, it was the night for three piece bands. I have been meaning to see Hostile Combover for some time now. When Ben is working I would be watching someone super mellow like Damien Jurado or Jose Gonzalez, asking him about his shows and his eyes kinda looking at me like I was insane. “We’re really loud,” he would say, in a way to not insult my preferences of the softer side of music. So I was prepared for loud. I had my earplugs all set. But seriously, I had no idea they would blow me away like they did. So maybe the vocals were kinda drowned out. Just watching Ben on drums was enough to absorb. He looked like Animal from the Muppets times 1000. I heard comparisons to Helmet and Quicksand and I’ll go right along with both. We noticed that the crowd dropped significantly and while they played a good set, I was at home by 1 so I was fine. Today I’m a little sluggish, but nothing an afternoon coffee can’t fix.

When Blogger starts functioning, I will post pictures.

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