Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Battle Of The Indie Bands #2

The sequel to Battle Of The Indie Bands #1!

Great American Music Hall, S.F.

March 10, 2005

There was an unusually high percentage of guys in the crowd wearing glasses (Guilty!). Now I know what I'm about to say will destroy all Indie Rock Cred that Umlaut had, but... I thought Slint were terribly boring.

Yes, yes I owned Slint's Spiderland CD 14 years ago. Yeah, I "got" them. But here in the 21st Century they did nothing for me. I honestly can't remember the last time I reacted so negatively to a band. Hope I die before I get old.

I suppose their inclusion on the Kids soundtrack 10 years ago might explain their large 2005 fan base (3 sold out nights)... 'cause I couldn't imagine most of the people in The House tonight hanging around Rough Trade Records on Haight St. in 1991.

The "Dieter!! Touch my monkey!" tone for the evening was set by the opening act Matmos. A trio alternately manning a Mac G4 laptop, a metal pipe and bongos, a guitar, and various other flotsam. They proved that just because you can afford a Mac G4 laptop, it doesn't mean you're a musician (Was that the sound of another nail in the coffin of Umlaut's Indie Cred?).

As a looped electronic beat streamed out of the G4, their set closing finale was to inflate 5 or 6 large white helium balloons and release them to the ceiling. I am not kidding. It was like watching 3 guys performing a circle jerk (to a looped electronic beat and samples of course). It's such a fine line between clever and stupid.

BEST QUOTE - Timo: "They could be doing this alone in their bedroom."

The weird energy of the evening was brought to a crescendo as Timo and I crossed Franklin St.: On the way back to the car, we weren't called fags, but someone from a passing car THREW AN EGG at us!! I am not kidding. The even weirder thing was the egg BOUNCED OFF of Timo and broke on the pavement! Good thing he had his force field activated. Weird scenes inside the goldmine. Take the highway West, baby.

Guitar Wolf
Bottom Of The Hill, S.F.

March 14, 2005

There was an unusually high percentage of Asians in the crowd (Guilty!). My favorite Guitar Wolf song is 'Zaaa Zaaa Asphalt'... I can't understand a lick of what they're saying.. but it doesn't matter. My Asian Bruthas have been together for 18 years and are still wasabi on 11!

That Techno music you listen to is GUTLESS! This is REAL... I know, I know.. The Valley was always good enough for you, blah blah blah (Name that movie...).

Twas hard to recall the last time I saw the sidewalk outside of B.O.T.H. so jammed with people who didn't have tickets to a sold out show. Twas also hard to recall the last time I saw the following events at a show:
  • A band's 2 roadies struggling to prevent a guitarist from throwing his Marshall half stack into the crowd as he got caught up in the Lock 'N Loll Frenzy.
  • A guitarist jump into the crowd and wade through the jam-packed room to the bar. As this happened, members of the audience held his guitar cord above their heads as he climbed onto the bar to play.. Wireless systems are for pussies!
  • After climbing up on the bar, the guitarist taking a leap back into the packed crowd, only to be caught and passed above their heads until he fell back onstage.. The whole time he played his guitar as he lay on his back above the crowd.
  • A band's 2 roadies, plus a club employee, carrying the guitarist off the stage because he was either too exhausted or fucked up to walk anymore.
  • After minutes of the crowd showing their approval by howling like wolves, the band jumping back onstage as if for the first time and ripping through 2 more songs.

Guitar Wolf are the REAL fucking deal. Rock Stars in the purest, uncut form. The antithesis of, say, Lars Ulrich. However, Seiji does have his own Epiphone signature model guitar in Japan.. and the band has a branded line of leather pants and jeans (natch!). Corporate Rock Rules!

Seiji is THE hardest working frontman in Show Biz!! A sweat-drenched 90+ minutes of mayhem, chaos, and laughter. I gladly forked over a mere $10 (TEN BUCKS) for a Guitar Wolf shirt... Twas not a gesture of consumerism, but respect.

Leather jackets with King Diamond painted on the back = 1. Denim vest with large Venom Black Metal patch sewn on back = 1. Rose Tattoo shirt (!!) = 1. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called me a fag. For the first time since 1992, I stood behind Jello Biafra at a show.

And The Winner Of The Battle Of The Indie Bands #2: Are you kidding?! Twas no fucking contest. The Asian Bruthas ROCKED!! And they will NEVER do you laundry or math homework. Ever.

Guitar Wolf: Toru, Seiji, and Billy
(From the Umlaut Archives)