Sunday, November 11, 2007

Bands Of Brothers

Trivia: 3/4 of the bands in this post feature siblings in their lineups. Discuss amongst yourselves.

The Jesus & Mary Chain
The Fillmore, San Francisco
October 26, 2007

Band Of Brothers: Jim (vox) and William (guitar) Reid.

As I drank my beer (Thanks Raymond!) I remembered that 20 years ago (TWENTY YEARS!?) I was at The Fillmore seeing JMC... The Darklands Tour... The first time I saw a show at The Fillmore.. The Reid Brothers had a drum machine instead of a drummer. I'm sure I was drunk or stoned. These two nights at The Fillmore here in the 21st Century were the first JMC shows in S.F. in some years.

You know, Jesus & Mary Chain have been one of my favorite bands for a long, long time.. but I kinda look at them through rose-colored glasses because, truth be told, they've never been the most stellar live band. Tonight was no exception.

All the hits were rolled out... I mean, 'Head On' was the second song of the set.. and hearing others like 'Just Like Honey', 'Darklands', and 'Some Candy Talking' were gleat.. but I'm just not into the shoegazing stage demeanor at this point in my life; love the songs though.. I also still worship William Reid's guitar tone. Fookin' gleat, dontchaknow... Oh, and the drummer from Ride was onstage with them too.. and you know he's gazed at his shoes a good bit in the past.

If you bought one of every Jesus & Mary Chain merch item you would have paid $150. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called us fags. Speaking of cars: As we walked back to the car I received a text from Miatomic informing me that she had recovered her beloved car that had been stolen a month earlier!! STUNNING.

"... and the way I feel tonight, I could die and I wouldn't mind."

High On Fire / Mono
The Independent, San Francisco

October 28, 2007

High On Fire's latest album is their best one yet and the local lads have definitely taken things to the next level. Their two night homecoming stand at The Independent was a highlight of Umlaut's Rocktober calendar for sure, like, totally.

The Umlaut Nation was out in force on this evening, but my communication with everyone should have been better since I didn't know some of them were going to be there.. Sorry.. but a shout out to Todd, Lori, Timo, Johnny, Joey, Eric, Raymond, Robin, and John.

Under different circumstances I would have really dug Mono... but I just wasn't in the mood for bombastic Japanese rock instrumentals tonight. That being said I did venture to their merch table after their set to get one of their CDs, but the line was too long... so I bailed.

High On Fire remind me of another local Bay Area Metal band who rose out of the local scene many years ago. They have that same kind of fire and charisma onstage... Let's just hope Matt and company don't decide to film a self-serving documentary about their personal lives anytime soon. Just keep it about the music, lads... Keep it about the MUSIC.

Man, as much as I love High On Fire, their merch was really underwhelming; if only there was another merch company out there for them. If you bought one of every High On Fire merch item you would have paid over $315. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called us fags. Before the gig I realized that the laundromat on the corner of Divisadero / Hayes is now the fancy restaurant I've been hearing about for awhile. Wow... I need to get out more.

Slim's, San Francisco
October 29, 2007

Band Of Brothers: Joe (vox / guitar) and Mario (drums) Duplantier.

BONJOUR FRENCH METAL! This was Gojira's first visit to S.F. and, although they were 2nd on the bill, the crowd treated them as if they were the headliners (who, for the record, were Behemoth and Job For A Cowboy..). A chant of "Gojira!! Gojira!" started up before the band even hit the stage... and when they did hit the stage the packed crowd was going OFF from the first note. C'est manifique!

Fook me... but Gojira was the most brutal live band I've seen in awhile.. Machine like precision and monstrous stage presence. It was cool hearing a singer say "MERCI BEAUCOUP!!" but in a tone that other Metal singers say "MOTHERFUCKER!".. The French have such a beautiful way of saying things (*sigh*).

This was the type of show that reminded me why I love going to Metal shows most of all... In the line out front a couple of Metal kidz asked if they'd be able to get in even though they were under 18.. To quote Neil Young: "Old man, take a look at my life, I'm a lot like you were.." The kidz got in of course... However, Timo and I bailed after Gojira 'cause it was a Monday night... so I suppose we were fronting (as they say in The 'Hood).. but at least those kidz will carry on our Metal legacy. Go forth and do great things in the name of METAL, my lads.

Gojira only had 1 shirt, their 2 CDs, and their live DVD for sale.. but no prices were posted. Oh well. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called us fags. Ummm... I'm hungry for some French food right about now.. NO ONE does trout like the French, man. No one.

Redd Kross
Slim's, San Francisco
November 9, 2007

Band Of Brothers: Jeff (vox / guitar) and Steve (bass) McDonald.

Wow.. I couldn't believe it had been 10 years (TEN YEARS?!) since the last time Redd Kross played in S.F.!! Redd Kross are one of my all time favorite bands - Top 5 for sure. Remember when they'd open with their note perfect cover of 'Deuce' that included a perfect recreation of KISS' 1975 stage choreography? Me 2. Were you at the Butthole Surfers / Redd Kross show? Me 2! Did you see The Spirit Of '76 in the theater when it came out? ME 2!! Redd Kross are a band that takes me back to a very specific time in my life and their music reminds me of very specific people... but in a good way.

Twas the original Neurotica era lineup and they opened with some OLD songs: 'Linda Blair' > 'Annette's Got The Hits'.. It was a time warp, man... 'Annette's Got The Hits'! Wow.. Every time I've seen Redd Kross, since Day 1, I've always had a smile on my face during the show.. and here in the 21st Century it was no different.

Trivia: The 1984 Teen Babes From Monsanto record has only been released on CD as a 1992 Australian Tour CD. Good luck finding it... but I can burn it for you if you want. Umlaut went through a maniacal Redd Kross geek phase once upon a time... so I have all that stuff. Just lemme know.

The show was billed as "career spanning" and it was.. Pretty much all of the old hits were trotted out: 'Blow You A Kiss In The Wind', 'Annie's Gone', 'Jimmy's Fantasy', 'Frosted Flake', etc. etc. The kicker was the band played the songs in chronological order, which was a nice touch.. The band would play 2-3 songs from an early release, followed by 2-3 songs from the next record, and so on.. and then start the cycle over again. Besides that they also threw in a couple of surprises.

Back in The Day, Redd Kross were the quintessential Music Geek / Pop Culture band.. At their last S.F. show 10 years ago (TEN YEARS?!) they pulled out a cover of my fave Kinks song 'Til The End Of The Day'.. and here in the 21st Century they lived up to that by performing an out-of-left field cover of PJ Harvey's 'Rid Of Me'... Woah!

Of course, the set closed with 'Peach Kelli Pop'.. The definitive Redd Kross song, right? Dude, they played for 2 hours and it was so much fun seeing the McDonald brothers onstage again.. They may have cut off their matching waist-length hair years ago, but the spirit is still there. Dog Bless Them!

At one point Steve McDonald name checked S.F. clubs Redd Kross has played over the years: The Farm, The On Broadway, The I-Beam, The Kennel Club... Nicely done. R.I.P. all of them.

If you bought one of every Redd Kross merch item you would have paid $30; the 2 shirts for sale were the same ones they sold 10 years ago. Good thing someone kept them in their attic! On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called us fags. This was one of those shows that reminded me of where I've been... but in a good way.

"Laughing at all the assholes at The Rainbow flying high on coke... what a joke."