Monday, March 19, 2012

Jello Pudding

Jello Biafra & the Guantanamo School of Medicine / Black Cobra / Pins Of Light
Thee Parkside, San Francisco
March 18, 2012

It was a cold night in San Francisco. It had also been 23 days since I last walked into a building to see a band play live. To be honest I don't feel like I missed anything; it was a good break. I don't go to Thee Parkside very often these days, but it was the perfect venue to visit after watching the season finale of The Walking Dead before I left Casa de Umlaut. Soon after entering Thee Parkside I was reminded that it just might be my favorite local venue, especially since there were a good number of familiar faces in attendance.

Pins Of Light were GREAT! I had heard good things about Pins and their debut album comes out on Alternative Tentacles this week (!). I’m happy to report I have a new favorite local band. Pins are not one of those bands who simply hop onstage and play. When Pins took the stage their energy detonated like a Punk neutron bomb. Unfortunately, I don't know the band members names; I guess it is Punk Rock to only list your first names online and not say who is who in the band... Anyway, Pins is anchored by a solid drummer (who I was told is a recent new member) and their bassist vocalist who holds the shit down. This pillar of volume is framed by two excellent guitarists, one of whom bounced around the stage like the second coming of Rick Nielsen. A great live band with songs to back it up and you also knew it was a good set when the bassist vocalist was standing in a puddle of spilled beer for the last couple of songs. If anybody who knows Pins is reading this please shoot me a message and tell me who is who in the band. Thanks... and the Pins Of Light record release show is on the 30th of this month in S.F. over at The Hemlock. Awesome.

Black Cobra were just back from playing at South By Southwest 2012 and this was the last show before their upcoming European and U.S. Tours with Corrosion Of Conformity in April and June. In between that they'll be with Fu Manchu in Australia and New Zealand in May. In recent years Black Cobra have become classic Road Dogs and all of their hard work is really paying off; tonight was the best Black Cobra hometown set that I’ve seen yet.

If you're lucky, there comes a time when you’ve followed a band long enough that they move to another level with their talent. When that happens it's an epipany of the highest order... and that happened to me tonight with Black Cobra. I’ve seen most of the band’s San Francisco shows since their first one in 2006... and tonight I’m proud to say my boys Jason and Rafa moved to that next level in my head. The epiphany hit me as the monolithic groove of the song 'Chronomega' enveloped Thee Parkside. I looked around and the entire room seemed to be either banging their heads or participating in the pit action at the front. It was magical because I remember a time not too long ago when an audience would stand still with their arms crossed while Black Cobra played. It helps that Jason has fully embraced his inner Nugent and become the front man he was meant to be and that Rafa has developed into an unholy hybrid of Buddy Rich and Philthy Animal Taylor on drums. At one point I literally said "Holy fuck..." after a song because the performance was so brutalicious; Photo Ray can confirm this.

As the dust settled we walked out to the patio and I saw a tall guy with glasses coming towards me and I said out loud "Brian Posehn?".... and BRIAN POSEHN said "Hey, how's it going!", shook my hand, and kept walking inside. What the fuck was Brian Posehn doing at Thee Parkside?? Ohhh, I guess he had a comedy gig across town. It was cool that he ducked out to see a local show while in town, right?


Anyway, after that very brief celebrity encounter, for some reason I was hungry and I ordered food from Thee Parkside's great kitchen on the patio. As I sat down at a bench with friends to quickly eat, Jello breezed past us wearing a goofy Victorian-era style long coat thing and left the building via the patio entrance. I predicted he was just going around to the front of the club to make his entrance for his set... and then not a minute later the music started inside. Jello is funny... and with that being said I watched 3 songs, Jello and the band sounded good, but I was tired and had to be up early for the Monday work day. I ducked out into the night, back to Casa de Umlaut, and was in bed by around midnight. I'm sure Jello and his band did a couple of Dead Kennedy's songs.. but that's alright.

If you bought one of every Black Cobra merch item you would have paid around $106. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called me a fag. I know I've taken Jello for granted more times than I've appreciated him. Trivia: Evidently the basic ingredients of Jell-O are:
  • gelatin
  • water
  • sugar
  • artificial flavors
  • artificial coloring