recent shows

I wish I was better at writing about music. Most of the reason I post these reviews is for the benefit of future-me, so that years from now I'll remember that I saw these shows (my brain is full). But with most bands I have tremendous difficulty describing them, or what I liked about them.

Anyway. Once more into the breach.

The Presets @ Mezzanine

    These guys were great. They are a drummer and a singer/keyboardist. Ash was excited that the guy's keyboard was one he had owned in the 80s, and he pointed out the gag that the keyboard has no presets. So there was actual playing of the keyboard going on, quite the novelty. These guys were a total time-machine band, transported bodily from the 1982 vicinity of Human League and Soft Cell. Looking around at the crowd, I was struck with the strong feeling that we were the only two people there enjoying the band completely non-ironically.

Ladytron @ Mezzanine

    Also a good show. I was impressed at how the two singers managed to not crack a smile the entire time, keeping up their deadpan mope the whole time, as if to say, "It is so sad. Being so glamorous." Someone kind of spoiled it for me by calling them "Electroclash ABBA". Ouch.

Sleater-Kinney @ GAMH

    Fantastic show. They rock. It was the first time I'd seen them live, and apparently they just broke up. Dammit. They sounded just like they do recorded. The thing I hadn't realized is that they don't have a bass player, which was surprising, since it doesn't sound like it.

    This show made me feel very old, very male, and very tall. The audience was a sea of pyramid belts and plumber-crack on 18-year-old lesbians.

Teenage Harlets @ BOTH
Teenage Bottle Rocket @ BOTH

    I remember enjoying these guys at the time, but now I can't remember a single thing about them. This is, sadly, often the case with modern punk bands.

Phenomenauts @ BOTH

    These guys are great fun, and always put on an entertaining show. Sci-fi rockabilly.

The Epoxies @ BOTH

    A huge favorite, who I've praised several times before. The world needs a Devo, and The Epoxies are there to fill that need. I thought the sound was kind of crappy for their set, though. It sounded fine for the first three bands, which is not usually how it goes.

Regina Spektor @ The Independent

    This was a good show; it was interesting how her live show made the songs seem a lot more like she was telling weird little stories than singing songs. It was mostly just her and a piano, and sometimes not even the piano, just singing and tapping on the mic. She's got a great voice, but there was a little too much Tori Amos-ish wanking, where she'd spend a while just sort of goofing off with her voice rather than singing, which reminded me of the way little kids sometimes just make funny noises because they can. That makes it sound bad, though; it was a really good show.

The Spores @ DNA Lounge, and 12 Galaxies

    This band is awesome. They're mostly a rock band with some electronics, and a very entertaining puppet show. They are weird and great and you should go see them.

Groovie Ghoulies @ DNA Lounge (Pop Roxx)

    The second coming of the Ramones, but even sillier. They're always worth seeing.

Death of a Party @ DNA Lounge (Swindle)
Bellmer Dolls @ DNA Lounge (Swindle)

    Now see, here's where I find writing about music really frustrating. I remember enjoying these bands, and most of the other bands that have played at Pop Roxx and Swindle, but I find it impossible to describe them. Or rather, I'd end up with the same description for most of them: rock bands, fairly energetic, and they sound a lot like (and dress exactly like) Joy Division. Which, you know, I don't really have a problem with, because there are worse things they could sound like, but it does make describing them pretty difficult for me.

Gram Rabbit @ The Independent

    This was one of the best shows I've seen in a while. I love the two albums I have, and they totally rocked live. The singer went through several bunny-themed costume changes, and they occasionally had spastic go-go dancers in full-on furry-pervert bunny suits. It was awesome. Go see this band!

Halou @ The Independent

    This was the first time I'd seen Halou since their terrible show at Mezzanine last year, so it was nice to see them playing on a sound system that actually worked. They sounded great, and I love their music. But, Halou is a pretty mellow band... following a rockin' band like Gram Rabbit was not the best idea, as it left me in a very un-Halou-like mood.
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11 Responses:

  1. kugelkopf says:

    i was at the presets/ladytron show and can up your number to 4 people enjoying the band non-ironically.

  2. If you liked The Presets, you may want to check out another Melbourne electro band, the Midnight Juggernauts. I heard a track ("Devil Within") from their most recent EP, and it sounds like what EBM would sound like if it was made not by computer geeks who identify as goths but by Vice hipsters in $400 sneakers with the sort of attitude only a serious coke habit can provide.

  3. silon says:

    "great", "good", "fantastic", "enjoying", "great fun", "huge favorite", "really good", "awesome", "always worth seeing", "enjoying", "awesome", "love their music"

    Aren't you the guy who hates everything? What happened to you?

    (Or did you only bother to note the shows you really liked?)

  4. purple_b says:

    and by GAMH you mean BOTH for TeenEpoxiNauts

  5. elliterati says:

    Sleater-Kinney uses a baritone guitar - sort of a long-necked guitar tuned down into bass range. When done properly, it fills up all the bass range, but still acts like rhythm guitar. When done improperly, it sounds like a bunch of fucking noise... which isn't always a bad thing...