© 2006 Jamie Zawinski
For posterity, here are the various mini concert reviews I
posted to my blog in 2006.
(See also my 2005 list.)
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
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
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
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
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 & 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
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
The Prids @ Hemlock
This was an awesome show, even though it was in a venue that was
half the size of my living room. After seeing this show I bought
their CDs and they became my
favorite band of the year.
They'll be playing at DNA Lounge in
Dresden Dolls @ Bimbo's
Always awesome. One of the few bands I will see on two consecutive nights.
Red Paintings @ Bimbo's
They opened for Dresden Dolls and sounded like Tool being covered by
Placebo with Dave Matthews singing. They weren't completely painful,
but they weren't very interesting either. The other band, whose name
I don't remember, was a guy making farting noises into a garden hose
connected to a flute. That was awesome, let me tell you.
Veruca Salt @ Du Nord
A great show that captured thei album sound really well. They
played a lot of new stuff this time. And they seem to be playing
smaller venues every time I see them...
Agent Sparks @ Du Nord
They opened for Veruca Salt, and were great -- their album made my
year-end list too.
Cansei De Ser Sexy @ Fillmore
They opened for Ladytron, and they're a lot of fun. Very energetic
New Model Army @ DNA Lounge
Always great. It was the full band this time, and since it was at DNA,
they sounded a lot better than last year.
Throwing Muses &
50 Foot Wave @ GAMH
The only line-up difference between Throwing Muses and 50 Foot Wave
is that they have different drummers. They also sound a lot alike,
though 50 Foot Wave is a bit harder. Anyway, this was a great show
because it was basically a double-length Throwing Muses show.