Monday, March 12, 2012

Bleached / The Black Belles at the Pinhook 2/9/2012

with The Black Belles
The Pinhook

Every time I go to Durham for a show, I tell my self I should go to Durham more often for a show.  In my brain it's a long drive, but it's actually closer than Chapel Hill/Carrboro.  Parking is easier, food trucks are everywhere, and usually the crowd is less irritating. 

I had been looking forward to this Bleached show for a little while.  Pretty much all I knew by them was their "Think of You" seven inch out on Art Fag, but that song is so damn catchy I was instantly sold on whatever shit they were shoveling.  the band is a four piece, with two blonde sisters fronting the band and a pair of dudes as the rhythm section.  You could probably argue that the songs all kinda sounded the same, but it was a good kind of same - catchy, cute fuzzed out power pop.  I gravitate to music of this ilk like moths to a flame, though it rarely kills me like flames are apt to do to moths.  Moths are stupid though.  I haven't read any other reviews, but I'm guessing this band has met a few Best Coast comparisons based simply on the layout of the group, but I'm not sure how similar their sounds are.  There are moments when I think of a female version of Mark Sultan/BBQ, there are other moments when I think of a female version of Gentleman Jess & His Men, and still more moments where they don't particularly sound like either of those groups, but still quite enjoyable.  As an added bonus, they played a cover of the Misfit's "Horror Business" and much good times singing along was had by all.

The Black Belles played before Bleached.  I honestly didn't know what to think - all I knew about them is they were a new band Jack White had a hand in getting out in the world, and they backed up Stephen Colbert one night on "The Colbert Report."  I can say this with 100% certainty - if you had asked me beforehand do I find goth witches hot, I probably would have said no.  After seeing this band play, I very much find goth witches hot.  Here's the thing - a hot girl is still a hot girl no matter how silly the outfit she is wearing is.  And really, the only silly part was the velvet hats, ain't nothing wrong with black dresses and stockings.  Their better songs definitely had a Jack White "vibe" to them, unless that's me reading too much into the connection.  They were all pretty decent musicians, but the drummer was especially fascinating to watch - she probably weighed 80 pounds wet, and when she really needed to get a loud pop from her bass drum she would basically stand up on the pedal as she hit it.  She also had a possessed look on her face the entire time, all while the rest of the band looked kinda indifferent.  In addition to their songs they played a cover oh Harry Nilsson's "Cuddly Toy," which was apparently also recorded and performed by the Monkees.  I should really be more well versed on my Monkees.  Given the whole package, the Black Belles were pretty entertaining. 

Whatever Brains / Day Creeper at Kings 1/27/2012

Whatever Brains
with Day Creeper

I'm all the time referring to people as creepers, from my days in San Francisco where the streets are filled to the brim with bums, street kids and creepers (these groups are not mutually exclusive).  So when a band from Ohio called Day Creeper is playing a free show at my local haunt Kings, why not get out of the house and see some music?  It didn't hurt that one of my very favorite local bands, Whatever Brains, were headlining the night. 

So, Day Creeper - pretty damn enjoyable.  They had a classic pop punk sound, and I mean late seventies classic.  It's almost like they yearned for the pop sheen of the Nerves but wrapped it in some Ramones simplicity and crunch.  All of the tracks were simple, catchy, and to the point.  Turns out they have released a seven inch through the great Tic Tac Totally, that's the sort of information I like to know going into the show not after I buy band merch, but either way it's a stamp of quality in my eyes.  The band seemed to be pretty well received by the rest of the rabble as well, and hopefully they sold merch to more people than just me.  I know I was spoiled from living in SF and Oakland for so long where bands like this thrive, but we don't get a lot of good garage/punk/power pop around here. 

I was just trying to describe Whatever Brains to a friend that lives in Spain, and the best I could come up with was "Imagine Les Savy Fav of they were more punk and less mentally stable."  I've lost track on how many times I've seen this band. but I'm pretty sure I've failed every time I've tried to write a review of their live show.  They're just so much in their own world musically that I'm too dumb to process my mental enjoyment into coherent words and sentences.  I know every time I see them live I think the myself that they are one of my favorite things in the entire world and I'm so glad they are local and play out a lot.  So that's my most recent entry into my pantheon of poor Whatever Brains reviews - this band is awesome.  The end.