Sunday, December 21, 2014

This Will Destroy You / Future Death at the Cat's Cradle Back Room - 11/3/2014

This Will Destroy You
with Future Death
Cat's Cradle Back Room
11/3/2014

A cold Monday night seems like a great time to enjoy a little post-rock.  I've only ever heard a few songs from This Will Destroy You, but a friend had a couple of guest list spots so why the hell not see some live music?  A four piece from Texas, it would be pretty easy to confuse them with Explosions in the Sky as they sound more or less exactly the same, at least to these untrained ears.  Not that I mind - good music is good music, and it's not like I'm ever going to get to see Explosions in a club the size of the Cat's Cradle Back Room ever again.  They were great live in the sense that the sound was incredible, but their "performance" wasn't anything to write home about.  I'd love to see one of these bands in a seated venue and paired with some sort of elaborate light show or visual display - I think it would go over like a honey pot on a bear's head. 

The band that opened for This Will Destroy You was called Future Death, also from Texas.  They were really two bands musically-speaking - some songs were noisy hardcore, others really off-kilter art pop.  Since the extent of my hardcore knowledge is Minor Threat and Circle Jerks I'm not sure what I would compare that version of the band to, but I'm guessing if you like the female-fronted heavy sounds of Perfect Pussy you'd probably dig it.  As for their other jams, it falls somewhere on the spectrum between Deerhoof and Guardian Alien; let it be said I'm not being racist with the Deerhoof comparison just because both bands have Asian women fronting them, some of Future Death's songs genuinely reminded me of them.  Please file all grievances with management.  

Before leaving I popped my head into the sold out Run the Jewels show happening in the main room and caught a couple of songs - hey, no one was watching the door, and what would it hurt?   The place was packed, it was hot and sweaty, and the music sounded great.  Seemed like El-P had lost his voice but he was still soldiering on, and Killer Mike was proving yet again he is the best that hip hop has to offer these days.  Gotta catch that full show next time. 

Whatever Brains / T0W3RS at Nice Price Books and Records - 9/19/2014

Whatever Brains
with T0W3RS
Nice Price Books and Records
9/19/2014

It had been a dog's year since I last saw T0W3RS - they were a full band at that time, playing very enjoyable, catchy indie pop.  These days all that remains from that iteration are the name and frontman Derek Torres.  Now T0W3RS is just a one-man band, with Derek singing (and sometimes playing guitar) along with recordings in a very theatrical fashion as if he was performing a one-man play.  The music has also taken a shift to something between Bowie-esque glam and modern electro-pop, but the tracks are just as catchy as ever - Torres has a real way with hooks.  The packed house seemed way into it, especially this weird hippy guy standing next to me who was possibly putting on an even bigger show than Derek. 

The reason for the season tonight was the release party for the new double EP by Whatever Brains.  Since each EP is one side of a regular 12" record I'm not sure why it isn't just considered a regular LP record, but the Brains have always done their own thing.  In keeping with tradition, each EP is named "Whatever Brains," so this now means they have five albums all named the same thing.  I should also say that they used a photo of mine for the cover of one of the EPs, which makes me happier than about anything that has ever happened in my life.  It's as if seeing this band dozens and dozens of times has finally paid off!  As for the show itself, they played most of their two new EPs, including the epic twenty plus minute long track "///////" which is based on a true story of hermit family living in the middle of nowhere in Siberia.  It was a super awesome fun time as per usual.  I think I'll even go see them play again in the future!