Thursday, December 14, 2017

Moon Duo / Birds Of Avalon at Kings - 10/8/2017

Moon Duo
With Birds Of Avalon

I wonder, is it weird that while on tour, you get to play one of the gigs at the club you own?  I'm guessing not a lot of bands have their own club at which to perform, but a third of Birds Of Avalon do - aka both of the guitarists, Paul and Cheetie.  Aside from my love of the band, the best part of BOA being the opening act is no one has to sit through them setting up their gear....between two drum kits and what I estimate to be roughly 4000 guitar pedals, it can be taxing.  Luckily, their music is good enough that it fixes everything - heavy psych/prog/pop with a shitload of vocal harmonies, I'm not sure it makes much sense on paper but it sure as shit does live.  The band just released a great new record called "Operator's Midnight," well worth checking out in my opinion. 

Here's my hot take on Moon Duo - they're terrible music for a basketball fantasy draft, their hypnotic take on krautrock caused me to space out and take a fourth mediocre point guard when I really needed to be drafting big men.  Much like Birds Of Avalon, they bathe themselves in trippy light projections that, while I have no concrete proof, were custom designed to frustrate my ability to take any worthwhile photos...but were pretty cool to watch otherwise.  Moon Duo are one of those bands that I rarely listen to recorded, but always make an effort to see live...that might be true of the style of music they play in general - it translates better to the stage than to tape. 

Guided By Voices at Motorco - 10/13/2017

Guided By Voices
To paraphrase Uncle Bob towards the end of the night - "This was billed as a night with Guided By Voices - our encore is longer than any opener we might have had!"  I mean, he's not wrong.  This write-up feels like it should be nothing but a bunch of short bullet points, basically the review version of GBV themselves. 

 - I left after two and a half hours...I felt like I had gotten my money's worth of Bob and company.  It's entirely possible they're still playing. 
 - According to, they played 52 songs.  Honestly, that number feels much lower than I would have guessed.
 - They played a lot of the last two records, but Bob also knows what most of the crowd wants to hear, and every three or four songs he's throw in a "Motor Away" or "Echoes Myron" or "My Valuable Hunting Knife" to re-energize the crowd. 
 - They played the national anthem before the band took the stage...I have no idea if this was an ironic decision or not. 
   It's possible no one knows. 

 - "KISS is the dumbest motherfucking band of all time."
 - He mentioned they already have a new album in the can for release in March and the demos for a double album that
   will be out next summer.  The man is a machine. 
 - Bob was much chattier and rantier than usual, giving Trump the business at every turn.  And plenty of entertainers as well. 
 - "With all due respect to the Foo Fighters, I hate the fucking Foo Fighters."
 - When I pointed out to the guy beside me that he was about to sit his hoodie into a pool of beer, he shrugged, sat it in the beer anyways, and then offered to share his vape pen with me - I politely declined.  The world is a weird place. 
 - "I bet Tom Brady never wrote a song in his life."

I'm so happy this band has been in my life for more than two decades. 

BODYKIT / Essex/Muro at Kings - 9/1/2017

with Essex/Muro

It seems like nearly every time BODYKIT has played lately, I've been out of town or already had tickets to something else - and that was going to hold true again for their upcoming Hopscotch performance as well.  Luckily, this last-minute benefit show for Charlottesville popped up...well, not lucky that the events of Charlottesville happened, or that Nazis still exist, but lucky for my eyes and ears.  As always, the two of them  (Rich and Josh) had set up their table full of electronics on the floor, away from bothersome intrusions like lights and sightlines.  Much to my delight and their chagrin though, there was still enough light coming from the stage that I managed to get a couple of decent photos of the band for the first time ever.  Take that, band who doesn't want their photo taken and I should totally respect that instead of being an asshole!  They still sound a lot like Liars to me (Liars of the past few years specifically, but less so their newest record "TFCF"), but as I've noted before this is not a genre of music I know a ton about and my comparison game is pretty limited.  They're heavy, they're distorted, they're electronic, there are samples, Rich sings and/or yells, and it makes me think of my early high school years listening to Ministry.  I may not be able to describe it, but I like it, and I'm excited they have a full-length record coming out soon. 

The only thing I knew about Essex Muro is they seem to play out a lot and they recently released an album on local label Sorry State - this lead me to believe that while it wasn't a forgone conclusion they were a hardcore band, the odds were heavily in that favor.   The verdict: they were a hardcore band.  Hardcore has never done a ton for me, but as far as the genre goes they were perfectly fine - the singer was excitable, the band played fast, and the set was short.