“The return of rock guitar.” It gets some underground music fans riled. Guitars rule/guitars are boring…just flip back and forth between these two viewpoints and you pretty much have the aesthetic credo that a band—rock or otherwise—will offer up as its reason for existing.
I like guitar bands. I like non-guitar bands. I also like great music.
This was a guitar-heavy show, to be sure. But these bands would have been a blast if they had been playing kazoos. It was not what they were playing but how.
The women and men of 2010 are playing familiar instruments in unfamiliar new ways and they deserve a close listen.
Blood Beach was really incredible. They opened with this epic, prog-like instrumental and then segued into a set of driving tunes (with vocals) that featured (at various times) guitar, theremin, and mandolin solos. Blood Beach brought back fond memories of Trumans Water and Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 but this was no oldies revival. That just means, in Carnage-speak, that “me likey Blood Beach.”
Sexhair was described to me by more than one person as “riot grrl.” As a shorthand description it works. Ladies + guitars + not trying to be pop…Another nostalgia trip/trap? No way. These young Portland women turned hand-me-down punk and blues riffs into a slow and low, grinding and glamorous sexual boogie that was way nastier and dangerous than anything the original grrls ever achieved.
White Fang was pure fun—drums, guitar, and rowdy vocalizing. I imagine that at a bar, after the crowd had a few rounds, this would have brought down the house. But Pehr is not a bar, so the reaction was a bit more muted. Ah, but I could see the wheels turning in the audience members’ heads as they listened. White Fang definitely planted a seed.
The Real Noriegas throw the whole guitar nostalgia thing out the window with their hip hop-referenced rock aesthetic. It may just be two guys, but with clever deployment of lead and rhythm guitar parts, dual vocals and noise, I could hear ghost bass lines, imaginary samples and actual passion. The Real Noriegas couldn’t have occurred in any other time period but NOW, yet they sound thoroughly timeless.
Don’t miss this Monday—it’s a very special presentation that’s taken months to coordinate. If you love new music, I think you will enjoy it…
Sean Carnage presents…
11:30pm Physical Forms
**New band featuring members of Mae Shi, Division Day, Hiking, Bad Dudes, featuring Busdriver…**
Starts 9:30pm / $5 / all-ages
Pehrspace—325 Glendale Blvd., in Historic Filipinotown
**THIS SHOW WILL START PROMPTLY & YOU WILL MISS IT IF YOU ARE LATE**
Image: Christopher Payne