Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Plan A, Plan B

Let the season begin. I have waded in the James.

Mac and I walked down to Belle Isle and around it, past new steps for the Folk Fest stage, dodging weekday running warriors and bikini-clad students to stake out our claim on a rock and remove our shoes to revel in the impending arrival of summer.

The sparkling blue water wasn't anywhere near as cold as I'd anticipated, while the air didn't have nearly the distinctive briny smell we'd thrilled to when we'd walked the pipeline just last Friday, but so what? Some people were at work on a Monday morning and we were in the river.

Don't drink and drive
Take acid and teleport


Making our way up the grade toward Oregon Hill, that pithy piece of graffiti greeted us. Mac spotted a cache of new water bottles under the bridge, accompanied by a notebook paper sign inviting sweaty types like us to help ourselves. Hell, yea.

Further up Pine Street, we met Jake the beagle, a spry six year old who'd never been neutered, perhaps accounting for his swaggering attitude. Nothing wrong with a little swagger.

Plenty of it was in evidence tonight when I walked over to Strange Matter for a killer Monday night show of energetic pop-punk with two Seattle bands (one written up in Rolling Stone last week) and two Richmond bands.

Despite a musician friend saying, "People are afraid of a Monday night show," I knew I could count on seeing familiar faces ignoring the day of the week for the quality of the music.

Local but new to me was Atta Girl, succinctly described to me by the shoegaze master as "twee punk," meaning a wholesome looking front woman in a dress snarling over short, fast, loud songs.

For the record, it should be noted that only a twee punk ban would get the show started right on time, at precisely 9 p.m.

Playing out for the first time in ages was Positive No with a new bass player (see: shoegaze wizard) and drummer completing Tracey and Kenny's musical world, a very happy, brightly colored place with stellar music, kind of like their house.

She was especially excited about how many show-goers were wearing bright colors when usually S'Matter is a sea of black. Let's just say I'd known to wear a color like orange.

When Kenny's guitar strap came off mid-high energy song, she managed to reattach it while still singing every word of the song. It's no wonder he loves her.

The first Seattle band was Boyfriends (who claim to worship Freddy Mercury and host frequent nail-painting parties), my main competition in the legs department, since three of the guys wore shorts (the singer's were maybe two inches longer than his over-sized t-shirt) and the fourth guy had donned leopard leggings.

The bass player (who had the shortest shorts) announced, "I love Richmond. Today I found the Hello, Kitty earrings that I've been looking for for six months!"

It may have been Monday night, but of course everyone who'd come out stayed to hear Seattle's finest surf-punk feminist band, Tacocat - who, by the way,  bring their own Tacocat banner complete with a spaceship on it to hang behind the drummer - three women, one man, two brunettes, two blonds, two with blue/green hair, all sweaty as hell on this unseasonably warm April East Coast night they claimed was making them drowsy.

You'd never know it by the way they play their surfy guitars and sing lyrics only a woman would write dressed up in the sparkling pop mode of the Go-Gos, except with blue hair and bras showing.

I'm talking songs like "FDP" about the first day of your period ("Stay away from me!"). How about "Hey, You!" about street harassment? Don't get me started on "Men Explain Things to Me" because they do.

Only a service industry worker could have written "I Hate the Weekend," which lead singer Emily apparently is. When she said the next song was called "Internet," and a guy called out, "What's the Internet?" she retorted immediately, "Trolls!" Asking who in the room had been "teenage horse girls," only three women reluctantly raised their hands.

"Come on, I know you all were," Emily teased.

I wasn't - no, really - but I'm also not afraid of a Monday night show, especially when three of the bands are female-fronted (polka dots abounded) and Boyfriends may as well have been with their fashion style, lipstick and nail polish.

Thank goodness I wasn't shamed, having had the foresight to come home from Belle Isle and paint my toenails silver to kick off the season.

Lamenting her inability to attend tonight's show earlier, a friend had warned me, "Don't tell me how good it is! I love that Tacocat record so damn much."

There is nothing quite like female swagger to the fourth power to kick off a sunny week. Okay, I won't tell you.

No comments:

Post a Comment