Saturday, August 9, 2014

Throw Me, Babycakes

There was a grand show happening at Gallery 5.

After taking my hired mouth and a friend to dinner, I dropped her off at home at 8:10 and by 8:30 was strolling over to G5.

Unfortunately, having to eat for a living had prevented me from hearing a couple of friends' DJ sets but I heard she played a lot of amazing girl-fronted bands and he played a bunch of ambient soundscapes, so all I know is I missed some great stuff.

Playing first was Positive No with their dynamic front woman Tracy sporting a fabulous haircut, colorful tunic and high wattage smiles as she pogoed in place and sang in her dreamy voice over fuzzed out guitar.

"Because there's burlesque here sometimes, I'm seeing some really interesting stuff on the floor up here," she said. "Sequins I like to think once covered naughty bits, entire peel-off nails that look like fingernails."

She dedicated one song to their drummer Willis, saying it was his third to last show with the band, a real shame since I'm a big fan of his hard-hitting drumming.

By the end of their energetic set, everyone looked hot but Tracy said it best. "I welcome anyone to tell me where my mascara ended up on my face."

Guitarist Kenny volunteered, "I believe Boy George is DJ-ing at the Hat Factory tonight..."

"We'll all need to freshen up first," she cracked back.

During the break we had another guest DJ, but I spent my time chatting with friends about buying frilly underwear at Taboo, couples breaking up and not breaking up and whether it's okay to use someone's phone to respond as the phone owner or not.

A friend approached me to chat, leaning in and asking about the crowd, "Who are these people?" Very few were familiar to me, so I had no answer.

It was business as usual when Dave Watkins came onstage with his (handmade) dulcitar and looping pedals and began blowing minds by layering his music to make dense, atmospheric songs.

The three young girls next to me, each with a big "X" on her hand, were mesmerized and watched slack-jawed as Dave made music.

There were more than the usual number of photographers there tonight and I laughed watching them repeatedly shoot pictures of Dave performing.

No photograph is capable of capturing the magic and energy of a Dave Watkins set, but damn if they didn't try.

I could have told them they'd end up with shots of a handsome guy, his curly hair hanging over his forehead, concentrating on doing 12 things at once. Just doesn't convey.

During that break, a group of us got into a discussion of Interpol and how fans of the band can immediately name their favorite song or two.

What was striking was that three of us immediately named "Leif Erikson" as our top choice.

She swears that I was prey for the female
Well then hook me up and throw me, babycakes, cause I'd like to get hooked

My cute friend referred to Interpol as great road trip music and I told her that the first two Interpol albums live permanently in my car for just that reason.

A guy I see at so many shows came up to chat only to discover we have a mutual love of summer heat and disdain for air conditioning.

He lived 20 years in San Francisco and cited our warmer weather and lower cost of living as reasons why Richmond beats San Fran any day.

And for the second time tonight, a friend walked up and asked me sotto voice, "So who are all these people? I've never seen them at shows here before."

We had to guess that they'd read about the Hoax Hunters show and didn't want to miss it. We gave them credit for that.

Then it was on to the reason tonight was such a celebration: Hoax Hunters' "Comfort & Safety" record release show.

The album, which boasts the tin foil-looking Markel building on the cover was being played start to finish for tonight's lucky fans.

Band leader PJ began by thanking producer Allen for his infinite patience as they recorded the dozen songs, mostly hard and fast, always loud (I saw far more earplugs than usual tonight) and short, but with an assurance that was impressive to behold.

PJ rhapsodized about Richmond's scene, about how it was challenging to make it musically here but how that was the thing that drew him here.

"There's so much good music here now. This town has really transformed."

I still recall the first time I saw PJ, whom I knew as a band photographer (met him when I bought one of his Interpol photographs from him) and all around nice guy, play music onstage at Sprout three summers ago.

I'd been blown away with what stage presence he'd had, becoming someone very different than the sweet guy I knew.

That talent has only grown over the years as PJ has become a hell of a showman, pushing the mic stand away as if it's a bully on the playground and then snatching it back as if to say, where the hell do you think you're going?

Plus he has all the rock star guitar moves and faces to ensure you can't take your eyes off of him for fear you'll miss something epic.

True to form, at one point he knocked the mic stand over entirely, saying. "Sorry, James. Not sorry."

After that, PJ felt the need to tune before doing "Six/Five" and then inviting Dave Watkins onstage to play guitar (not dulcitar) with them.

After a raffle to give away a clear copy of the new album, PJ said, "We're going to reward those who stayed around with a song by a guy I recently took a selfie with."

Right there I knew he meant Bob Mould (saw the selfie on Facebook) and they tore through a Husker Du song with all the energy and volume of, well, Husker Du.

Based on what a stellar set they played, I think it's a safe bet that from now on, I'm going to hear a whole lot of "Who are these people?" at their shows as word about Hoax Hunters gets out.

PJ's right about how Richmond's scene has transformed. Killer bands like his made sure of that.

Hmm, wonder what his favorite Interpol song is?

No comments:

Post a Comment