review by Ben Funkhouser
photos by Chona Kasinger
Saturday is a rad night for events. No school that day, and none the next. Last Saturday, the night was mine. I headed down to Healthy Times Fun Club with my friends for what was soon to be an excellent night of music, but not so excellent a night for me. Sorry, a band consisting of members of excellent Washington bands prior to forming Sorry (Yes, Oh Yes, The Pharmacy, Popular Shapes), who are also good buddies of mine, played first. Ryan Thompson, whose songwriting style reminds me of the Unicorns a bit, attacked the microphone with a foil to his usual calm personality. In short, the catchy, pop-punk played by Sorry was excellent, and their performance was super fun. Mighty Tiger played next, and I missed their set because I was being emo and hating my life out side. I wont go into details. I came back in the middle of A Million Years Ago‘s set. This band also has old friends in it, Jordan Morris is still in Yes, Oh Yes, and Dashel Schueler who perform(s)(ed) under his own name, are both old folk from Vashon, my home island. They sound really epic and good, but Jordan’s keyboard playing and songwriting style, while excellent, remind me a whole lot of Yes, Oh Yes. Brooklyn’s The Shivers set up. It was one guy, with a super thick New York accent. I couldn’t put my finger on his style. It was one guitar, and kind of pop kind of soul, with weirdness in between. Pretty good. T.v. coahran played next. This guy is a crazy good musician and composer, but tonight he was drunk, and played with an electric guitar, instead of acoustic, with reverbed vocals and effects. As a result, he just sounded like punk covers of his own songs, which sorta bummed me out. Good show, bad night.
Wednesday night, however, is a terrible night to go to a show. But Of Montreal and HEALTH were playing, and I was stoked. God, I was ready to lose my Kevin Barnes virginity, that night, expecting it to be amazing. And amazing is what I got. I waited in line for like, ever, until they let me. So I had screwed up printing the tickets, and the guard almost didn’t let my friend Billy in, but we figured out something about the backside of the ticket. All was well. We found our spot and waited. HEALTH took the stage, and with no talking ripped into their first song. Like one third of the crowd went nuts, and the rest stood dumbstruck and confused. Brutal. Hit single “Crimewave” was sequenced from the previous song, and holy shit was it awesome. They annihilated the Showbox SoDo in 30 minutes, talking only once, and only at the end. I heard so many people saying, “what the fuck was that” or “that was awful, it was just noise….” I had a laugh, and waited for like 100,000,000 more minutes before Of Montreal took the stage.
Of Montreal guitarist B.P. Helium walked on stage with a double-necked guitar bass, and the band started into their set. Four golden Buddhas (or stage hands in costumes, your pick) carried an old Arabic style throne, and Kevin Barnes popped out with microphone in hand and got the show on its way. Every few songs, the stage hands would turn around a miniature stage on the right and act out a scene, with new costumes and a matching backdrop. Totally amazing. After an hour, and only one song I recognized (and I hold myself to be a pretty big fan of the band), I got tired of hearing the new album and sort of lost the feeling. It went on for another hour or so, and for the encore, they played “Take Me Out” by Franz Ferdinand (ha ha) as well as final song “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” They preceded the latter with “Please don’t take offense, Seattle!” It was a super amazing presentation and the show was great, but I was disappointed at the lack of classic tunes. I guess I can live on “She’s a Rejector” for the next few years.
- Deerhunter, Times New Viking, Past Lives – Friday Nov 21st – Neumos
- Lucky Dragons, Pit er Pat, Hecuba, Tinsel – Friday Nov 21st – Vera
- Bow + Arrow, Cut***Loose, Alaskas, Masters and Johnson – Friday Nov 28th – Chilladelphia
- Casy and Brian, Katharine Hepburn’s Voice, Past Lives – Saturday Nov 29th – Holy Mountain