Friday, October 29, 2010

"We're From San Francisco. So we love showtunes"

It shames me to say that I have been to VERY few punk shows that took place indoors. Of course I've been to my share of Warped Tours, but a club show is different. And can I just say, Hallelujah for whatever law made it illegal to smoke in there. Smoking's stupid enough, but when you're in an enclosed space like that, it's just torture. Moving on.

So Elizabeth and I got to the Black Cat after finding a parking spot (FREE) (aka "Not spending $20 on parking!) a couple of blocks away. Got the obligatory double hand stamp (1. You have a ticket 2. You're over 21.) and walked up the stairs into the middle of the very loud and awesome Cobra Skulls set. They have a sound that is highly influenced by the likes of Rancid, the Suicide Machines, and Anti-Flag. And I just loved them. They denied the request for "Stairway to Heaven" saying "No, the fake band with real musicians is coming up later. We're the real band with crappy-ass musicians". It was a lot of fun.

Then Teenage Bottlerocket came on. These guys. They had such a tight set. They could be singing a song that wouldn't have been out of place on one of the early Ramones albums and then all of a sudden they'd be playing at breakneck speed and you could tell this was not their first rodeo. I love watching a band recognize that the audience is singing along. It's such a moment of harmony. They played the song that I had listened to when I was seeing what the opening acts were like, so that was cool. It's a great song. Kind of Vandals-esque.

(I know that it's lame reporting to compare bands to other bands, but I feel like this is a genre that wears its influences on its sleeve. If your band is influenced by the Vandals or the Ramones or the Misfits or the Descendents, it shows. Moving on again.)

And then they were on stage. Wearing matching blue Hawaiian print shirts. Dave (the drummer) had ripped the sleeves off his and Spike (the singer) was sporting a very preppy yacht jacket and big sunglasses (which matched the jacket and were not big like Fat Mike's (the bass player) were big. Also, I'm pretty sure those were Women's sunglasses. Not judging, just sayin') and a haircut that Fat Mike described as "If Hitler was a lesbian" which was horrible to say (but I could see what he meant).

They started off with "Danny's Song" which is the song I played on the podcast last week. And they just rocked our faces off with every song. They played an (apparently) inordinate amount of songs from the Are a Drag album, which is all showtunes. Let's see if I can name all the songs from that that they played. In fact, here's what we'll do. I'll go through the albums and list the songs they played. But I'm not going to have the order right. Cool? Cool.

From Have a Ball:
Danny's Song
Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard
Nobody Does it Better
Seasons in the Sun

From Are a Drag:
Over the Rainbow
Science Fiction Double Feature

From Blow in the Wind:
Blowin' in the Wind
Sloop John B
Who Put the Bomp?
All My Lovin'

From Take a Break:
I Believe I Can Fly (more on this below)
End of the Road (appropriately, they closed with this. It's one of my favorite songs they do.)

From Love Their Country:
Ghost Riders in the Sky
Jolene (another fave of mine)

From Ruin Johnny's Bar Mitzvah:
Stairway to Heaven (that's right. that fan had their wish fulfilled)

From Have Another Ball:
Country Roads
Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me (again, I'm going to talk about this below)

Not on an album that I'm aware of:
The End of the World (see the very next line where I make good on all the above parenthetical promises)

So, Spike plays the ukulele in Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. He played it most memorably on the beginning of "I Believe I Can Fly" on Take a Break. But he also played it on "The End of the World" which he sang alone on stage with just him and his uke, the way the good Lord intended. He played the song beautifully in its entirety to a punk rock crowd. Balls. That's balls right there. And then he played the intro to IBICF as the band came back out. It was wonderful.

And THEN. As their "Leaving the stage before the encore", the band again left Spike on stage with his uke and he played as many verses of "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" as he could remember. Before claiming "Good enough" and ROCKING.

It was a fantastic night and I'd like to thank Elizabeth for going with me and saving me the money I would have otherwise spent on my impatience (regarding parking, of course).

What was my favorite part? Oh there were so many great parts, but I really liked all the PDA that Fat Mike was showing his bandmates. Hugs, high fives, and just some straight up hand clasping after basically every song. It was great to see so much support. :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Early, you say?

Well, as I mention at the beginning of the episode this week, I'm off to a Me First and the Gimme Gimmes concert tomorrow night. I'm super excited and can hardly wait, but it did mean that the deadline I've (sort of) set for myself was not going to work and so here I am. On a Wednesday morning (technically speaking), posting the countdown!

Countdown #29

I'll let you know how the concert was :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

New Countdown! With a new #1!

Here's the latest episode of the countdown!

I'm enjoying publishing it on Wednesday nights/Thursday mornings. It means practically zero wait time before i can see next week's list!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Countdown #26 and a bit of accidental (though maybe not entirely inappropriate) irreverence

So, before I get my comments section flooded with hate mail (which would still be preferable to the nothing i get usually), I didn't mean to pick the very least appropriate John Lennon song to play in honor of his birthday. Although, I think maybe he might have gotten a dark chuckle out of it?