Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Hospitality, Teen and Ash Reiter @ the Red Room (10/7/12)
As some readers of this blog may recall, I saw the Brooklyn, NY group Hospitality at the Reef a few months ago with Here We Go Magic, Tartufi and Yeah Great Fine. I had fond enough memories of their performance then to mark this show down on my calendar. The presence on the bill of two bands I'd never seen before just sweetened the deal.
The Reef show had gone over very well, so I'd anticipated that a chunk of that crowd would come down for this one. I'm glad I didn't bet money on that: I counted eleven or so people when I arrived, and the audience peaked at about twenty-five. I hope that the folks who could've shown for this weren't just down at Tom Grainey's getting wasted on fifty-cent Rainier (though actually, I did hear that some good bands played there too).
First up this night was Ash Reiter, a guitar-drums duo from San Francisco. Between Ash Reiter's clipped, elegant riffs and Will Halsey's intricate, peppery drumwork, they sounded at times like the Velvet Underground if they'd replaced Maureen Tucker with Elvin Jones. Reiter's moody melodies, murmured vocals and glittering guitar tone made me think of driving down the PCH on moonlit nights. I found out later that this group actually has three more members. I hope that the full lineup passes through here in the near future.
After Ash Reiter came the NYC group Teen. I imagine that the Go-Go's might sound a little like this quartet if they got hooked on tranquilizers and Joy Division. High, layered vocals and tranced-out tunes blended with shimmering guitars and synthesizers, simple basslines and steady-to-dirgelike tempos. Trippy, fascinating stuff.
Hospitality's headlining set surprised me. Between their fluid, buoyant basslines, their hard-driving drums, their jagged guitar solos and the extra muscle in Amber Papini's girlish vocals, they kicked about three times as much ass as they did at the Reef. Their tough groove would've got the meager crowd moving even if the Red Room's disco ball hadn't started spinning (that was a nice touch, though). "We love the drive," Papini said at one point. "It's so beautiful up here." As far as I'm concerned, they can come back around anytime.
You can find info on these groups on Facebook and elsewhere online. Special thanks to Eric Gilbert and Duck Club Presents.