Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Gramma's House Treefort Kickoff Party @ the Red Room (3/18/13)

I'd heard quite a bit of buzz about this show around town and on Facebook.  That and the fact that it featured older local acts I'd never seen before (and might not see again) gave me enough reason to check it out.  I just hoped two days would be enough rest before Treefort started.

I counted about twenty-five people when I got to the Red Room.  That number would build to at least eighty as the night progressed.  I saw two guys get onstage wearing animal masks.  I got the feeling right around then that this was gonna get interesting.

Acts who played:

For Fuck's Sake--Johnny Rotten once described himself as a "noise structuralist."  I thought about that as this duo worked the knobs on a distortion pedal and banged on a guitar-like instrument with drumsticks to create rhythmic pulses of buzzing, howling distortion.  Then they took up a bass and drums and played a couple of stone-simple, droning punk-tunes with lines like "That's why you're always getting high./ That's why you're always telling lies."  Good fun.

Tuck and Adam Ruin Your Birthday--Rumbling drums met with tuneful, funky basslines.  Their first number kinda sounded like Zeppelin, their second kinda sounded like Primus and both sounded dandy.  A little loose, but hey, they probably hadn't played together in a while.  The crowd bobbed to the beat regardless.

Palm Reader--A nice warm-up of sorts for Earth's Treefort set.  Dirge-y beats combined with faint, high-pitched synth whines and waves of rattling, roaring guitar noise.  The folks closest to the stage sat on the floor and let it all wash over them.  Ominous, haunting stuff.

La Knotts--One of the big-ticket items on this bill.  They decorated their catchy tunes with thrashing drums, chainsaw guitar, tuneful basslines and pleasantly snarled vocals.  Grunge lives (or it did for this set, anyway).

Electric Jesus and the Flying Dream Machine--A nice mix: raw but dreamy.  Trashy organ, clanging riffs, steady drums, surf-tinged tunes, Lou Reed-ish deadpan vocals.  The crowd went wild for their ramshackle, Sid Vicious-esque closer (a cover, they said, but I don't know of what), but I much preferred their garage-drone take on Sonny Boy Williamson's "Help Me."

Scarf--Hardcore shmardcore.  This duo's thudding drums, first-lesson organ chords and tuneless screams had their true roots in temper tantrums, nursery rhymes and those doody jokes that you thought were hilarious back in Kindergarten.  The crowd channeled their inner brat during this set: they moshed, bounced around and jumped onstage to holler into the mic.  Snotty, stoopid fun.

Sidenote: these guys actually got a set at the El Korah during Treefort.  Don't ever say Doug Martsch isn't generous...

This is right before two of the girls onstage took their tops off.

The Jungle Fucks--There's goofing around and then there's goofing around.  The touch of genuine musicianship in this trio's rubbery basslines, bashing drums and demented carousel organ helped make their one-joke concept a lot funnier than Scarf's one-joke concept.  Guest screamers/groaners during this set included Saxton Turner from Meth House Party Band, Taylor Levi Campbell, Ditch Tiger's lead singer and the Red Room's own Meghann Cahill.  Transcendently ridiculous.

You can find info on these acts on Myspace and elsewhere.  Maybe.  I dunno.

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