Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Bad Weather California, Sauna, Skating Polly and Deaf Kid @ The Crux (8/18/13)

Bad Weather California was one of my favorite acts at this year's Treefort.  Sauna was one of my favorites from last year's.  So it didn't take me long to decide to check this show out.

I counted eighteen people when I got down to the Crux.  When Bad Weather California played, I counted twenty-seven.  Not exactly a Treefort-size audience, but what're you gonna do?

Sidenote: this may be the most awesome show poster that I've ever seen.

Deaf Kid opened the show.  They changed their name to Black Lodge a while ago, but apparently, they changed it back.  I don't know why, but whatever--they sounded damn good here.  Jacob Milburn's voice sounded deeper and fuller, and Theo Maughan's sprightly drumming gave the music some extra muscle.  Even got a pretty solid groove going on the last song.

Skating Polly played next.  If you're not even eighteen and you can get Exene Cervenka to produce one of your albums, chances are you're gonna have something going on.  Which this very young duo did.  Their grungy drones, steady drums, screeching vocals and smart arrangements made me think a little of early Sleater-Kinney.  Their confident stage presence suggests that they may be in this for the long haul.  Time will tell, I guess.

Sauna followed Skating Polly.  It took them a couple of songs to get warmed up, but when they did, their serene vocals, playful tunes, propulsive grooves and fierce guitar solos sounded even better than I remembered.  The girls from Skating Polly went nuts (jumping, headbanging), and much of the crowd followed suit.  Easily one of the most fun surf/garage bands I've seen in the past couple of years (and I've seen a LOT of them).

Bad Weather California closed out the night.  At one point, it occurred to me that James Plane Wreck could've made a good opener for these guys.  Both groups seem to have a certain transcendentally trashy spirit, one which embraces the slackers, losers and working stiffs (i.e. most of us).  In any case, this Colorado band's anthemic tunes, smart lyrics and fiery guitars sounded just as fantastic here as they did back in March.  Would that every surf-garage-punk-etc. band could be this shrewd, this compassionate.

It's just a shame that this'll be their last tour.  But hey, you never know--Sauna said that they were going to break up last year, and look at them.

You can find info on these groups on Facebook and elsewhere online.  Special thanks to Eric Gilbert and Duck Club Presents.

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