Checked out the Monster Island Basement Saturday and made it just in time with Pat from Stumparumper to catch Frankie & the Outs set. Hadn't seen Ms Frankie since I saw her drum for the Stilts at Less Artists and her Vivian Girls line of thought is stronger than ever in their latest incarnation. I'm convinced she was the mastermind behind the origin of that layered guitar 60's girl harmony sound. This time out in front on reverb guitar and lead vocals, the driving 4/4 beat is back, even more a capella harmony moments and a dedicated tambourine player. All rhythm and dreamy vocals, where is a full length already? I'm guessing it's in the works at Slumberland later this year.
Every song was great, they are impressive live, and Frankie even stepped behind the drums for the last song...too short, but damn damn good...every minute.
So Cow, who have to be my favorite band from Galway, Ireland...well the only band I know from Galway, were up next. In all of driving around Ireland, Galway was the best, it was a small big feeling town on the coast (what isn't really), exactly what you want Ireland to be. I remembered listening to his 7" a while back, but this was even better live, they are punchy pop punk energy from the second they started, simple no effects electric guitar, insane melodies. Brian's glasses would periodically completely off his face and onto the floor without skipping a beat. A frantic Nodzzz, great vocals, lyrics, he's giving everything to the performance, and for a monster island basement? He's out to win it...completely won over the crowd live, Sadly they didn't bring any vinyl with them, but Tic Tac Totally just put their latest up for order with a bonus 7" single. He's got my money. Finally Blank Dogs were up after a lengthy set-up with fold out suitcase mixers, theremin stands, keyboards, and a saxaphone effects (?!) setup but I had heard this was going to be the debut of their two piece, which actually ended up being four, but they sounded the best I've ever heard them. The couple times I caught them with a full band, it was a weird direction, completely changed the sound blowing it out with full instrumentation, live drums etc...it was just so completely different, like a Blank Dogs cover band.
Devo was blasting as they checked cables, and I never really thought about that connection before...here was this band in the early days of analog synth, completely involved with making the show a complete experience visually, a bizarre, ironic take on everything pop. Fast forward to Blank Dogs who are taking that same aesthetic, which has a nostalgic slant added to that mix, going darker, but reviving the dead horse in a weird mad science way.
The crazy equipment setup, the time in between songs was all worth it, these were completely faithful reproductions of the originals, definitely reinterpreted, some of these sounds in a live situation just have to be close, it's a turn of the dial, not punching in a code, it's inherently going to be different every time, but that just made them even better.
Here's a few tracks from each for this Fridays podcast. Download direct here. (14min) Forgive the crackling, I tried everything.