Monday, October 12, 2015

Hinds, Black Lips, and Ariel Pink - a brief show review

Jeez, I gotta get my head out of the death-spin here... Went to see Hinds, The Black Lips and Ariel Pink at the Rickshaw the other night. Hinds were a lot of fun - they're a Spanish band who changed their name from Deers after legal issues with Montreal band Dears, remember that? Their stage presence was every bit as charming as their letter announcing the change, and any band who ends the night with a cover of Thee Headcoats' "Davey Crockett" is going to make me love them no matter what. Seemed like really, really nice people, very friendly and happy to be onstage. Maybe they're not exactly the most deft musicians out there, but it's garage rock, and hell, their drummer looked barely fifteen (super cute, though - am I allowed to say that? I don't mean it lecherously, I mean she looked young enough for me to imagine her through paternal eyes). Apparently Nardwuar - present through the night - did an interview with them at a tiki lounge, which I'm sure will be out there somewhere in a few days time... (Happy Thanksgiving, Nardwuar! Enjoy your dinner!).
Black Lips only did a couple songs I could recognize. Believe it or not, I'm relatively new to them, one of a few great bands I'm playing catch up with lately - but they are obviously great at what they do, inspiring lots of crowd-surfing and enthusiasm in the packed pit and performing with all the enthusiasm of, uh, a performing rock band. I was suffering a hella allergy attack, prompted by the dry ice, I think, so maybe didn't do them total justice; fun as the encore of "Bad Kids" was - with bev throwing her arms up above her head when it came on and announcing the title to me, though it is one of their songs I know - I kind of enjoy listening to their albums in the living room more, since the whole of their creativity is more apparent when you can appreciate the lyrics and the sonic details, which are actually pretty rich considering they're also more or less a garage rock band. Great band, anyhow. My fogeyism is now sufficient that I think things like, "it's nice that so many young people are listening to good music these days." Aww.
Ariel Pink debuted with an ethereal, transfixing piece of abstract art that appealed to me as much as it alienated bev, who was shooting; then moved to something far more like a conventional pop song, which was the mode he stayed in for the next while. I had found my way to a seat to close my eyes and listen, so cool, complex, and weird was that first song, but then ended up leaving early - allergies, and I'd had my fill. He's obviously a very creative/ unique musician but the personal hook just wasn't there (though if he'd stayed in the mode of that first song, I'd have signed on as a lifer, I think; it was one of the most singular and strange musical experiences I've had, sort of New Picnic Time Ubu meets Shockabilly to do a fusion jam). Apologies to "the other David," because other than the creative stage sets - blue and yellow polkdot cardboard mountains and a matching bust of the Virgin Mary (briefly typo'd as "matching bush!") - I saw no sign of the promised Zappa parallels. I mean, there's nothing of later smartass rock Zappa, nothing of classical composer Zappa, nothing of Hot Rats 70's jazz jam Zappa... maybe there's a smidgen of ironic 60's pastiche, as with We're Only In It For The Money, but even that... naaaah. Ariel Pink and Zappa, you're going to have to explain it to me sometime. Which Zappa are we talking, for one? And which Pink?
Apparently Anton of Brian Jonestown Massacre doesn't like Zappa at all, did you know? But bev, who told me this, didn't know why. Anyhow, a great show. Apparently Black Lips will be playing Seattle on a bill with a bunch of Chinese bands this week (also something bev told me). Wish them a fun set, wonder if Carsick Cars are playing. Sorry for the bad pics - bev's are better but I only got what I got, Rickshaw security was actually policing cellphone pictures!

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