Punk Retrospective
27Jul/120

Luigi’s Slice Super Show – 7/24/2012

So beyond broke, you can’t even believe…and we really want to see this show.

I know we have already mentioned Sneeze Attack several times because they were so great in Davis and they have theoretically released the new EP, Aurora, on July 22. We have never been to an Arts & Leisure show yet, but Nacho Business were pretty damn good last time we saw them and someone in our office is freaking out because Crystal Stilts are coming all the way from Brooklyn. Can’t go…we simply can’t afford it. Hmmmm…

We really did agree to skip this show, and we were bummed, but then, Tuesday afternoon, bands started getting added to an already stellar lineup and we had to make the drive to Luigi’s…immediately, because the start time for the show was pushed way ahead! I tried to get Benjamin, my new friend from Sucker Punk Productions, to ride down with us, but he had to work.

So, yes, for another shot at seeing La Sera, and our first opportunity to catch Tim Cohen, of The Fresh & Onlys, in his new project called Magic Trick, we threw caution to the wind and used some of our remaining gas to go to the show we wanted to see…now with more!

When we arrived, I saw Sean Hills, from Punch and Pie Productions, postering the wall at Luigi’s…thought I’d talk to him, but he was gone before I could catch him. Sneeze Attack started at about 7:40, which was, apparently, a few minutes before the doors actually opened. Just a slight mix-up made us miss the first two songs…I forgive the kids at the door and their myopic customers.

Anyway, Sneeze Attack has a new drummer, Christine Shelley, and she fits the band just right! The songs we missed were the faster numbers (maybe I haven’t forgiven the door kids yet), but I liked their whole show. Dinogirl broke a string and had to borrow the Nacho Business guitar to complete their set…hey, Sacramento…this is a band ready for some big recognition. Here’s a video sample:

Next up, Nacho Business. These kids are funny, funny, funny. Self-deprecating from word one…Heather says, ”Can’t wait to disappoint you”…and they started off in a way I was almost certain would disappoint me, but turned it around so fast that until now I’d almost forgotten those a cappella moments. They broke down the fourth wall, if there was one there to begin with, and played jangly, pop punky-ness with some sweet harmonies.

Yes, I really enjoyed all the bands, but the biggest surprise of the night was Arts & Leisure.(Previously Baby Grand) There was something about this band that brought the Muffs to mind, no Shattuck scream, just energetic, simple rock songs with a duo of female singers. Gerri White and Becky Cale harmonize beautifully, but each carry the band when singing alone, their own individual attitude shining through. There always seemed to be some sort of endearing, inside joke happening…not sure what it was exactly, but they wore smiles throughout the performance and made everyone like them. Cory Vick is actually a really good guitar player, and some of my favorite moments came when Gerri would join in to finish off a song with a little more growl to her guitar. Maybe it was because I was right in front of her amp, but there was some real power there! Got one song on video:

[play-button:http://www.hardlyart.com/mp3/MagicTrick_Torture.mp3] Magic Trick - Torture direct link to free mp3 from Hardly Art: Magic Trick - Torture

Magic Trick, well…I haven’t seen Tim Cohen play since New Year’s Eve and never in his solo project. What was I expecting? Nothing…I actually had no idea he had a side project, so, even though he played on an acoustic guitar w/ a pickup ( I do love electrified punk distortion, ya know...), I was blown away. This guy is such a talented songwriter…the underground music scene is filled with talent…Tim is in a league with guys like John Dwyer and Mark Sultan. Genius. No, this isn’t ‘punk rock’ in the limited sense, but neither is Johnny Cash or Neil Young, and I still like them. And like them, there is a touch of Americana here, a melodic sorrow stringing everything together. When I spoke with Tim later he called it “sentimental”. Here’s a piece of video I shot when Katy Goodman joined them onstage:

[play-button:http://www.hardlyart.com/mp3/LaSera_PleaseBeMyThirdEye.mp3] La Sera - Please Be My Third Eye direct link to free mp3 from Hardly Art: La Sera - Please Be My Third Eye

Then Katy took the stage with her bandmates in La Sera. She’s always so happy and nice, even when inviting a timid audience to come closer. She writes catchy melodic pop songs and carries the band with her bass lines and smooth, strong voice. But…you know how, on the Ramones first 3 albums, there were songs that really stood out and the rest all kinda blend together. Something like that happens with La Sera, but probably only to me because I’m not too familiar with the material. Don’t get me wrong…it’s good:

And then the Crystal Stilts took the stage. Wooden keys on his keyboard, you say? Oh, and look…there’s Charles Albright helping the band get set up! Sacramento is a wonderful place and, even though I’m going to be deaf for the next couple of days, Luigi’s is not as bad a venue as I originally thought. Anyway, I looked these guys up online before I left, so I had an idea of what they were going to be…boring. I watched part of one video and made up my mind and, as usual, I was wrong, wrong, wrong. Again, not punk…maybe more garage-y, but really, this is a psychedelic band, at least live. They opened the curtain behind the band to allow the projection system to cover the stage and band in wacked out patterns…like they do at the big city psych shows and the keyboard player just started making noise. I was still a little afraid when the band started…there was an overwhelming Doors vibe coming over the place, but that was just the visual atmosphere and look of the band. It’s pretty damn amazing what a group of primates with musical instruments can do! Here’s a sample:

So, the show ended, Charles Albright helped the band tear down the drums, while Jerry Perry went around paying the bands and cleaning up the mess. I don’t know how many promoters and bookers put this show together, something like 7, but it flowed as smoothly as any show I’ve seen this year. Big compliments to everyone who made this happen. The audience was great, too…just happy to be seeing live music and getting a chance to dance around a bit.

Now the depressing part, for us…walking past all the merch and not being able to afford one of Katy Goodman’s shirts…can’t get the Crystal Stilts new EP or LP…no art from Dino…but, we did get to talk to Katy, Kyle Forester (keyboards @Crystal Stilts) and Tim Cohen..for a couple minutes while we passed down the line. I told Katy we’d been to her show at Bows and Arrows earlier in the year and asked if she’d been touring the whole time since. She told me she had. Man, I think I’d be tired of touring…I asked if she was and she said no, she loves it and that had only been in March.

Kyle broke in and said Katy’s crazy…she loves to tour and she will stay out for more than five months and still love it. We were asking about merch prices as we worked our way down, just in case something was priced low enough…I said to Tim that I wish we weren’t so broke right now…and that we’d been to the Fresh and Onlys show at Brick and Mortar on New Years. He said,”well buy something from one of these guys, because I live in San Francisco and you’ll probably see me again before you see them.”

That kind of blew me away…most people are so focused on what they’re doing that they don’t even consider someone else. I suppose they’ve all become friends on this tour, I mean Katy was singing along throughout the Magic Trick set, but still…I was affected by the gesture.

I told Tim I was impressed with his solo work from the show, but that I had only heard the Fresh and Onlys stuff before tonight. He said this project was, like I mentioned before, more sentimental, ballads, stuff the full band might not really want to do. I made the mistake of saying, “But you write some stuff in Fresh and Onlys, too, right?” He corrected me…he writes all of it. He wasn’t being egotistical, either. He really is a regular guy…looks a bit rough and tough, but clear-eyed and honest, and I believe him when he says he writes it all. I will be holding him to his insinuation that he might play in my neck of the woods if I contact him…but that’ll probably only happen if he remembers our conversation…good thing I wrote it down!

So, Sacramento, thank you! And please continue to support your local venues, bands, bookers and promoters. The more shows you go to, the more shows there will be. You are voting with your dollars for more music every time you support a show like this one. Every dime you put toward the Sneeze Attack EP makes it that much more likely you’ll see another one put out. Anyway…that’s enough out of me!

I did not see this at the show, might be some weirdness surrounding it? Can't buy it, but you can listen to it!


Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

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