Thee Oh Sees / The Fresh & Onlys / White Fence / Wounded Lion – NYE – Brick & Mortar – San Francisco
OK, I know...my definition of punk keeps expanding, which will probably make some of you out there either very uncomfortable or downright hateful...whatever. It's taken years for people to even begin to recognize the punk thread woven into the history of rock music from it's beginning...why would anyone stop to recognize it in the present? And why, of all places, in the psych garage revival movement? Ha...because that's one of the places it is right now (and has been since the 1960's)!
The Punk Retrospective crew decided we'd all go to San Francisco for New Year's 2012 and sleep in the van to save cash for the return trip home. Obviously, there's something worthwhile happening if you're willing to sleep in a van...the title of the post is a dead giveaway...for $15 a pop we all got to see Wounded Lion from Los Angeles, White Fence, The Fresh & Onlys and Thee Oh Sees while ringing in the New Year and tossing 2011 out like the fucking train wreck/pile of shit/trash heap it turned out to be.
2011 was a good year for rock music...for punk and other streams of independent subculture. And, though I'm still whining about the quality of my gear, it's great getting out and hearing so much live music. Living close to San Francisco has its perks...and when the opportunity to see four independent, original, groundbreaking bands in one conveniently located and hip venue presented itself, I thought, hell yeah, let's sleep in the fuckin' van and take back this fucking city!
There was a lot of confusion outside regarding who it was, exactly, that was headlining this event. The Fresh and Onlys appeared on the bill first with White Fence and a special guest to be announced at a later date. When Thee Oh Sees were finally announced, well...a ranking game started that continued up to the New Year. White Fence could have topped this list as "Is Growing Faith" was on several Top 10 lists for 2011, but the Fresh and Onlys have been, and are becoming, even more respected in this scene. In the end I think everyone agreed it was Thee Oh Sees who should top the bill.
Before the show I met Petey Dammit and Alan Forbes, chatted them up a bit and bought a silk-screened copy of the amazing gig poster(shown above) Alan created. I think everyone was pleasantly surprised by Wounded Lion's performance...I swear they opened with a Black Flag cover and continued to impress.
This was our second trip to the Brick and Mortar Music Hall and our second sold out show. By the time White Fence started to play the bar was packed.
So, here's a portion of the White Fence performance I grabbed with my crappy camera. There's a familiarity to the sound, a sixties undercurrent with a touch of Stooges influence, but it's remarkably fresh sounding. Check it out:
I also captured about 14 minutes of Thee Oh Sees performance. As always, you should realize filmed shows are not a true representation of a bands' abilities. Seriously, if you have the chance to see any of the bands on this site, do! Anyway, John Dwyer is always amazing, no exception this night, either drummer alone would have been great, but watching the interaction between them was pretty intense. The audience loved every song and provided a constant swell for crowd surfing. Oh, here's Thee Oh Sees: