Sweetbleeders / Replicator / Get Down! to Brass Tacks / The Minibosses @ The Ruby Room August 18
Get Down! to Brass Tacks
The Ruby Room
August 18, 2007
Better Than: “One Mend-fault is worth two Findfaults, but one Findfault is better than two Makefaults.” B. Franklin, 1735
It was a close call on this one. As I carelessly strolled into the open jaws of the Ruby Room, whistlin’ a cheery tune and thinking of my Pomeranians, my eyes adjusted and I was faced with a terrible sight: the walls were already a hue of deepest crimson. Inferring naturally that Sweetbleeders had already emptied their poor little arteries all over the dump, I set about desperately licking the walls to glean a remainder of whatever residues they had offered up in their sacrifice, but rather than the thrilling taste of Very Berry Surprise, I detected the sour tang of Sherwin Williams 6866. By the time I struggled out of the bouncer’s grip I realized I’d been mistaken: Sweetbleeders were just getting on stage now! A goof was I.
Upon closer inspection, Sweetbleeders are a Jeff Buckley-esque indie pop band with ethereal psychedelic tendencies more Greenwood than Shankar. I would venture to say their music is more or less beautiful, or at least as beautiful as a non-indie pop fan like me can manage. According to Myspace, they play “a strangely eloquent travelogue of eclectic musical landscapes both bestial and celestial.” Whew...the last time I encountered a description like that I was trapped in an art loft watchin’ Mulholland Drive with a bunch of ecstasy-addled film students, but luckily Sweetbleeders put a little more poetry into it than the hype would deter you from believing. Their lead man on the Telecaster had smart proficiency with delay, tremolo, and wah which he used to interesting effect (although twas all a little hard to pick out of the general din), and the drummer had some definite muscle which he dished out carefully: no flubs to speak of. Generally they cranked out enough dreamy melodic transcendentalist-type business to make Emerson choke on his potato salad, and they each got plenty forceful within their assigned spaces onstage. I wasn’t a big fan of the Thom Yorked-out vocal going-ons, and Allah knows the indie pop thing ain’t my cup of meat, but plenty of people would love these guys. Read all about it at www.myspace.com/sweetbleeders or http://www.sweetbleeders.com.
It’s always a shaky proposition when nerds form rock bands: sometimes you get “Columbian Necktie,” and sometimes you get “Particle Man.” It’s just the luck of the draw. Fortunately for you, me, and Dupree, Replicator (from Oakland CA) seems to be of the former variety. Yes, they write songs about computers, time travel and nanotechnology, with over-the-top titles like “Delicious Fornicake,” “Assloads of Unrespect,” and “Login with my Fist,” but they also throw their goddamn weight into the aggro-chunk destructo-thing. Aggressive, self-aware vocals, lots of noise and feedback, with a hard and heavy rhythm section. The drummer’s an animal, and their bass sound had a nice rounded heft. “Devo via Fugazi!” I thought sensationally. They had a good sense of theatrics, knowing just when to thrash around and just when to drop everything and stare straight ahead in machine-like M. Mothersbaugh fashion, and guitar player Conan Neutron jumps on tables and tips over chairs and generally makes trouble. (I talked to him later and he enthused about Chrome, the Melvins, Black Sabbath, the Jesus Lizard, Bon-Scott era AC/DC and I nodded to the cosmic rhythm.)
By the way, their new album’s called “Machines Will Always Let You Down.” When I heard that, I thought they’d somehow stolen my secret notebook of political poetry, but I quickly dismissed the idea as laughable. Aggro jerks, keep your eyes on these ones. They’re OK for a bunch of weak little computer nerds. Http://www.myspace.com/replicator or http://www.replicator5000.com/
Get Down! to Brass Tacks
For those not in “the know,” Get Down to Brass Tacks is a local synth/dance-rock two-piece with a respectable following in the here and now (Phoenix). Listening to their recordings on Myspace makes me like em more than I did Saturday…they’re not that different from the Faint or the Rapture or one of those hipper-than-yer-grandma indie dance bands, if that’s the stuff you’re into, and probably just as good for dancing, if that’s the activity you’re into. Live they had a nice bass-driven sound but I thought they both looked a little overworked playing all those instruments and singing. My advice: they should add another member so they can each concentrate on what they’re doing. Still, not bad for a two-piece.
Incidentally, I was going to make fun of their haircuts but then the Great Gazoo appeared on my shoulder and discharged his raygun into my earlobe in admonition.....serves me right for almost succumbing to my jerkoff rockcrit tendencies. Get down to http://www.myspace.com/getdowntobrasstacks for a good whiff of their grit.
Not worth saying much about the Minibosses: they’re basically a fun, clever cover band not intended to be worked over by serious schmucks like me. If you like Nintendo music, go see these guys because they’ll play a bunch of old video game songs loudly and without missing a single note. My one request: please don’t add to the general din of morons screaming out “Excitebike,” “Battletoads,” and “Conker’s Quest,” because I’ve laughed myself silly already and it’s times like these when giggles can kill.
Personal Bias: “Recognize beauty and ugliness is born. Recognize good and evil is born.” --Lao-Tzu
Random Detail: There once was a man from Nantucket