Wooden Indian - Crescent Ballroom - 1/10/13
Rubber Brother Records is really cool -- the cassettes, the amazing DIY shows, the sincere work with high-school-age musicians, and now a seamless transition from an epic underground festival to a sardine-can-tight all-ages show at Crescent Ballroom along with one of Phoenix's premier acts, Wooden Indian.
Photos by Jeff Moses Wooden Indian at Crescent Ballroom (in the dark)
Like a lot of what Rubber Brother does, the night distinguished itself right away -- the setup of the stage made it clear something was up. Wooden Indian's wide array of instruments were on the stage all night; so were a series of colorful lights and light-making devices -- say, a straw chair with blinking Christmas lights wrapped around it, for starters.
"It's really overwhelming to have this sort of turnout, and a beautiful show of community, and it really means a lot to me to see this," says Rubber Brother co-founder Gage Olesen. Not only did his label pack this city's best venue on a Friday night, but they also sold out of their limited-release split cassettes.
Petty Things opened the night with a garage rock feel. The band is fronted by Jordan Owen and has Wooden Indian bass player Austin Owen on the drums. They played both songs off their split cassette with Playboy Manbaby, "Run Angel Run," and "She's the One," and were joined by Wooden Indian guitarist Douglas James for their final two tracks.
DJentrification took over during all the breaks in music, playing uptempo world-beat tracks from a table set up in the all ages section while wearing a spectacularly colorful patchwork jacket. His short sets were half DJ set and half musical education as he talked about the local, national, and international hits he was spinning, and he even gave away some of his record collection at one point.
The Austin Owen-fronted Los Puchos took the stage second with Owen in a turban and aviator sunglasses. The band also features Jordan Owen, as well as Douglas James, who was decked out in a shiny cape, and two female backup singer and auxiliary percussionists.
Their sound also leaned more toward garage rock, and it seemed as though all their songs were titled after females. Before they began playing, Owen asked if there were any Victorias in the house before going into their track "Victoria." Los Puchos started quite a few songs in that same way, including "Joanne," which did merit some audience responses. "Sophie," too -- but the only response there was from Phoenix musician Andrew Jemsek.
Owen really opened up while fronting Los Puchos, and took his duties as frontman as a call to act completely erratically. He danced around the stage, spent a significant amount of time on his knees, and even managed to lose his shirt by the end of his set.