Thanks so much to everyone who attended our show on Friday. Let’s see if we can get another one in before the end of the world in 2012!
This show was a long time coming. The last time played was last September of 2010. Our intentions weren’t to take so much time off, but it just sort of worked out that way. We did practice a handful of times over the past few months, but between the ridiculously cold and wet past winter, one marriage, the beginnings of additional child rearing and the ever present fact we aren’t getting any younger, it’s just been slow going when it comes to getting shows. Aside from the lack of shows, the lack of practice had sort of worn all of us down. When you have spent over 10 years of your life practicing 2-3 times a week, slow periods like this can really get in your head. Why are we still doing this? Does anyone still care? For me this past nine months has felt like about three years. Well, was the wait and months of anticipation worth it? Absolutely. From the second we walked in the door we knew it was going to be a fun night. Before we even played I could clearly trace the history of our band through the folks in attendance. There were people from the EJ’s and Kelvis era, friends we met around the time of the Return, people we knew from the Rise Again years and some folks from much more recent years. Perhaps the best surprise for us was the reformation of what was once known as the Message Board Crew. Gad to see everyone is old enough to get into bars now! It may have been an average night for all those in attendance, but I think we all agreed that it meant a lot to us. The show itself was great. Dartgun and the Vignettes were fantastic. If you aren’t familiar with them, they are a rough and dirty rock band that is a perfect soundtrack to a hole in the wall bar. Their secret weapon? The Vignettes, a trio of female singers that has the moves and sounds of the Supremes but with the attitude of The Stooges. Very, very cool. 48 Thrills was up second and they never really disappoint. They played some of the newer stuff from Hand Claps and Ass Slaps, which was excellent. I’ve said it a dozen times before, but they are always fun to watch and have really built up quite the arsenal of great instant singalongs. We played last and in a very rare move we played for a long time. Last time we played for over an hour was our second year as a band. We swore we’d never do that again, but it seemed appropriate tonight. We played about 18 songs including some older ones we hadn’t played in years and we even worked out a Bad Religion cover for the evening. The response from the crowd was fantastic. Fists, shouting, clapping and even an improvised stage dive. We’ve certainly entertained the idea of packing it in and calling it quits, but nights like this sure makes it a challenge as it’s a reassurance why we do it in the first place. Many thanks to everyone who trekked out to the show and Katie O’Brien’s for having us!
Yes, it really has been nine months since our last show. The laws governing band membership require a yearly show, so here we are. Can we expect anything new and exciting from this show? Not really. Same crap we’ve been playing for years now, only being projected from older and more weathered looking bodies. With a sales pitch like that, why wouldn’t you come to the show?
We’ve just uploaded our last 4 albums to bandcamp.com, which offers album and song downloads in MP3 and a variety of other high quality and lossless digital formats. Songs are $0.89 each and since we get to set the price all of our albums are listed for the very low (and equally awesome price) of $6.66. It’s about time something like this came along since after all these years we’ve never seen a penny from iTunes or Amazon. If you are interested in downloading one of our albums check it out at 800octane.bandcamp.com.
Just got done uploading our last four albums to Grooveshark. The power of streaming music compels you.
Sometimes we play shows and I think, “wow, there isn’t a familiar face in here.” Nights like tonight are quite the opposite. The Primitive Idols have members of 57 Split and The Secludes, both of whom we met back in 1999. The Stims have members of the Blackouts, whom we met in 1997 and Statch and the Rapes who we met in 1998. It’s wild to think here we all are, well over a decade later, still playing music for one another. From the outside it may seem a little pathetic, but being there with so many familiar faces is strangely comforting. It wasn’t just the bands either. Turns out the sound guy was from the band One Last Thing (’00), and crowd members featured Tenpin (’99) and Antiworld (’99) as well as some other friends we met through the band that go waaaaaaay back. Granted we’re all older and perhaps our attention span has faded some (is it physically possible to be over 35 and watch a full set?), but it was cool to see so many people you’ve known for so long in one place. So, how was the show? It was good. Big thanks to Nihilist Youth for filling in on short notice. They were interesting to watch and their guitar player was damn near amazing. Star power was activated on at least three occasions and Justin and I were reminded about the value of regular practice. The Primitive Idols were excellent tonight. They easily stole the show with their raucous garage tunes. Very energetic, very catchy and it did something we haven’t ever successfully done, which is attract women to the front of the stage. The Stims were up third and were as solid as can be. Old school punk done right. We went on right around midnight and our set was pretty decent. We played more songs than usual and there were no major catastrophes to speak of. It was definitely nice to play again, even if only to a few people. Thanks for Nalin and Kelly’s Olympian for having us.
Two Live Crew anyone? It’s been a while but we’ve got a show next Saturday at The Knife Shop. Where is The Knife Shop? It’s the newly revamped music room at Kelly’s Olympian. Should be a good time. It’s Jeff from The Stims birthday. Hide your daughters.
What an odd night. First off, there were actually people in the Tonic Lounge for a show we were playing at. Yeah sure, most of them left by the time we played but there were a lot of people there for a while. I’ve long maintained a theory that shows at the Tonic are great as long as we aren’t playing. I can’t fullly reverse my theory, but I can at least begin to question it. The first band was pretty good, I think. I say that because all I could hear was vocals and the bass drum. The guitars players genuinely looked like they were shredding but I couldn’t hear a note of it. Bummer. Burnout was up second and it was very good to see them again. We played a number of shows together between 2000 and 2002, so it was sort of a trip down memory lane for us. Despite not playing regularly anymore they sounded great. One detail I had forgotten about Burnout shows was the high following of annoying skanky girls they attract. I’m not talking rocker-chick skanky, or crusty punk skanky, but more like one-drink-away-from-being-in-a-Girls-Gone-Wild skanky. These girls are easy to spot. They are slightly overdressed, a little too much makeup, you could say they are packed a little too tightly into their clothes (and perhaps spilling out in a few places), they make persistent cries of “woo-hoo”, throw up the devil horns because they think you are supposed to do that, and the tell tale sign of the coming apocalypse is when one by one they all decide it’s a good idea to stand up front and try to slamdance until they 1) fall down or 2) get bumped too hard and a fight ensues when their evenings gentleman caller. Fans are fans though, and Burnout did play to a packed room. A very nice surprise for me was their covering of ‘Round and Round’ by The Wanna-Be’s. I have had a copy of that song on my iPod forever and have been coming back to it over and over for years. It was nice to see it played and played well. The third band was nuts. I don’t want that to sound bad, I’m just not sure how else to say it. It was two guys that would basically loop their tracks on stage (guitar, bass, drums, keyboards) and then play over their music while mixing the loops in and out on the fly. It was pretty nuts because you could literally watch a song be constructed and deconstructed, while not losing its groove. Very entertaining. We were up last and there were all of 5 people on the floor when we sound checked. Eventually people trickled in, but it was maybe a third of what Burnout had watching. The good news is that one third was four times as many people as we usually play to at the Tonic so it was still a win for us. Our set was a little scattered and went from tight to sloppy within the same song. We played New Song #2 for the first time in years, which was fun for me. There were some rowdy folks up front and at the end of our last song a fight broke out. The cause? A drunk girl “dancing” got bumped into. Surprise. All in all it was a pretty entertaining night.
Saturday night we are playing with Burnout at the Tonic Lounge in Portland. It’s been what, 8 years or so since we both shared the stage? Old dudes for the win!
It had been a long time since we’d traveled more than an hour to a show. After last summer’s fiasco of breakdowns and cancellations we have been a little gun shy about booking out of town shows. Even though it was a Sunday night bar show I think we were all stoked to get in the van and get the heck out of dodge. The romanticism of rolling into the sunset was short lived when the aroma of the mildewed and moldy roof extension hit my nostrils. The overall ripeness was quickly forgotten after Dave confessed the van has been acting “strangely” on his drive over. How so? Well, when he hit the brakes it “made clicking noises” and then the battery light and speedometer would “just turn off”. Awesome. Needless to say my seatbelt was securely fastened at all times. After the van’s mysterious behavior had subsided (we’re assuming it was a bad connection somewhere) the ride up was actually kind of pleasant. Sunny, warm and relaxing. The lazy spring day haze I was in could have very well been the early warning signs of black lung from the roof fungus, but for those few hours it was pretty nice. We arrived to Sea-town, hooked up with some friends and had some tasty Mexican food. From there we were off to the club and met up with more friends and settled in for the show. The Pistol Whipped Prophets made it clear after about 20 seconds this was not going to be your average band or your average set. The music was a super distorted bass and drum combo that was sort of punk rock with a stoner rock fuzz to it. The singer had one of the gnarliest vocal howls and growls I’ve heard quite some time. Although we listen to punk and play music that resembles it, bands like this reaffirm that we have no business calling ourselves punks. Tattooed, bloody and abrasive they were unlike anything else I’ve seen or heard in a while. Very cool. We were up second and it was pretty decent. We played pretty well, I just wish there had been more people to see it. I had to remind myself that it was a bar show on a Sunday night so that was to be expected. Hell, I wouldn’t have come if we weren’t playing. Having said that I should thank Bryan, Al, Zac and Kevin for spending their evening with us. Anyway, after we wrapped up, The Them took the stage and although the crowd was sparse it was nice to see them on their home turf. They seemed quite a bit more confident than the last time we saw them. I thought they played a little tighter as well, perhaps since it was the last show on their tour. Good job by those guys. Thanks to the Funhouse and The Them for getting us on the show!