Monday, November 19, 2007

Interlude: Smoke Detector

All you can eat sushi is amazing. All you can eat sushi followed by a trip to the Bowery Ballroom is one solid night. Alas, my culinary excess meant I was, again, late to the venue, although the 10 o'clock show time mitigated that a little. The packed room was also a nice change from some of the leaner starts I've witnessed (usually when the openers get on before nine).

The Golden Dogs

Again, I was left wanting more after only catching the final two songs from the first of three sets, as Toronto's the Golden Dogs played exuberant power pop that won me over in the short time span. Keyboardist Jessica Grassia was particularly energetic, marching out in place while alternatively banging a tambourine and keyboard. The band placed signs reading "Yeah" and "Dynamo," and presumably other words, reminiscent of their videos for "Construction Worker" and "Never Mean Any Harm." Lead vocalist Dave Azzolini fell to his knees during the finale, understandable after such an intense set. Unfortunately calls for more didn't lead to anything, but I'm happy to report that their recorded material is as appealing, and if anything, a little more polished than their live sound. It isn't often that I say this about the opener, but the Golden Dogs were probably the best discovery of the night for me.

The Willowz

The Willowz are from Southern California, and they have fittingly southern sounding rock. Singer Richie Follin brought a distinct twang, both in stage banter and his curious delivery, which at times sounded like that of Danielson. But guitarist Aric Bohn was the most compelling member of the quartet, twirling his guitar around in between string slashes. While they weren't particularly innovative, it was a shame to hear someone in the crowd yell, "Go back to Cali!" Unfortunately, the band may have reacted a little excessively, spending a good couple minutes talking about the heckler, which is probably what he wanted in the first place. It did get a little tiresome towards the end, but it's more of a matter of whether you like their style than any detraction as far as quality.

MP3: The Willowz - Evil Son
MySpace: The Willowz
Official Site: The Willowz

Electric Six

Electrix Six ringleader Dick Valentine is something else. Near the start of the set, he said that Larry King had died, which turned out to be a blatant lie. He would later comment on politics, apparently some theory on how everything is made out of hemp. His geography was equally questionable, thanking the openers as bands from "California, Canda" and "Toronto, United States" respectively. On a note of personal endearment, he kiddingly (?) picked on the drummer, whom he mocked as someone who "never had to work for anything," apparently because of his Westchester County origin (a place I reside in while not at school). I was left feeling very puzzled, but kind of like the guy.

The band delivered raucous dance-rock, much in the same vein of the few songs I am familiar with, the flamboyant disco inferno "Danger! High Voltage" and the absurdly danceable "Gay Bar." Since that first album Fire, the band has been quite prolific, with releases each of the last three years. I wouldn't agree with Dick's belief that four albums elevates them to rock legends, but there was clearly a dedicated fan base in attendance. Perhaps a little too dedicated, as the moshing was a little out of control, missing the point that it's supposed to be confined to those that want to do it.

Still, major kudos during the encore, when Dick sat on the edge of the stage and eventually coaxed a couple audience members to sway by his sides. You rarely get that kind of crowd interaction - or appreciation - and while I was still a bit annoyed by all the physical slamming, I'm a bit more inclined to believe that the band is worth all the effort - and pain.

More photos at the MuseBox Blog.

MP3: Electric Six - Danger! High Voltage
MySpace: Electric Six
Official Site: Electric Six


Hunter Wry said...

Sushi + music ! Looks like it was a blast.

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