Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Motorhead at Club Nokia

It was a night full of rock and surprises at Club Nokia. Heavy Metal legends Motorhead topped a stacked bill with support from Chelsea Girls, Nashville Pussy, Reverend Horton Heat and a surprise appearance from Tenacious D.

Motorhead is touring in support of their latest effort Motorizer. It was a night that I wished I brought my flight deck headphones instead of earplugs as they couldn't handle the deafening sound of a full volume Motorhead show.

Chelsea Girls

Chelsea Girls got the riffs that kill and the looks to match. Super groups seem to be the popping up everywhere these days but the Chelsea Girls put a special twist on the notion as an all female Heavy Metal cover band.

The culprits of this Motley Crue include the statuesque Corey Parks on bass, powerhouse drumming of Samantha Maloney, the flashy guitar fretwork of Allison Robertson and the siren vocals of Tuesdae. Their unabashed love for metal and rock was evident as they kicked things of with "Dirty Deeds".

Winning over a Motorhead audience is no easy task but the Chelsea girls were up to the challenge by instigating the headbanging with their version of Danzig's "Mother". One can never go wrong by covering the classic "Holy Diver" by Dio replete with metal horns held high in the air by the crowd.

The highlight of their set was Allison slaying on Metallica's "Master Of Puppets". Samantha Maloney channeled Tommy Lee for the drum fills of "Live Wire" to conclude their set. I might have to check out their set again when they visit the Roxy on 11/21 and 12/19.

Nashville Pussy

Nashville Pussy brought their southern fried metal to the masses with the twin Gibson guitar attack of Blaine Cartwright (Vocals/Guitars) and Ruyter Sighs (Guitars). They recently released From Hell to Texas but I was unfamiliar with most of the songs they played.

Reverend Horton Heat

Reverend Horton Heat rules. The fact he has his own Gretsch Guitar should provide enough evidence. Laughin' and Cryin' with The Reverend Horton Heat came out this past September and is chock full of blazing guitar runs and foot stomping ditties.

Reverend went through some of his older material on this night such as "Now Right Now" and "I'm Mad" along with a few cuts from the new album like "Drinkin' and Smokin' Cigarettes" and "Ain't No Saguaro in Texas".

If you aren't converted by the Reverend's fanatical guitar playing, then Jimbo Wallace (Bass) will tame you with his slap happy upright bass playing. Reverend Horton Heat relentlessly tour and you should at least see them live once in your lifetime, especially if you play guitar.

Tenacious D

A mysteriously buff roadie roamed the stage prior to Motorhead. Upon closer examination, it was Jack Black in his Brutal Legend outfit. Kyle Gass (Guitar/Vocals) emerged from the sidelines with an acoustic guitar as they pulled off the humorously charged song about life as a "Roadie". I regret not catching their full set at Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco earlier this year.


Motorhead takes no prisoners. Motorhead makes most of their living by relentlessly touring and winning over fans in each city they destroy. I spotted teenagers and little kids in the crowd being escorted by their parents so that they could experience a true Heavy Metal show.

Lemmy Kilmister (Bass/Vocals) is a living legend and is Heavy Metal's answer to Keith Richards. Armed with his iconic Rickenbacker bass, Lemmy thrashed and clawed his way through a eighteen song set. Motorhead doesn't need to release any more albums since they have already cemented a place in Heavy Metal history but recently offered up the album Motorizer.

My ears screamed in pain as Motorhead tore into "Iron Fist". I quickly reminded that I previously lost a little bit of my hearing when I caught Motorhead at the House of Blues Anaheim in September 2008. The Club Nokia show featured a similar setlist as the House of Blues Anaheim right down to the crushing encores of "Ace of Spades" and "Overkill". When people ask me, "How was Motorhead?". I often reply, "What did you say?".

Monday, October 26, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of the Dead at the Henry Fonda Theatre


...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of the Dead released one of my favorite albums in 2002 entitled Source Tags & Codes. It was raw, unhinged and chaotic. I remember seeing them open for Queens of The Stone Age at the Hollywood Palladium along with Peaches.

If my memory serves correct, Conrad Keely (Vocals/Guitars) handed a guitar to a kid in the front row because it wasn't working properly. I decided to check in on Trail of the Dead who are touring support of their new album The Century of Self.

Future of the Left

Future of the Left rocked. I had heard some positive buzz regarding their new album Travels With Myself and Another and was very interested in checking out their set. Andrew Falkous (Vocals/Guitar) immediately impressed with his battered Ephiphone SG guitar hammering out raucous maze crazed riffs.

Kelson Louis Matthias (Bass) and Jack Egglestone (Drums) formed the interlocked rhythm section that pushed and pulled their oblique tunes in various directions. "Arming Eritrea" has a deceiving light coat of fingerpicked guitars before moving into a hybrid of Death From Above 1979 and AC/DC rock territory. "Chin Music" was a good blueprint for their formulaic songs in that it repeatedly punches you in the face for barely two minutes.

Future of the Left dipped back to their first album Curses for another two minute blazer "Wrigley Scott". "Small Bones and Small Bodies" came off like a nervous caffeine induced rant that also stretched into the two and a half minute mark. Since our relative attention spans have decreased, the Future of The Left may be on to something with a majority of their songs coming in at three minutes or less.

The Roland Juno keyboard finally made its way into the set with "Manchasm" and its chirpy notes underpinned by a heavily distorted bass line and its screamed lyrics. "Land of My Formers" had Andrew step on his Electro Harmonix Micro POG pedal for some alien distortion which inspired some moshing in front of the stage. Their set ended in true rock fashion with Kelson jumping down and handing his bass to a patron while he surfed the crowd. Opening bands need to take notes from Future of the Left. Rock quickly and loudly as possible.

...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of the Dead

The haunting piano notes of "Invocation" served as a fitting introduction for ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of the Dead. Conrad Keely proceeded to chug away on his Les Paul the opening chords of "Will You Smile Again?" viciously propelled by the double drumming of Jason Reece and Aaron Ford. There were a lot of moving people on stage to try and capture. It was a lot to process on the visual and auditory level.

Conrad's interest in Egyptian mythology was displayed when they tore into "Isis Unveiled". The flashbacks from 2002 came when Jason Reece (Drums/Vocals) jumped up from his drum kit and spewed out the call to arms urgency of "Days of Being Wild". It sounded just as good as I remembered it with Jason looking unhinged as he sang.

Trail of the Dead quickly shifted gears with the more rock orchestral sounding "Bells of Creation" from their latest album The Century of Self . The dark and moody detuned madness of "How Near,How Far" pumped up the energy level with its machine gun drum rolls. Jay Phillips (Bass) was frequently smashing his bass with his fist and pointing it straight up in the air. Trail of the Dead was operating as a finely tuned war machine.

"It Was There I Saw You" was another benefactor of the double drumming drubbing dispensed to the crowd. Trail of the Dead's album World's Apart seemed to be widely overlooked but in the live setting tracks like "Caterwaul" still pack a punch. Trail of the Dead closed out their main set with "Clair de Lune" and "Totally Natural"

"Another Morning Stoner" made a great encore opener with its winding guitar riff and sea of smashing cymbals. "Mistakes and Regrets" typifies what I deem as a classic Trail of the Dead song with Conrad belting out the lyrics. "A Perfect Teenhood" served as a perfect closer to the evening with it in your face attitude and a majority of audience members throwing up their middle finger to punctuate the lyrics of the song. Safe to say it was a good night of rock.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Flaming Lips at the Ricardo Montalban Theatre

Check out my photos of The Flaming Lips at the Ricardo Montalban Theatre over at Stereogum.

During the Q & A session, Wayne answered one of my questions from Twitter about their show a few months ago at the Fox Theatre in Pomona.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thom Yorke at the Echoplex

Thom Yorke at the Echoplex from Stereogum.

I got lucky. I will admit it. Ticketweb completely crashed and I was one of the chosen ones who actually got through. I should have purchased a lottery ticket but figured my luck was already tapped out. I had two laptops going at the same time and was logged into ticketweb at 11:53am when the dreaded "processing" screen appeared.

Unfortunately, I have purchased enough tickets through Ticketweb to understand that they don't have the bandwith to put customers in the queue. I took a leap of faith and refreshed one of the computers just after 12:00 to see that the show had sold out. I promptly refreshed my other computer and magically pulled one ticket. I didn't feel completely satisfied until I received confirmation via email that my transaction went through.

It is still difficult to believe the fact that Trent Reznor, Stephen Malkmus, Billy Corgan and Jane's Addiction all have graced the Echoplex this year. Watching Thom Yorke and Flea on stage at the Echoplex was quite surreal. In the music department, it was out of this world. While the shows at the Orpheum were more refined and tighter in the performance department, the intimacy of the Echoplex was unbeatable.

The Eraser was unfairly dismissed upon its initial release as a warmed over Radiohead album, I enjoyed the primarily electronic album. It was fascinating to see the album come to life in the live setting as Flea made perfect sense for the band with its dominant bass lines. Nigel Godrich was the sound guru in the background adding keyboards and guitars when needed. Mauro Refosco was the secret spice to the whole band coloring the songs with unique percussion.

It isn't surprising that the whole show at the Echoplex is basically on You Tube. This destroys any remaining mystique about the shows but the one thing you can't feel via You Tube is the Flea's bass rattling your chest or the excitement and anticipation before Thom and company took the stage.

One of the funnier moments of the evening occurred when someone with a camera tried to get past me stating they were a friend of Thom's. The irony is that everyone who was inside was a friend of Thom's whether they were on the list or paid just like me. I would also like to thank Thom for flipping off the person who wanted to hear "Skynyrd". She should have been kicked out of the Echoplex. That joke isn't funny anymore.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Horrors at the Detroit Bar

This was an interesting night to say the least. I was prepared to head down to Costa Mesa for the Horrors at the Detroit Bar when I got a phone call asking if I could jet up to Gibson Amphitheater to cover Pearl Jam for OC Weekly. I thought that it was possible to catch both shows in one night. Could I pull it off?

Japanese Motors

I literally took a handful of shots as the Japanese Motors finished their set. They opened for all the West Coast dates for The Horrors and will be back at the Detroit Bar on December 4th opening for Drummer.

The Horrors

I was shellshocked the first time I saw The Horrors supporting their new album Primary Colours at the Henry Fonda Theatre with The Kills. I didn't have enough time to properly digest their new album and was expecting a show similar to when I saw them at the El Rey theatre.

During their tour in support of Strange House, The Horrors went over the top with confrontational performances that involved Faris Badwan (Vocals) rubbing black makeup on the faces of the audience members as well as jumping into the audience and wreaking havoc. Nowadays, Faris is fairly stoic on stage with the exception of a few erratic movements to punctuate the songs.

Primary Colours is an excellent album and doesn't require over the top theatrics. The songs speak for themselves. A bass line very reminiscent of the Stone Roses and puffs of smoke filled the Detroit Bar as the Horrors churned out "Mirror's Image". The smoke started to fill stage as the dense sheets of noise of "Three Decades" poured over the audience.

Joshua Third (Guitars) took over the sonic reigns with his sliding guitar riff of "Do You Remember".Tomethy Furse (Synthesizers) was behind a Moog Voyager and triggered the hypnotic sound patches for "Scarlet Fields". "I Only Think of You" had a dirge like quality as Joseph Spurgeon (Drums) kicked the bass drum like a dying heartbeat. "Sea Within A Sea" rightfully closed their main set with equal parts haunting guitars and bass but the arpeggiated synthesizer line is the biting hook of the song.

One of the things that threw me off when I saw them at the Henry Fonda was the omission of their older material. This was remedied when the Horrors came back for the encore of a fiery "Count In Fives" that spawned a mosh pit in front of the stage. "Sheena Is A Parasite" whipped everyone into a frenzy with its skull drilling bass line. "Gloves" continued to stir the mosh pit as the energy level at the Detroit Bar quickly doubled. I couldn't help but think that the Horrors are pulling a Jekyll and Hyde on the audience. What will they come up with next?