Cosmic Psychos at Cake Shop
Do I need to comment on a bunch of farmers from Australia who have been playing punk rock for thirty years and are touring the world? Sounds like the plot of the 70's childrens cartoon they were too scared to make, but in fact they are complete badasses. Speaking of which I decided not to post the photos of them mooning the audience. Yes, I am merciful.
M.O.T.O. at Cake Shop
I do not know for a fact whether every M.O.T.O. song is in 4/4 time as suggested by lead singer Paul Caporino's "a 1-2-3-4" intro to most of their songs, but I can certainly believe it. M.O.T.O.'s music is about the most straightforward rock-n-roll ever. Their songs use lyrics and chords sparingly, just a few per song, but are chock full of bouncy, boisterous energy.
Their sound has been called "caveman rock" but I would say it is more like "neanderthal". Think about how early rock music evolved into punk rock. Can you imagine an alternate evolutionary path, one which led to something which is just as loud and just as simple, but somehow... different? M.O.T.O. is that other, the one which is just a little funny looking but is basically the same thing and can still pummel you senseless. The biggest difference between this and punk is that M.O.T.O. is rarely serious. They aren't protesting or dwelling on negativity, they're just trying to have some fun. And they succeeded yet again.
Acid Baby Jesus at Cake Shop
Sometimes you can tell when a band is still hung over from last night. Acid Baby Jesus played the Bell House on Friday and some of them clearly hadn't recovered by Saturday. This was a sloppy, sloppy show which partly redeemed itself by getting pretty weird towards the end.
Acid Baby Jesus are one of those lo-fi γκαρ?ζ ροκ bands. Yep, they're from Greece (look for the setlist in the photos - it's in Greek) and I don't think it's too much of a stretch to call them the Greek Black Lips. They have a raw but compelling musical style which sounds a lot like the early Black Lips, crazy on-stage antics, and even a singer/bassist who looks like Jared Swilley. Even if this particular show didn't sound so great their recordings are really good.
One thing they don't seem to have yet is the reputation, at least here in the US, for wild live shows. One guy from the audience was going nuts in front of the stage during their set but that's it. Until the whole audience knows that it's okay to get nuts most of them won't do it. Of course it takes time to build up that reputation. So do me a favor: listen to their record, enjoy these photos of a band burying their bassist under a pile of mic and cymbal stands, and think about how cool this will be once everyone in the audience agrees to go temporarily insane together.
The Lost Crusaders at Cake Shop
The Lost Crusaders 2.0, now featuring 2.0 members!
See, The Lost Crusaders were at one point an eight-piece band. More if you count numerous "special guests". Their music had elements of gospel, blues, a bit of jazz, and rock-n-roll (as one might expect from long-time rock-n-rollers like these guys) but the orchestration was like a gospel group. They had an organ, several backing singers who occasionally stepped up to sing lead, and lots of tambourine. That line-up lasted for a couple of years and put out a great album. I guess it was just too unwieldy to last.
The new lineup plays the same songs plus a couple of new ones. Eight musicians to two, how does that work? Well first of all they sound less like a gospel group and more like a rock-n-roll band, though of course of a stripped-down sort. The single kick drum is reminiscent of one-man-bands like Mark Sultan, Bloodshot Bill and Bob Log III but with the guitar playing rhythm rather than lead most of the time. The result is foot-stompin', clap-along music. Their soulful lyrics about loss and salvation, catchy, upbeat rhythms and lots of tambourine (always lots of tambourine) embody a rather unique thing: a respectful interpretation of gospel music by a rock band.
Pop.1280 at Cake Shop
I smelled smoke during this set! It's those extra lights they put on the floor. The effect of this extra lighting was nice. It made the place look post-apocalyptic (and the smoke didn't hurt either!) Too bad it was too dark to shoot without the flash, so I couldn't really capture the atmosphere.
A Frames at Cake Shop
Once in a while you find a band which has one member whose energy on stage blows the rest of the band away. Try to guess which one. As for their music, some A Frames songs sound like 70s British punk. Others are more conceptual and remind me of John Cale in the Sabotage era if anything.
Nobunny at Cake Shop
I hope these photos make it look like Nobunny's show at Cake Shop was awesome. Honestly, it wasn't. I don't know every single thing that went wrong, but three barely-working mics and several broken bottles on the floor (notice that Nobunny doesn't wear shoes) must have had something to do with it. Too bad, because I have seen plenty of good performances by Nobunny, including his last one at Cake Shop.