Archive for Live Show Reviews

Thee OhSees, Sic Alps, Ty Segall, & The Numerators

“This is like…hypnotizing…” said the girl to my left when Lubbock locals, The Numerators started off the show at Bash’s last Saturday, September 20th.  From their neon shorts to their brilliant crowd involving punkcrunkrapscreamfest, they definitely stole the show for me.  Ty Segall was charming as ever, always involving the crowd by promoting the making of a unique sound giving the audience instruments to participate in his music rather than just listen.  He made it feel more like a jam session than a show.  As more people came in and as more drinks were bought by the time the Sic Alps went on, everyone was dancing.  If there is one thing I love about them, its watching drummer Matt Hartman sing where the whole microphone is practically down his throat.  Classic.  Thee OhSees wrapped up the show with the amazing duets between singers John Dwyer and Brigid Dawson.  Lubbock always loves when Thee OhSees make a stop to show us just how to throw a nonstop dance party full of just enough alcohol and too much nicotine in a tiny room in metro Lubbock. What could be better…

-MeaghanSara “Karma”

Hawnay Troof Review

Two days have passed since Hawnay Troof blew up the LBK. My neck is still sore and somehow so is my stomach. I was probably flailing around too much, but so be it, the show was without a doubt worth the few days of soreness. I am still in complete awe of how incredible the entire show was, it just blows my mind that it could have been that good. And it wasn’t just Hawnay Troof who put on a stellar performance. It was one of those shows where all acts brought their ‘A’ game.

Girls We Never Slepted With

The first act to come on was the local group Girls We Never Slept With. As they took the stage I was just thinking to myself, “Oh god this is going to be bad.” Two white guys (Jordash and Z-Sweat) were standing before us with mics in hand while behind them stood their DJ, ready to throw down some beats. But they were quick to win me over, and the crowd absolutely loved them. Overall their lyrics as well as much of their music was quite reminiscent of the early 90’s g-rap with what sounded like midi keys combined with synthesized notes and beats. About halfway through their set Girls We Never Slept

With debuted their new track “My Bud All Over Your Body.” As Jordash begin spitting out the first verse, he completely flubbed; forgetting the lyrics he brought the song to a halt. The crowd seemed to love it, and everyone was cheering. After admitting to a certain state of intoxication, he promised to nail the verse. They took the song from the top again, and holding true to his word, he got it right the second time through. Ultimately they were an enjoyable show, and although musically they still have some polishing to do, they were undoubtedly a crowd pleaser.

Burgers

The next act to perform were The Numerators, made up of “Burgers” Rana, Sammi Rana, and Reuben Castillo; another local act that is known for their experimental sounds and use of just about any noisemaker they can find such as party horns, kazoos, and whistles. They took the stage in brightly colored indian-like face paint, neon sunglasses that can be found in just about any Dollar General store, and tight-fitting cutoff shorts with wild designs that must have come from the early 90’s. They band quickly made it known that this was not going to be a typical show. As they love to do, they had been trying out a few new things, and had a few big surprises for us that night. They had for us not just new songs, but also a genre of music yet to be heard from them. They all grab mics, queue the beats, and gave us four new hip hop tracks. Although I was well aware that they had an experimental sound, I did not see this one coming. They put on a hell of a show. The music was fresh and still simple where it wasn’t overwhelming or annoying. Their lyrics were lighthearted, but not to the point where it becomes hard to take them serious. The entire band came down off the stage into the middle of the crowd where Sammi would start dancing and grinding on anyone in eyesight,

regardless of what gender-defining anatomical features they had. Reuben was a bit tamer with his dance moves, but still engaged anyone around him. Then there was Burgers who would come out and dance a bit, then drop to the ground laying flat on his belly and continue with the verse. They were able to really get the crowd involved and into the music.  For their final song they brought on stage Daniel Markham of One Wolf to help wrap up their performance with the song “Dancing With Wolves.” It was an amazing collaboration where Markham was really able to bring a psychedelic sound to the song while the Numerators were still able to maintain their style. I felt that this was the best performance to date from the Numerators. It was full of surprises, energy, and incredible music, and I believe that they were really able to step it up to the next level.

Hawnay Troof

Closing out the night was none other than Vice Cooler aka Hawnay Troof. I had been itching real bad for this show for months from when I first heard about it and my expectations for it were real high. I remember how incredible Vice was four years ago when he obliterated Lubbock with mad dancing, insane music, and what I thought was one of the craziest yet best shows this town has seen. I had been keeping an eye on Cooler throughout the night, watching his demeanor, trying to figure out what he thought about the previous bands and Lubbock in general after being away for so long, and I was nervous because he didn’t seem that impressed. He took the stage in a white zoot suit with green pin stripes and a black button down shirt underneath. He picked up the mic and quietly let us know that it’s difficult to put on as intense of a show as he does while having an asthma attack, and politely asked if people would mind not smoking while he was on. Of course no one minded, and I think that everyone ended up dancing to hard to even be able to smoke if they wanted to. He then cried out to the crowd, “Are you ready to rock?!” Everyone erupted in enthusiastic response. He asked us that question two more times until he felt we were really ready for what he was about to bring. He went to his laptop and started up the music, then after a few measures he exploded into wild dancing, jumping in the air, kicking, doing the splits, and tumbling across the stage looking like a 5 year old was in the midst of an overdose on pixie sticks and amphetamines. The crowd quickly took his queue and began jumping, dancing, and pumping their arms into the air; anything to try to keep pace with Vice Cooler. He was performing predominately songs off of his new album Islands of Ayle, which had just been released September 9th. Many of his songs he was able to get the crowd to interact by taking over the chorus, and chanting “yeah, yeah, yeah’s,” and “na, na, na’s.”

Hawnay Troof

He also frequented the depths of the fans by coming down off stage into the middle of the crowd and sing and dance alongside everyone else. During one of these ‘excursions’ into a mass of adoring fans he motioned for everyone to get down, everyone kneeling low to the ground on one knee. He quietly sings the chorus of song, and you could feel the music growing tense, and you knew it was about to explode, and the minute that it finally did so, everyone leaped up into the air and began jumping, dancing, and even flailing about, moving in any manner that the music lead them. Towards the end of the show Vice asked everyone if we like gold, referencing the gold suit he had hanging behind him. We unanimously approve and cheer for a wardrobe change. He kicks off his shoes and takes off his pants leaving little to the imagination in his orange and black leopard print banana hammock. As you could imagine, everyone loved it. Then he goes on and changes into his gold suit pants and the matching jacket. This only helped energize the crowd even more, and he then led us through a few more songs then paused to let us know that he talked to No Age when they got back to Cali from their tour, and when he asked how it was, the first thing they said was Lubbock, to which the crowd erupted. It was real awesome to know that a band who had gone around the world and played some real big shows, thought that highly of Lubbock. He proceeded back to the music, and finally finished the show once we were all soaked in sweat. Of course only a schmuck would finish a show without an encore, and Vice is no schmuck. Living up to his legacy of being an absolute badass, he performed not just one, not two, but three encores. No one at the show could get enough of Hawnay Troof, and although we were completely spent and barely had the energy to hold our heads up, we chanted for more and continued dancing and singing along.

I had real high expectations of this show, and I was a little worried that I was expecting more than what V.C. could offer, but he ended up blowing my mind and melting my face off. He had done what I viewed to be the impossible and he trumped his last show. The energy, the music, and the prodigious experience that he was able to create for everyone in attendance was unserpassed in the LBK. After the show I had a chance to talk to him for a little bit and he let me know that he’s thinking about coming back possibly February or March, so if you weren’t able to make the show you’ll have a chance to see an idol of the music industry, and if you were there, then start getting ready to be blown away again.

Show was brought to you by the Library Booking.

Pictures by Emily Williams.

Lucero Show Review by Mr. Caulfield

It’s July 18th and I am waking up in a bed that isn’t my own. My head is pounding and my ears are ringing. There is a stale taste of cigarettes on my breath as I cough and I wheeze upon stirring up to go to the bathroom. I can’t see straight. I stumble, still drunk, and look in the mirror to find bloodshot eyes and a trail of vomit. I can’t remember falling, but I do remember how I got there.

July 17th at Bash’s 2 was Lucero with Glossary and Sleepercar. If you have never seen Lucero or don’t have an idea as to how their fans operate, take my Bukowskian morning and you will find similar, if not magnified experiences among their fans. Lucero operate as a band which takes your worst break-ups, heartaches, lonely tendencies and alcoholic aspirations and molds them into a rock and roll songbook. Yet unlike contemporaries Jeff Tweedy or Paul Westerberg; Ben Nichols isn’t married and hasn’t found that slice of the American dream with picket fences and children. Guitarist Brian Venable will tell you that his life back home with two step children and a wife differs greatly from the other members who are still single and still drink like the crowds they play to. This gives Nichols an edge on those who write songs about heartbreak yet seem to have the happiness of that eternal companion. Fans can relate to a guy who tells heart-wrenching tales of losing it all, or just choosing to throw it all away and still goes home alone.

This is why fans drink themselves to a stupor and sing every word. This is why we buy shots and beers and throw cigarettes at them while they play. You barter your vices in order to hear this Tennessean traveler tell you how bad it is and how sweet it can be. Whether it’s “Nights Like These”, recounting not wanting to be with your lover anymore or “Last Night In Town,” an every man’s barroom farewell, you are touched and excited at the same time.

Glossary was quite the surprise as well. From Murfreesboro, Tennessee, they were the positive energy of Lucero’s biting spite. It was almost like jamming together the Hold Steady with Lubbock local hero’s Thrift Store Cowboys. El Paso’s Sleepercar made their second appearance in the Hub City and ones reputation from previous visits can seal your fate. With rumor about Jim Ward’s attitude towards fans and bands and needing a break before the Lucero’s storm hit made me miss most of their set.

Something that sets Lucero apart for me as a music fan is the fact that they stay true to a punk rock roots which they grew from. One of their most popular songs is actually a cover of a Jawbreaker song, “Kiss the Bottle” which seems like Blake Schwarzenbach wrote that song just so it could be covered by Lucero. That and the band’s struggle to expand upon themselves and create more diverse material while not alienating their fans. This is a struggle you see in many bands in the modern punk whose fans are extremely fickle and bias their opinions from music blogs and message boards.

This is shown in their documentary DVD release “Dreaming in America” before the release of their album Nobody’s Darlings that shows Ben, Brian, drummer Roy Berry and bassist John C. Stubblefield make their way across the country and write their record and evolve into the band they want to become and the band their fans crave.

Yet for Lucero, while still dwelling and creating in this inner battle, still comes out unscathed providing an experience which is new every time for the listener. And sometime for the band, who may or may not remember exactly where or when they came through last.

But this is forgivable, as I couldn’t remember all the songs I sang every word to.