Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Essex Green promotes time travel

"In my book..."

I'm fed up with that overused phrase! Few people who say it have written a book, and odds are if someone who says it has written a book, the thought following the phrase appears nowhere in the actual book.

But, in my BLOG...

(I don't like "blog" either -- it sounds like something you might pull out of your cold, sickly nose...)

Yes, in my blog, there are no clumps of mucus, hardened or otherwise. But there are some thoughts on a couple of bands I saw last night at 12 Galaxies in the Mission District with my friends Alan and Julian. Mind you, I was a bit inebriated at the time of said musical presentation, so this is hardly a real review, nor had I intended on even writing one. But it was such a fun time that the feeling is worth preserving.

The main attraction at 12 Galaxies was Kelley Stoltz. More on him later. It was The Essex Green who made the most splashing impression.

Three drunk music geeks watching The Essex Green sounds a little like this:

Alan: "The keyboard player is kind of cute."


MF: "Oh look, she's wearing a hippie skirt!"


Julian: "It looks like she's going out with the guy playing the Ric."


MF (to Alan): "Do you think he'd get pissed if you bought her a drink?"


MF: "Look at that sport coat and that shaggy hair and beard. Kinda looks like Barry Gibb."


Julian: "She's a flautist too!"


MF: "Maybe we'll hear 'Bungle In The Jungle' tonight!"


And so on and so forth on the outer appearances of the band. The music wasn't all that bad, if you like '60s folk-pop with the occasional heavy guitar rocker. They were channeling everything from the Beatles, the Mamas and the Papas and Jefferson Airplane to It's A Beautiful Day to early new wave-punk sounds. If this band wasn't so tightly controlled and polished in their presentation, one could easily mistake them for a Bay area throwback band working to keep the Summer of Love alive. But they didn't have that loose, free, easygoing vibe that you get from San Francisco bands. As their myspace profile indicates, they're from Brooklyn, New York. A ha!

After waxing sarcastic on the Essex's "Revolver period" and puzzling over the fact that their lead guitarist wasn't given a star position on stage in spite of his being probably the best musician in the whole band, there was a seemingly interminable wait before Kelley Stoltz took the stage. By this time, I was starting to lose my ability to maintain clear memories. It was just too late for this headliner, "in my blog."

I remember Mr. Stoltz and his band opening with a new song that sounded to me like something the Modern Lovers would play, or as Alan and Julian heard it, "the Velvet Underground meets the Monkees." Same thing, pretty much. There were at least two between-song monologues on Don Ho, whose death was reported earlier in the day, and lots of bubbles blown from the stage. Not very tiny ones either, I might add. I had had enough of those before I got to the venue anyway, so it was all good.

Even better than either The Essex Green or Kelley was an awesome rockabilly band that played in between sets on the upstairs stage of the venue. Their sound was perfect -- the singer had that punctuating vocal "whoop!" down perfectly, the stand-up bass was thumping, there was just the right amount of twang in the guitar... the music this band played made me feel like I was being transported back to 1959. Sadly, I cannot remember the band's name, nor were they listed on the 12 Galaxies website or anywhere else I looked. I'd really like to know who they were, since I'd like to see them again and would gladly pay to see them headline. Anyone know?? Not me, too many margaritas...

As I was walking out of the venue, I passed by a blond in a stylish black and white checkered dress (at least that's what I think it was) who looked like she could have been Paris Hilton's twin. It was a sad reminder that it wasn't 1959, 1967, or even 1978. Nope, it's 2007, a time where there's no one prevailing or conferred style of hip for music, art, film, TV, or any of the arts and entertainment we enjoy. EVERYTHING is worthwhile to somebody, and we all know it thanks to the the increased speed at which information is exchanged in the 21st century. It just makes the kinds of hipster scenes we can find, like at last nights show at 12 Galaxies, seem all the more absurd. Of course, everybody else in the place could have been thinking the same thing, but if we knew that, we'd have a little bit less to laugh about now, wouldn't we?

1 comment:

Doug M. said...

Sounds good. I got stuck south of Mission at some lame warehouse party as escorted by eurotrash Gavin Rossdale lookalike "friend of a friend of a friend" who would load the stalls 4 at a time to load up on bolivian marching powder. This led to another cross city crazy carride to a lame Burning Man thing. All of this, of course, was sans cell phone thank to dead battery, last used going into a movie theatre at 4:00pm Saturday, slept at Z's to get away from the burning fools, and no phone charge until 9:30p-10p when we returned from Oakland. Fun times and it was good seeing you Friday night, my immobility really fucked with me this week. There's always next time. Christina is a sweet girl, too. I;ll likely write the whole goddamn thing up tonight.