Megan suggested it was time for us to get ear plugs at Xiu Xiu when I asked her how many decibels it took to explode your eardrums. I felt the same way last night. I am getting old and in the best interest of having a career in the next 10 years I should probably not finish going deaf. Apparently regular exposure over a minute to 110dB will fuck your shit up. 110 is like a chainsaw. I should probably stop running around my yard waving a chainsaw wildly. Without, ear plugs, that is.
I feel a little more deaf today thanks to Gurtrudestein, mostly. I dragged the Matts with me to middle of goddamn nowhere to see the aforementioned Gurtrudestein with Death on Mars and AmbiDextrose, a bunch of local bitches. When I say middle of goddamn nowhere I mean there is a venue in the middle of goddamn nowhere called "Second Wind." Fitz was pretty excited because he wanted to check out the venue, I guess some dude has been on his balls about playing there for a while. Good news is, the sound is not bad. My rule of thumb is look at the sound guy when you walk in- if he has dreads, hoof it out of there. If you haaave to stay, get as drunk as possible. Anything sounds awesome when you're wasted.
We sauntered in halfway through AmbiDextrose's set and I was pretty pleased. It's just some chick drummer with her dude guitarist and a laptop. Sometimes I get really uppity about people using technology where they should have band members, but I didn't feel that way at all. The flip side of that being uppity business is that I am really enthusiastic about artists using technology to their advantage to not be restricted in playing by not having a full band. The samples and shit were appropriate accents that didn't distract from them actually playing. Well done.
Next was Death on Mars. They added the Pony Girl Club myspace a while ago so I had already listened to them (yeah, big surprise there. Sometimes I actually listen to the bands that add us). They are pretty good and I would be willing to see them again. Especially since they are playing the Leucadian on the 18th. Everyone knows how sketchy the Leucadian is, but everyone also knows the Saloon is down the street.
Speaking of the Saloon, IT'S DIRTY MONDAY!!! Man, I am seriously getting to love Dirty Mondays. Gettin' down with Gabe Vega, some good drank, makin' friends and gaining fans. What
more could we ask for? Well, a lot. I'd like to not turn back into a pumpkin at midnight, for one. I digress.
Last up was Gurtrudestein. One of my favorite things about their performance was the use of visuals. They had video clips being projected onto the wall behind them and kind of just played in the dark. I was into that because from what was going on with the lights during the first two bands made me think someone had just permanently set phasers to "get retarded." This band is loud as all get out though, seriously. I still feel kind of fuzzy. I know being loud is cool or something (I was in a black metal band in high school, I know all about loud being cool) but it's at the point where none of us could understand a single word and the vocals became kind of this droning background noise, which they shouldn't be. Y'all have fantastic voices and we want to hear them! I think (especially after discussing it with Fitz, who infinitely knows more about the dynamics of live sound than I ever will) that a lot of the problem lies in having two drummers. I started out being excited, thinking it would add some mystical layer of depth but was wrong. I just felt kind of stabby after a while. Fitz felt like everyone else had to be ludicrously loud to try to be heard and that one drummer would fall behind during the fills and stuff and the other would try to adjust and it just didn't work out. I agree because saying "I feel stabby" isn't very articulate. That is my only grievance with the band, other than their recordings not doing them justice. They haven't been together that long so I will cut them some slack (which happens...never, I am the Tabatha Coffey of the music reviewing world) because they are technically sound and fantastically talented musicians.
Maybe an ocean is found in a lake,