Sunday, April 22, 2012

Translation Loss Records Showcase, Philadelphia, PA, 4/20/2012

This went down last night in Philly, at the North Star Bar.  Many a fine band played to a rather pitiful audience.  The headliners, Giant Squid, flew in from San Fransisco to play this show and another Translation Loss Records showcase on Saturday night in Brooklyn.  If there were 50 people watching the Squid (including members of the other bands that played) it was a lot.  Hopefully the Brooklyn show had a better turn out because it's sad to see such fine musicianship (from all bands involved) go so underappreciated. 

I missed East of the Wall unfortunately.  When I got to the bar, I decided to order the 'north star burger' at the front bar before EotW went on.  The show was going on in another room.  My meal took way to long to come out and when it did finally arrive it was a poor excuse for a burger.  I asked for medium and it came out well done, the bun was dry and falling apart and the gorgonzola and carmelized onions were nonexistent.  A foodie I am not but I guess my tastes have been refined due to frequenting fine establishments like Bare Burger in Brooklyn.  What could I really expect from a dive bar in terms of food anyway?  At least they had a respectable number of quality beers on tap.  A pint of arrogant bastard helped wash down the sad burger.  On to the show.

Highlights included hearing EotW through the walls while eating and watching the locals get overly dramatic about the Flyers v. Penguins game.   Fight Amp was the first band I actually saw, and they definitely delivered the noise rock meets Helmet goods.  I'm happy to see these Jersey boys doing well, and their recent three way split with Kowloon Walled City and Ladder Devils is bordering on essential.  Stinking Lizaveta was a big surprise due to their inclusion of an upright bass (well played, gentlemen) and the frantic, capricious playing of the guitarist.  Their unpretentious and experimental sludge rock is not to be missed in the live setting.  The headliners were a head above the rest though, as the Squid was in fine form.  Quirky, avant-garde doom folk with an electric cello?  Hells yes!  The guitarist's vocals were a little grating and annoying though; possibly an acquired taste.  However, the cellists' vocals were much better, especially when she unleashed the evil witch howl.  The cello served as like a second bass or a piano and was well executed.  They rocked my ass off for the most part, and deserve your full support. 

Up next: Old Man Gloom at the church in Philly, probably Ulcerate/Tombs in Brooklyn and then....wait for it....MDF!!!!!!!