20070824

Gerritt to Dweezil

I saw Dweezil Zappa on Monday. Zappa Plays Zappa. Most expensive cover band I've ever seen. They mostly stuck to a portion of Frank's career (the later years) than I'm not too into. They did a set of 60s material (which I love), but weren't quite suited to playing that music in the way it would need to be played -- just a little too slick to pull it off. They were at their best when they played the earliest Zappa material written for an arena rock band; songs like "Cosmic Debris". Hell, they were at their best when they were playing along with videos of Frank playing guitar in live concerts from the 70s and 80s. Of course they chose the best recordings to play along with, but there was an obvious spark of spontaneous creativity in Frank's playing that was largely lacking in Dweezil's band. Dweezil's conducted improvisation likewise lacked the musicality of his father's endeavors in that area. They got into some truly rotten territory during that segment. Weird and long night.

8/14 @ Heco's. Vitamin Piss opened the show with some wicked noise grind. Same sort of thing as Ex-Pets and Cellblock, but this is my new favorite of the bunch. A little tighter while still remaining noisy. Great guest vocalist who really needs to move down from Santa Rosa (?) and join the band full-time. FRLGRND. Tralphaz played an interesting and brutal set like he usually does. The first 3/5ths of the show made me proud to be from the Bay. Halflings made faces like they missed the Shire and screamed through effects. They actually played a set of short pieces, which I think everyone noted as being kind of weird. For that reason alone, it was kind of worthwhile. Pretty good stuff, but it was hard to get stoked after hearing Tralphaz really wail the harsh noise. Cathode Terror Secretion is a harsh noise laptop duo. Something about brutish ape behavior interrupted by clicking on Ableton Live patches doesn't quite sit right with me. The resulting music didn't do much for me either. Heco's DJing was on point as always. Nice night with a slow fade out back to reality.

8/13 on the Bus. Carezza started things of with a really weird and really short set of vocals and boombox noise. I could've listened to a lot more. It was pretty great. Over before I really had much of a chance to start paying attention. Another show soon? Gowns, then I stopped paying very much attention. Twin canceled.

Sunday 8/11. Now that was a good day for music. Started out with Noise Pancakes at ArtSF. Free Agitation was a lot like Big Nurse. Exactly alike? Mostly (entirely?) the same people doing pretty much the same thing, though I guess rocking maybe a little less. Psychy noisy near-rock. Kinda good. Missed Xambuca while moving my car around. Social Junk were another quasi-rock noise band. Earned some points by kicking things off with some serious power chord strumming rock after a short intro. Kept the energy up throughout the set. Cool. Scott Arford had a recording of little toy guitars playing dueling banjos. He got this going on his laptop and processed it into walls of noise. Fun. Chris Brown did some skittery Max MSP shit, doing a little bit of contact mic metal processing. I liked it. The whole show was increasingly good. Nice way to start out a Sunday.

Over in Oakland, nobody was BBQing anything when I got to Terminal. I did. Pod Blotz was first. Best set I've ever seen her/them do. Stripped down solo version. No costume. Very musical and interesting. Nice shit from Gerritt as well. You know what he sounds like. I pumped my fist in the smoky air. I wasn't captivated enough by Flaspar or the repeat sets by Social Junk or Free Agitation (I think maybe it was Big Nurse this time) to really watch them.

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