Leica M9, Noctilux. Loving the use of Color Efex Pro 4 filters — this one’s called Fuji Velvia.
Archive for October, 2012
So while we’re on this little run of obsessing over SF bands (see the highly overwrought prose below, heaped upon both Thee Oh Sees and Ty Segall), we happened to look at the weather forecasts for the Bay Area this morning. All the weather guys are predicting sunshine and massive hangovers, at least for Giants fans. (It’s the only way sports news could make it on the broadcasts, what with non-stop coverage of the Frankenstorm.) Oh yeah, while the West Coast is all sunny and bright, we here in the Mid Atlantic have the Clouds O’ Doom sailing in like the Spanish Armada. And the worst of it? It may keep us from seeing the Sic Alps tonight play at Comet Ping Pong.
So we’re loving the eponymous Sic Alps album, love the “Hey Joe” soundalike, “Wake Up, It’s Over II,” appreciate to no end how they can take a song like “Thylacine Man” and shroud it in this Blood Meridian (the band, not the greatest novel ever) sense of remorse. This is exactly the band you would want to travel, by automobile, the approximately two miles from your home to see play at a restaurant notable for two things — the pizzas, which are both wonderful and come shaped like comets, and the ping pong tables in the back where many an adult has just crushed it while their kids, on the losing end of the exchange, giggle and wail. Yeah, exactly the kind of place you’d want to see a band play a rocker as effin’ perfect as “Moviehead” — shimmering guitars chiming with languor that seems like suppressed urgency, not anything genuinely laid back — which of course was the plan. To go t0night to see the Sic Alps play Comet Ping Pong. Only this storm has come in on such a torrent of apocalyptic hype, one wonders if we could pack up the car and get there without being swept away to West Virginia, or crushed under a toppling silver maple.
So all day long we will wonder: will the Sic Alps even have been able to get here from Brooklyn (where they at least were scheduled to play last night)? Will we be able to see the visiting San Francisco band? Even if they get here, will Comet Ping Pong defy, if not the Mayor — does DC have a Mayor? — then reason to keep us out while the winds howl at 75 miles per hour? We shall see.
It actually is kinda hard understanding Thee Oh Sees, whose new album Putrifiers II stimulates all body parts, from the tips of your toes to the furthest cranial hideaways. How could a band that, just last year, in their epic punk rock masterpiece Carrion Crawler/The Dream, harken to the heyday of “Final Solution” Pere Ubu and give Capsula a run for their pesetas as the band you’d like to pogo to, come back with something so jaw-droppingly boss’n’beautiful as Putrifiers II? There’s punk rock galore on this album, but saying it’s a punk album is like saying Sgt. Pepper’s is rock’n’roll — there’s rock’n’roll on it, but so much more! Just when you think you’ve got them pegged, they wriggle out of your mind’s definition and confound you! And if that’s not the mark of a first-rate rock’n’roll band, we don’t know what is.
On the title track, see, they recycle Captain Beefheart’s “Dropout Boogie,” hit you with the ol’ Pere Ubu/Cap’n soprano sax, and still twang your woogie with something completely new.
“Wax Face” kicks the album off with a Cream meets Pop Levi in Ozzie’s basement mashup that pulls your grin mechanism into near-fatal rictus. Wax face? No, it just dissolves like the cover of Ty Segall’s Melted.
And then they come back with a sax’n’double drum boogie, John Dwyer and Bridget Dawson harmonizing like imminent stars on a soap opera from a parallel universe that is built upon “Nashville,” but only those corners of town where tattoo parlors are punctuated by removal studios for those with tattoo regret.
Then like Pablo Sandoval swinging a bat, they hit you across the face with double cellos while a drummer recruited from a filming of The Last Of The Mohicans patiently taps the tom toms.
And just when your mind has taken all that in and tries to synthesize so much data — SF punk rock band and Ty Segall buds that produce each year, on average, two records of sheer blasting fun, anarchy in the US of A, return in 2012 with a record that stimulates both pedal extremities and the pop brain’s pleasure centers — they come back with “Lupine Dominus” and its Fugazi-meets-Jesus and Mary Chain’s Munki antics, and it all just shuts down, the mind that is. I give up! I’ll just lie here and enjoy it! And what do they do? The reward us with the gorgeous “Goodnight Baby.” A song which you can just lie down and enjoy, drool maybe forming at the edge of your mouth.
We’re ready to throw in the towel and just move to SF. Ty Segall. Sic Alps. And now we can’t get Thee Oh Sees off our playlist.
The very intelligent and seeming great guy John Dwyer has explained that he’s not a one-album-per-year person — and even forgiven the lack of promotion various record labels have given their music, chalking up their inattention to the reality that, no sooner will they have put one record out, he’ll be back in the studio putting together a record that is completely different. Yeah, the stuff great bands are made of. With Putrifiers II, The Oh Sees are on a double-drum roll and we hope it never ends.