Day 2 of the last adventure of the summer. I spent 10 hours checking out books to students, setting up seating charts, making straight lines on the white boards with wet-erase pens, revising syllabi to match my new policy ideas, etc. etc. etc. I’m going to be a little upset if we go on strike. At any rate, I headed out to the Kirkland Teen Union Building after that 10 hour day to check out a student’s band.
I played KTUB about three years ago and I’m pleased to report that it hasn’t changed all that much. A little more art here and there, but it’s still a nice space overlooking a park in the middle of this idyllic suburb. The kids were pretty excited to be there, so I was glad to throw my $6 into the cash box. I arrived a bit early, so I went and checked out the skatepark. I’m lucky to have Lower Woodland is all I have to say about that.
Superhero Action Figures
Though one member of this band is my student, that has little influence over my review other than to have caused me to drag myself out to Kirkland. The kids love Superhero Action Figures. They moshed for the first song. They clapped along when prompted. They moved up when asked. And there are several reasons to love Superhero Action Figures. They are fun pop-punk with good melodies and song structures. A Blink 182 cover was appropriate, I thought. Their songs range from that style of pop-punk to some of the other mid-90s punks (Pennywise came to mind on the sing along song) and even some early 80s bands (Descendents were emanating from the last song of the set). Superhero Action Figures reminded me a lot of my high school band. I suppose the only difference was that my Calculus teacher never showed up at a show. So here’s the grade:
Stage Persona: A+
Fun-ness: A (the slow songs lost some folks)
Tightness: B+ (it got better once they warmed up)
Overall: keep it up, gentlemen. A.
Assuming that this one-man band was a teenager, I thought to myself, “You’ll be a hit at your art college.” However, it appears that he is college aged as he will be playing some bars in the coming months. Ah well. Curbside Avengers is a guitar, drum machine and vocals. However, the drum machine is a Casio keyboard that apparently only knows one beat (but can change the tempo!). The guitar is standard seventies punk riffs. The vocals are Jello Biafra. The overall sound comes out like Jello doing Ramones covers with um, a Casio keyboard that only knows one beat. However, the marching band uniform jacket looks really nice and the suspenders are a good touch. Falling over never hurt anyone either. Oh, wait.
Song crafting: B
Crowd engagement: C
Overall: we don’t give grades in art college, you earned a green. Like a #2B682A in hex RGB code.
White Winter Heat (solo, not the band)
Taylor Romoser’s band, White Winter Heat, has apparently just broken up so they were unable to attend our event this evening. Taylor gets extra credit for not quitting the show. He’s working on solo stuff. he’s an excellent guitar player. He puts a lot into the vocals. I was getting a weird godly (with a capital G) feeling from his performance, though. Me and that god guy don’t get along so well. Taylor was also lacking shoes, which weirded me out. What is he Glen Phillips? Oh man, I just made a Toad the Wet Sprocket reference. At any rate, here’s Taylor’s grades:
Singing: C (maybe just a bad night?)
Overall: Solid performance, but you’re going to have to do something to stand out. B.
Well, apparently my five years of Mormon slavery didn’t teach me as much as I thought it would. Master Mahan is, according to the internet, source of truth, a title that Cain assumed, according to Joseph Smith. No one really knows what it means, but it’s supposedly something about a covenant with the devil to kill for personal gain. Well, that sounds a bit ridiculous to me. Speaking of fashion, I found myself asking myself mentally why Master Mahan the band needed a lot of the things they had going on. The wireless set up for the bass, for example. Or the fashionable haircuts. Or the jacket with fur lined hood. However, I remembered that they are just kids and have different fashion tastes than I do. And they may have made some covenant with the devil, so they might kill me for personal gain. One thing I will mention is that they were playing the “one of these kids is not like the other” game with their fashion this evening. I hate to say anything too negative, but maybe it will do some good for them in the long run, so here it goes. That Ibanez guitar sounds terrible. I know they’re cheap and easy to find, but please do another around the world and forget to affix the strap, then go to guitar center and pick up something that you can stand to listen to. Well, at least 25 teens and pre-teens were into their set.
Stage Presence: C
Fashion Effort: a million points
Overall: maybe I just don’t get it because I’m too old. C.
Somewhere during the night, I realized that every generation is exactly the same. In watching the kids figure out their place in life, I saw all the people in my life or formerly in my life, but in smaller packages. I saw a Kawabata, a Jordan, a small version of an ex-girlfriend and even a little me. I wish them all the best of luck out there.
** Old Wordpress comments **
the curbside avengers says:
August 30, 2008 at 11:35 pm
thanx for coming out and taking the time to review us and we hoped you enjoyed it. we will be playing our next show at the “bit saloon” in ballard on friday september 12th at 9 pm. thanx eddie
August 30, 2008 at 11:39 pm
wait a minute you used to be in the “rivets” i met one of the guys from that band who is currently in a band called 9lb beaver. cool tunes by the way. also if you still play drums my band “the curbside avengers” could use a new drummer.