El Corazon is nearly empty tonight. The ticket price is too high for a Tuesday night math rock show. And it is El Corazon and everybody already knows how much it sucks. Luckily there’s no need for asshat security tonight, so things have been pretty decent.
“day month year,” as the kids are saying these days, are an epileptic dance party. There are five of them and they all play drums even though they appear to be playing guitars or keyboards or singing. This is a band comprised entirely of rhythms. It comes out sounding a bit like that “end of the world and we know it” song by REM, but just the verses. And the singing is more like Devo in it’s affectations. Like some crazy angry new wave band. The five piece band wanders from instrument to instrument in seemingly haphazard fashion, justifying my idea that all of them are really playing drums. In fact, two of them actually are playing the same drumset. One guy has his own snare and splash and tambourine, and then he shares a rack tom and a crash and the hi-hats with the main drummer. It is like one is the left hand and the other is the right hand. It’s a pretty cool feature live. They are a pretty fun band. You should see them the next time you are in Toronto.
It is pronounced basically like “Spock” if you are curious. It features the drummer from Hella and The Advantage. There are three keyboards and two guitars and a bass and drums in sBach, but only four band members. In other words, each guitarist also gets a keyboard. The drummer for sBach/Hella/The Advantage is amazing. He turns his sticks around to blast the hell out of the drums. He has the best bass drum foot I’ve ever seen, sounding like a double bass pedal but using just the one foot! Let’s say you work at the animal shelter and your favorite part of the job is euthanasia time. You go to the back room with some poor puppy beaming with joy. Traipsing, almost. If you happened to be listening to a fancy mp3 player, it would be playing sBach songs. I think sBach is the evillest happy band I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening too. And they were only the first of the two bands of the night with amazing, possibly psychotic drummers.
I’m thinking about making a t-shirt that has Damon Che’s face on the front, turned to the left a bit, wearing a beret. It will be on a red background, of course. He is that good. Like save Cuba from imperialistic powers good. Don Cab is a 3 piece these days and may always have been, but you’d think they were a million people, given all the layers that exist in their songs sometimes. Like crazy triplets with the hands (using tree trunks as sticks, basically) and twos with the bass drum. Like tapping guitars and loops and delays. It is pretty much impossible to describe the sound of Don Caballero, since they are so epic and genre-defining. Imagine all the dust at the bottom of a Pittsburgh steel mill. How it has been sitting there for years and trampled on by hundreds of disgruntled employees. If that dust formed into a bad ass drummer and wonderful guitarists, it would be Don Caballero. They’ve added some vocals to a couple songs, which were imperceptible in the traditional El Corazon as much bass as possible mix (if you stand near the front, that is), so I can’t claim to have understood any or be able to tell you what they were like at all. However, the drumming! The only thing that hinted at the fact that these songs were not completely effortless was the drop of sweat falling from Damon Che’s nose. I’d probably add that to my t-shirt. The back could be his quotes. Here’s some gems from tonight:
After he took his pants off to play: “I vowed never to play without pants again, but shit happens.” He spent the rest of the evening on stage in his underwear.
In regards to the idea of respect: “Don’t fool yourself, there is no respect anymore. We just sent the statue of Winston Churchill back to England and said ‘Go fuck your mother, Britain.'”
After people started shouting requests: “Shouting out your favorites has no bearing on what we’re actually able to play…”
At the end of a song: “Speaking of turning diamonds back into coal, the government is going to write that drum solo for you in the future.”
“Thanks a whole frickin’ pantload to Day Month Year and sBach…”
Genius. Crazy genius.
I wish I could go to a show every night. During those few hours of blaring musical awesomeness, I felt pretty great. I’ll work on trying to keep that around more. Or just going to more shows.
** Old Wordpress comments **
April 3, 2009 at 9:15 pm
nice, that sounds like a really great show man wish I could have been there.
I am a huge fan of sBach, spencer seim is a true artist.