(the) hungry pines, biography of ferns, x-ray press, paper airplanes – comet tavern
Published 07-10-2008 on my old wordpress blog.

there’s nothing like 7 hours of working on tearing apart our demolished rally car to prepare you to forget your earplugs and go to a show for a few hours. i apologize to all the bands i didn’t stand up for, but i was pretty tired. i still am, actually. next time.

i’ve been going to 21+ shows for about ten years now and i’m a little embarrassed to admit that i had never been to the comet tavern in all that time. okay, about 3 of those years were spent in californian cities, but still, it sounds like 7 years of bad luck. despite not having ever been to the comet, i knew pretty much exactly what to expect. some crazies: check. marginally operational sound system: check. dilapidated building: check. nice people: check. that home-y feeling that arises in dive bars only: check. in general, the comet treated me and fellow patrons well. i’ll probably go back sometime in the next 7 years.

paper airplanes
these 6 upstanding young dudes from witchita, KS provided the start to what would prove to be an eclectic evening. to my untrained ear, they sounded a lot like spinto band or the flaming lips, but not quite as weird. they used a lot of vocal harmonies, which were unfortunately lost in the PA (no fault to the sound guy, of course). instrumentally, they wandered between 2 guitars bass 2 keyboards drums and 3 guitars bass 1 keyboard drums and had 1 to 6 singers at any given time. this doesn’t mean anything to anyone else, but they looked like six versions of the bassist from my old band, which kind of weirded me out. at any rate, their set was a goodness crescendo: they started a bit slow but got into it by the end. there were moments that i really enjoyed. of particular impressiveness was the drummer, who was really solid and showed some marvelous quickness in the last song. keep it up boys.

x-ray press
as you may or may not know or care, i aspire to play rhodes piano in a solo project of sorts. i always picture this particular machine as this soulful, melancholy instrument. x-ray press taught me that the rhodes is made of lasers that blast straight into your brain. when backed up by a sucker punch bass and a left jab guitar as well as roundhouse kicks from the drums, well… x-ray press basically destroys you. their stop/start attack is like some crazy brand of kung fu you can’t possibly hope to predict. these guys have a lot of energy and put it all into these crazy awesome sonic assaults. and i guess at this point i enjoy getting beat up. i was expecting some good from x-ray press based on their myspace songs, but they did one better and provided me with some great. i think the guy in the tall socks summed it up best: “holy shit.”

biography of ferns
to continue the theme of awesome drummers, biography of ferns drummer stormi king pounds the crap out of her set. you may recognize her and the bassist from shorthand for epic, a pretty sweet dance-y pop band. they’ve now formed biography of ferns into a dance-y punk band. i don’t know if anyone that reads this knows the east bay pop-punk band juke, but biography of ferns reminds me of them. silly and danceable. these guys definitely got the audience to move around. at the end of their set, i witnessed some of the weirdest ballroom dancing i have ever had the chance to see. but everyone was having fun, so that’s awesome.

hungry pines
two dudes and two ladies form the cohesive quadruped that finalized my evening last night with a cloppity clop clop. i don’t know what that means, but i think i just called hungry pines a horse. no, let’s make it a pegacorn. that seems more fitting. at any rate, it turns out i know the two dudes in hungry pines from various things. lucas, el drummer, had the unfortunate responsibility of having to listen to my previous band for hours on end while recording and mixing and mastering our e.p. bryce, les bassist, i’ve seen around enough for us to say “how’s it going, man” to each other and clap each other on the shoulder. the ladies i do not know, but they seem like nice folk. i’m babbling, let me get to the point. the hungry pines are good. their set remined me of denali a bit, but more sincere, less keyboardy/drum machiney, extraordinarily less pretentious, and definitely not as slow. the lone vocalist (irene, i think. also plays guitar.) sang exactly like i do, with eyes closed and making anguished faces, like she doesn’t care if you understand what is going on with the lyrics but needs to get this stuff out of her. she is accompanied by these amazing crying guitar licks from the other lady in the band (chrysti, apparently). they have this solid rhythm section in the two dudes playing bass and drums. the whole combination is this sort of tortured thing but in this really beautiful way. like you took a regular horse and stapled wings to it’s back and drilled a horn into it’s skull. the horse is psyched that it can fly and stab things, but had to go through a lot to get there.

yes, i think x-ray press laser blasted my brain into mush. i should just quit writing and go work on the house projects i need to finish. fine, then.

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Keywords: biography of ferns, comet tavern, hungry pines, paper airplanes, show, x-ray press

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