Saturday, May 7, 2011

Beach Fossils, Craft Spells, Soft Metals at Berbati's Pan

I don't know if this is really true or if it is just an opinion of mine, and actually, I don't really know how much I believe this, and I don't mean "I don't really know how much I believe this" like how most people use it to say that they simply don't believe something, I really just mean that this is something that seems to ring true when I say it, and I just haven't put enough thought into it to justify or refute it, so I'll just throw it out there and see where it takes me.

Actually, first, I want to note that I, when doing these show reports, which I've been trying to be better and more consistent about actually doing, I tend to have some sort of angle, or speaking point which I tie in with the show, so I guess this is my angle for this show. Here goes.

The best type of music is the kind that either makes you feel like your life is kind of put together or makes you feel like your life is kind of falling apart, or both.

This show was a perfect example of this.

I'll admit outright that I worked 8 hours before walking across downtown to go to this show, so I was kind of tired and in a weird mood because I (like everyone, I'm sure) tend to think a whole lot when I actually allow myself to take a walk for a long enough distance to actually justify calling it a "walk". And, on top of that, this whole show was kind of weird before I even walked in the doors, because as far as I knew, Berbati's has not been having shows for a while now due to some remodeling, which I had heard was not yet finished, and when I looked for information on this show on the Berbati's website, the calendar wouldn't load, and I couldn't find anything about it on my Portland show website, and I didn't see anything about it in the newspapers, which usually tend to be pretty good about these kinds of things. So, I didn't even really know if this show was going to happen, and if it was, how much it was going to cost and what time it started. Luckily, with shows, you can pretty much go with the standard "10 bucks at 9 PM" and it will get you pretty far. This was no exception.

Upon walking into the show, I immediately noticed a camera crew. I don't really have an explanation for this. No long paragraph or run-on sentences or anything. They were just filming and taking pictures of the audience. Kind of freaked me out the whole show.

Also, Berbati's is apparently one of those type of venues that takes putting on shows just a bit too seriously, so they have security guards walking around and the sound guy is really professional and proper, which is probably kind of nice, but I have always thought it seems a bit awkward, and most musicians are a bit awkward already, so it kind of just makes everyone uncomfortable.

All of these things contributed, but did not explain the overall eeriness of the whole show, so I'm just labeling this one as one of my weird-for-no-reason shows that happen... frequently.

I don't know why.

I don't really have much to say about Soft Metals, except that I think they are a Portland band, and they are kind of like what I imagine Crystal Castles would sound like if they weren't really pissed off and dramatic all the time.

Craft Spells were great, and apparently who the camera crew was there for. I will have to keep an eye out for what all of this camera-in-your-face-while-you-are-just-trying-to-play-songs-for-these-people footage will eventually be used for.

Beach Fossils was a lot like Craft Spells, and I want do describe them both as sounding a lot like that band Real Estate except with more adolescence. Which brings me back to my "angle". If you listen to Beach Fossils, it is really quite bright, and happy and sunny (or, more Beach Boys than Beach House). That brightness showed up a bit at this show just because, well, it is what their songs sound like. And they are upbeat and it kind of just made me feel like I was 16 and driving around listening to NOFX really loud in my Blazer, which always used to feel pretty good and make me feel like my life was... well, put together, or at least pretty awesome as far as being 16 goes.

The other half of my angle comes from some of the passing comments the singer let slip which kind of painted the picture of a younger band at the end of a long tour, experiencing some sort of hype/fame/popularity for the first time as a band, and being really pretty sick of it. In fact, incredibly sick of it. Touring, fame, everything. This became more and more apparent in the last half of their set when the singer mentioned that the guitarist and the bassist had gotten into "a really bloody fist fight" the night before in San Francisco, but had "made up and became friends again, I think," which they both kind of shrugged about and then they just started playing the next song, from this point, very much in "don't-give-a-fuck-I-just-want-this-to-be-over" mode, which tends to really piss off the audience members that paid to come see you play.

I have found that I really kind of like it, because it kind of takes the acting out of performing music live, and you can actually kind of see how people are or catch a small glimpse of where the music comes from. This happened another time recently at a house show when this band, An Amiable Medley were playing and the lead singer was either drunk, or really emotional, or, likely, both, and he yelled the lyrics "Because you are beautiful, and sensible, and you'll NEVER BELONG TO MEEEEEEE!!!" into the microphone and then threw himself to the floor and punched it, and then threw himself into a shelf and punched a whole in the wall, and then bled all over his guitar, and my jaw dropped and I am sure it was one of my favorite shows in recent memory, for this reason alone.

For some reason, when I see things I like this, it makes me start thinking about myself and... I don't know, maybe being young and angsty and dying my hair black and being really kind of dramatic and emotional, and it kind of makes me think twice about the soft, boring music that I make, and all of these thoughts kind of affect me and put this feeling that the world is kind of falling apart in me, and I love it, and I loved this Beach Fossils show for that reason as well as the opposite of that reason.

So, after they finished throwing themselves around and thrashing their instruments as they finished their last song, they threw their instruments down, the drummer kicked his drum set over, and they all (except for the bassist, who told the audience "thanks") kind of just stormed off stage, and somehow, from their whole set of "I hate this and I don't want to be here" type comments and performing, the crowd thought they were going to come out and do an encore, which was kind of funny.

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