Categories
Music Reviews

Start Your Own F***ing Show Space

Start Your Own F***ing Show Space

compilation of the final shows at Death By Audio

Famous Class

Does your town have a little warehouse, or a house, or a hole-in-the-wall dive bar where local scene kids book bands? Pop-up shows done on the fly whose marketing consists solely of word of mouth, or announcements on social media? If your answer is “No,” you’re probably not looking hard enough. These d.i.y. venues are kinda an insiders secret — an out of the way place that no cops, or narcs, or those looking to capitalize or corporatize know about. My town has had a few noteworthy ones over the years, and the shows I’ve seen at them have always felt special in an artsy kind of way– like all in attendance were characters in a cool little indie film and this was the “party” scene, at the hip hangout.

Where the cool kids hang out, make art, play music work, live — Brooklyn had a famous such place called Death By Audio. Founded in 2005 by Oliver Ackermann of A Place to Bury Strangers, the venue (which was also a recording studio, and effect pedal workshop) hosted 1,800 shows up until its shutdown in late 2014. Start Your Own Fucking Show Space is an epic compilation of that last blow-out month of performances, in chronological order starting with Dirty On Purpose and ending with a blistering bombshell track by Lightning Bolt.

The playlist is a mouth watering collection of killer bands that looks ripped straight from my iPod, but for those of you who aren’t Me, here’s a list of some (but not all) of the musicians who participated in this love letter to DBA: Tyvek, Parquet Courts, Coasting, Pujol, Ty Segall, Screaming Females, Natural Child, Thee Oh Sees, Nots, Metz, Jeff The Brotherhood, and Protomartyr. Every track vibrates with the energy of a hot, sweaty space filled to spilling over with the urgency of a Scene leaving its mark.

I’d never been to Death By Audio, but I’ve been to places like it and I can smell the cheap beer, and imagine the questionable stains on the furniture, and feel the slick skin of bodies pressed in tight. It’s a funky garbage can of ick, but it inspires a high more pure than any drug. It’s the high of shared experience and of community. If you haven’t found a space like this in your own town, start one up, like the compilation’s title demands!

famousclass.com/product/start-your-own-fucking-show-space

Categories
Music Reviews

Sharkmuffin

Sharkmuffin

Chartreuse

State Capital Records/Little Dickman Records

When you call your band Sharkmuffin, you’ve already got my attention. A sweet, slightly chubby shark? A baked good with bite? Two words randomly married into a band name? What does it mean?! Color me intrigued, even before pressing “play.”

Intrigue could have easily turned to apathy if the music didn’t hold up, but Sharkmuffin’s full length debut Chartreuse bit me with the power of a Great White off the coast of Amity. Girl fronted garage punk with catchy hooks and crunchy guitars describes this Brooklyn trio’s sound in a nutshell, but doesn’t convey the skill with which they wield these commonalities. There’s a punch to their delivery, snarl and spitfire in the vocals of Tarra Thiessen and Natalie Kirch, and if the drum parts on the album bring to mind a certain classic Hole record it’s because Patty Schemel was doing the pounding. It’s a recipe for delicious rage and it all comes together most succinctly on “Tampons are for Sluts,” with its bass heavy groove and an arc that goes from calm and sexy to bleeding fury. If The Coathangers got onstage with L7 it may sound something like this. Watch out for flying tampons.

“First Date,” and “Now” are both primal and raw like a sweaty afternoon romp. “I Called You From The Moon” is an even brasher beast, starting with a scream and winding down two minutes later with a feedback frenzy that would make Metz envious. But this isn’t to say that Sharkmuffin are one trick ponies, Chartreuse packs the melodies alongside the noise. “Mondays,” “Straight Lines” and “Broken Teeth” show a degree of colors to the Sharkmuffin palatte — powerpop, 50’s girl group, a little rockabilly raunch. These girls got range beyond rage — like sharks you can cuddle with, or muffins spiked with acid.

Give Chartreuse a bite. The bitch will bite you right back.

sharkmuffin.com

Categories
Music Reviews

Creepoid

Creepoid

Cemetery Highrise Slum

Collect Records

The gloomy, distortion loving, sonic sauna that is Creepoid’s new record Cemetery Highrise Slum has made a home beneath my skin when I wasn’t paying attention. Such stealth, such persistence, the Philly band kept me coming back for more even before I had decided I liked what I was hearing. They’re an acquired taste that got better after repeated exposures, like Prometheus, or kale. The same thing happen to me, recently, with the first Metz album. Maybe it’s the hypnotic drone and fuzzed out reverb that both bands harness that takes the brain a bit to wrap itself around. Only where Metz takes the Sonic Youth-ian feedback noise and cranks it up to 11, Creepoid drags it into a dream and turns sound into an ambient feeling much in the way Mazzy Star did, only a Mazzy Star that had Kurt Cobain stepping in on vocals.

The vocals are split between Sean Miller and Anna Troxell, though — like with the Pixies, who seem an obvious influence on the band — the brunt of the lead duties fall on the male side. This imbalance only serves in making the Anna-led songs sparkle all the more for their sparsity, as on the sensual underwater slowdance “Fingernails.” Anna’s dreamy, airy vocals are like a cool breeze in between Sean’s more foreboding presence.

On this, the band’s third — and most fully realized, album there are some actual standout singles. “American Smile,” “Devil in the Subtext,” and especially “Dried Out” could all be hit songs, and probably would have been back in the days when 120 Minutes reigned. Creepoid are bringing shoe gazing noise pop back beneath a heavy blanket of mope and dope. It’s dark, it’s dreamy, it’s melodic, and delicious and Cemetery Highrise Slum is an album many of us 90’s kids have been waiting for without having realized it. The nights of spacing out and getting lost in the pretty drone are back.

creepoid.com