“The Devil Always Wins”
My wife and I have been waiting for this show since Pink Reason’s “Cleaning the Mirror” came out. (I would also like to add that, thanks to connections I have, I bought it before it was even put out on the floor at Amoeba.) That album didn’t leave our record player for weeks. Though it’s solid, we really only played one side — the second — which led with our fav song “Dead End.” Though it’s a poor recording and the drums are totally out of sync, the melody literally haunts you, more than any goth song. I’ve never actually heard emotion so heartfelt come through a recording so clearly before. If, God forbid, some pro band or money-hungry producer ever heard it, they’d turn it into some hideous “pop song” and whoever did it would become the next “Kurt Cobain.”
Because my band Red Nurse has some pull, we were lucky enough to open the show, and because Pink Reason obviously some cred, we all got to play with the Bay Area’s darlings of low-fi psych, Wooden Shjips. My band didn’t get to practice before the show — our guitarist got back from New York the day of the show — but thankfully we pulled off a pretty good set. I say thankfully because it was our guitarist Aleks’ last show and it would’ve sucked to end on a low note.
The Wooden Shjips were awesome of course. They played some new songs, which I’ll post later. If you haven’t heard them yet, refer to a previous post on this blog.
Sadly, the Wooden Shjips’ crowd disappeared when Pink Reason took the stage, so when the two piece from Ohio started their set, the club was half full, if that. Those smart enough to stick around were treated to a short, mellow, and, dare I say, “personal” set from Kevin Failure and one of the guitarist/singers from Hue Blanc’s Joyless Ones on drums. I’ve heard criticisms that they play “coffee house” music live, but I personally loved seeing a band that wasn’t afraid to get a little melodramatic. Kevin/Pink Reason could easily replace the void left by Elliot Smith* and I think Kevin’s smart enough not to do so, so thank you Jesus! Anyway, the songs and photos portray the show pretty accurately, so make sure to listen to the songs below and watch the slide show (click on the picture above).
Hue Blanc’s Joyless Ones headlined and at first I really enjoyed them; they were fast, upbeat punk with no bullshit. Then they decided to switch to two drummers and then the music got repetitive and boring, so I left but kept the DAT recorder going. Maybe after listening to the tapes I’ll post some songs.
PS- make sure to go to Pink Reason’s MySpace Page because there are songs on there aren’t anywhere and worth giving a listen to; some of it is like KBD meets My Bloody Valentine. Ingenious.
*Elliot Smith’s self-titled is fucking awesome and I don’t want to heard any words stating otherwise.