Monday, October 9, 2017

The Week That Was

Eagles Of Death Metal at House of Independents

10/2 - 10/8, 2017

It's been tough for me to focus enough over the last month or so to do some of the things I find most mentally taxing around here like write album or show reviews. I'm grateful to have wonderful contributors like Henry, Matt, and Ken to pick up some of the slack while I focus on things like editing photos or sharing out songs, videos, and premieres. I have been trying to get out to some shows, but even that has taken a lot more effort on my part than it has in the past. This past week, though, was particularly active for me; and I didn't want to let it just go by without mentioning some of the great experiences.

Well Wisher

Monday, 10/2. Well Wisher, Big Nothing, Earth Telephone, Thin Lips at Wonder Bar.

This ended up being a great one. I've seen Natalie Newbold's Well Wisher several times over the last year or so, and I've really enjoyed their 90s-influenced brand of pop. They've been through a few line-up changes; and, on this night, they had Earth Telephone / Yawn Mower drummer, Biff Swenson, sitting in. His own band, Earth Telephone, were celebrating the recent release of their excellent EP Loss. It's a collection that's been resonating quite a bit with me lately, and you should check it out over at Earth Telephone's Bandcamp.

Thin Lips

Philly's Big Nothing put out their own self-titled EP over the summer. Like the rest of the bands on the bill, their sound weaves between pop and punk without ever actually being what I'd classify as pop-punk. Thin Lips closed things out; and, again, just another really good set. I hadn't seen them since, I think, around 2015 at Asbury Lanes. Monday night's show took place on the eve of Asbury Lanes's final show that same year; and I found myself, at various times throughout the night, -- with the bands that were playing, the friends that turned out -- thinking that this felt like one of those weeknight Lanes shows I'd stumble into every once in a while.

Good times.

J. Mascis of Dinosaur Jr.

Tuesday, 10/3. Dinosaur Jr., Easy Action at Brooklyn Bowl.

My plans for Tuesday were to sit home and watch the Yankees / Twins Wildcard Playoff Game. I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and saw that Garden State Beard and Mustache Society President / CoolDad Music contributor, Matt Chrystal, had won tickets to see Dinosaur Jr. at Brooklyn Bowl.

I sent him a text, intending to express my jealousy at his getting free tickets to see, maybe, my favorite band that said something along the lines of "FUCK YOU FOREVER." He texted back, "The timing of this is so funny, because I was just texting to ask you if you wanted to be my plus-1."


We patched things up, and I met him at Brooklyn Bowl for the show. Easy Action, featuring John Brannon of Negative Approach on lead vocals, opened with a relentless 45-minute set, rattling off song after song with no filler. Dinosaur Jr. came out and blew the space away with their sheer volume as they ticked off most of the big ones like "Thumb," "Watch the Corners," "Out There," "Feel The Pain," "Little Fury Things," "The Wagon," "Start Choppin'," "Freak Scene," and "Just Like Heaven." They did their usual Deep Wound cover and then brought out Negative Approach for "Can't Tell No One" and "Nothing."

On the way out, we ran into Dinosaur Jr. drummer, Murph, and got a picture with him.

Me, Murph, Matt

Fun night.

Wednesday, 10/4. Home.


Thursday, 10/5. Oginalii, Algebra II at Asbury Park Brewery; The Yawpers at The Saint.

I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, when I noticed that Algebra II were in search of a cello for their last-minute show at Asbury Park Brewery that night. "CoolDaughter 2 has a cello," I thought; so I volunteered it. That night I headed out to see the CD2's cello in action.

Oginalii were up from Nashville and, damn. What a nice surprise. Kind of psychedelic, kind of sludge-y maybe. Elements of classic rock and elements of something a little more ambient.

Algebra II

Algebra II released their debut EP (4 years in the making), Milkshake Summer, back in August. It's an eclectic set of semi-sweet, off-kilter pop songs that I really enjoy hearing live. CD2's cello (well, its player, Gabriella Ibacache, really) performed excellently.

The Yawpers

As I was heading to my car, I got a text from Matt at The Saint that said, "yawpers on come here." We'd just published Matt's interview with Yawpers' frontman, Nate Cook, on Tuesday; so I headed next door. Whoa!

Blistering doesn't begin to describe the set The Yawpers turned in. A blend of country, blues, and punk, the band left everything onstage.

Friday / Saturday. Uncle / Family-related things.

Dave Catching and Jesse Hughes of Eagles Of Death Metal

Sunday, 10/8. Eagles Of Death Metal, The Battery Electric at House of Independents.

Battery's big night. Our friends and Asbury's own The Battery Electric have forged a friendship with Jesse Hughes and Eagles Of Death Metal. You can read all about that in Matt's interview with Ron Santee. This show was a long time in the making, and both bands made the most of it.

The Battery Electric

House of Independents was sold out, and The Battery Electric brought it for the hometown crowd. I'd wedged myself right up front among the EODM die-hards so I could take some pictures, and the response from those unfamiliar with the boys was positive. There were plenty of dyed-in-the-wool Battery fans in the house going bananas as well.

Eagles Of Death Metal took the stage; and, from the first moments, it was obvious that the match between the two bands was perfect. Jesse Hughes started out by shaking hands with everyone in the front row and then went on to lead the proceedings like a preacher (He is an ordained minister in the Universal Life Church.). At various points, he donned Bond St. Bar and Battery Electric T-Shirts. The crowd danced all night. I'd never seen the place so crazy or so packed.

I walked out into the Asbury night; got in the van; and headed home, sweaty and tired with a few hundred pictures. I'm all set to do it again in the weeks to come. Keep on keeping on.

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