Monday, November 5, 2018

Mid-Week Fun at The Asbury and House of Independents, 10/31 & 11/1

Titus Andronicus at House of Independents

Old Friends and New

This was a pretty quiet weekend at CDMHQ. CoolMom spent the middle of last week on a business trip to San Francisco, and the rest of us did our usual stuff -- swim practices, shows, trick or treating, that kind of thing. When CoolMom did get home, we decided to have some family time for a change. I did manage to get out to a couple of things while she was away, though.

On Wednesday, I hosted a Halloween show at The Asbury Hotel. That one featured The Rareflowers, Mike Chick, and our old friends Roy Orbitron. It seemed pretty laid back for a Halloween Night in Asbury Park, but I guess that's what happens when the big holiday falls smack dab in the middle of the week.

Mike Chick

We all had a good time. Mike Chick opened solo acoustic with some covers (including some Yawn Mower) and his original Halloween classic, "Ding Dong (Fill My Plastic Pumpkin)." The Rareflowers blew everyone away with their chimey dream pop. I encourage all of you to check out their self-titled EP on Good Eye Records. Finally, Roy Orbitron made a return to Asbury Park riding the high of the fantastic new 8 Million To One.

The Rareflowers
Roy Orbitron

Like I said, it was a weirdly quiet Halloween; but this was a fun show with some of my favorite people.

On Thursday night, Titus Andronicus played House of Independents for their first Asbury Park headlining date since, I think, their 2014 show at Asbury Lanes. This leg of their tour featured label mates Spider Bags; and, on Thursday, locals The Double Negatives started things.

The Double Negatives

The Double Negatives are difficult to classify. It's soulful and emotional rock. Lead singer, Rob Connolly, gives it his all; and the band put on a damn high-energy show.

This was my third or fourth time seeing Spider Bags; and their rambling, punk-tinged garage rock was on full display once again. Songs that start out as barroom-style, rootsy, punk veer off into extended jams and back again. My date for the evening, intrepid interviewer Matt Chrystal, remarked, "These guys rule."

Spider Bags

Patrick Stickles took the stage at about 10:20. After his usual instructions about keeping things peaceful and respecting one another's personal space, he did a solo rendition of The Monitor's "To Old Friends and New." From there, the rest of the band joined him for "Fear and Loathing in Mahwah, NJ;" and we were off.

Titus Andronicus
Titus Andronicus

In the middle of the set, the band played several "covers" from a mysterious 1980 compilation album called Working Class Blokes that Stickles and guitarist Liam Betson had supposedly come across during their tour of the UK. Not only did they discover a treasure trove of second-wave Bristol punk rock; but they also made a killing on the record, having purchased it for a single pound only to discover later on Discogs that the comp was fetching 1,000 pounds.

Funny. But I haven't been able to find any trace of this record myself. Oh, well. That "TMLT Around the World" song -- from a later charity comp and written by the same folks who wrote the other songs -- is one I'd like to get my hands on eventually.

Titus Andronicus
Titus Andronicus

The crowd was a bit smaller than I expected, but that's the uncertainty of Asbury Park in the cooler months for you. It gave the show a loose, interesting feel; and there was definitely a lot less of the bro-y nonsense that can happen at the more tightly-packed shows. Also, the "Cool! Dad! Cool! Dad!" chant started by Patrick Stickles from the stage was pretty awesome.

After Wednesday and Thursday, I was a little physically and psychologically spent; so, as I said, the rest of the weekend was relatively quiet. CoolMom and I even got to go out to dinner together which was a rare and welcome development.

I posted the pictures from both nights over at the Facebook page. Flickr is going through some changes that leave me wondering if they'll be a reliable picture host down the road, so I've stopped uploading there for the time being. If any bands want a non-squished version of anything, feel free to get in touch.

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