Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


Rock Out

Dropped Kate with her dad and went to a show with Chris last night. We'd had tickets for weeks in advance because the last time Chris had tried to get ticket at the door for an Epoxies show it had been sold out. Turns out we needn't have worried this time as there were a bunch of competing shows in Seattle last night (even Chris had two he wanted to see) and El Corazon felt downright spacious.

I've come to really like El Corazon as a venue. I dig the all ages, bar with ID places, but El Corazon's bar-with-live-video-of-the-stage set-up is a nice touch. I love the pinned up notices, like "If you can't be recognized because of make-up of face paint, you will not be served at the bar". I love that they know enough to frisk the crowd before a Casualties show, but welcome the neo-New Wave nerds with smiles.

As Pramas and I walked up to the venue, I noticed some hipsters sitting right in the street. "Wow," I thought to myself, "look at those hipsters, sitting right in the street." I find I have to stifle my inner Mom Voice at these shows sometimes. We strolled right in and had plenty of time to grab a little something to eat at the attached restaurant/bar before the first opening band hit the stage. We moved out into the stage area and grabbed a spot against the rail on the second level, where we stayed most of the night. Looking on stage, who do I see but the kids who were sitting in the street... turns out they were the members of Speaker Speaker, winners (as they go on to inform us) of The Stranger's Big Shot contest 2006. I fell in love. They were just so cute (I know, I keep saying that about all the shows, I'll muse more about that in a bit...), and so earnest, playing like they were in front of an enthusiastic crowd instead of 30 mostly-apathetic people. I was immediately charmed. The bassist in particular struck the same stance as my ex- used to when he played and I was reminded of good times watching his old college band (except these guys actually have talent). I'd happily go see them again.

The gathering crowd was of great amusement to me. More and more often, I find myself just smiling to myself as I watch the crowd. The cute little boys with their braces and spiky hair, the guys doing their best to pull off Elvis Costello's look circa 1977, the neo-New Wavers with their checkered Vans. I suppose if I go see The Business in June I'll see if I have the same response to the Oi crowd but so far I'm finding that my recent enjoyment of the shows I've been to has been doubled because the crowd watching keeps me so amused. A couple of examples from last night: looking over the rail where I was standing, I found myself directly above two guys who spent the entire lead-up to The Epoxies sitting against the wall reading comic books (Tank Girl, and something X-Men). They were also both carrying collapsible light sabers, which they busted out for one impromptu "battle" before the laughing security guy insisted they knock it off. I watched those guys half the night, until they stashed their bags of comics and light sabers behind the "safety" of a trash can to go bounding off into the crowd once the Epoxies hit the stage. Or the utterly adorable girl in corset and knee hi Chuck Taylors who kept happily bouncing all over her boyfriend in the red plaid pants. Or the gangly white guy in the red Miller shirt who kept doing the stoner-white-guy dance.

And it was a good thing for me that the crowd proved to be so entertaining, because the next band, theSTART, were insufferable! They seemed more popular with the crowd at large but I really didn't like them. They took forever getting set up, with multiple keyboards, six or seven guitars, blah blah blah. Reminded me of listening to the interminable sound check they year They Might Be Giants played GenCon. Finally the singer took the stage and Chris correctly remarked, "Oh, we were waiting for Precious." It made perfect sense when they revealed they were from L.A. Their stage patter came off as smug and insincere. Their songs were more like The Epoxies than Speaker Speaker without being as good. They had all the look, they had the five guitar changes, the sexy female singer with the Siouxsie eye makeup, and they completely failed to engage me in any way. Chris observed that their singer was exactly what Roxy Epoxy isn't: where Roxy's stage moves seem like unashamed goofy good times, Aimee Echo's vamping was completely self-aware, every move intentional and designed to manipulate the crowd. When they asked the crowd if they should play an original theSTART song or a cover for their finale, I begged for a cover! (Hell, the Casualties set was saved for me by covers last show...) From the gaggle of admirers chatting them up in the bar after their set, I'm going to guess I held the minority opinion, but I was glad to see them finish. On the other hand, the candid video on their MySpace site of them trying to get their equipment to the studio after a snowstorm in Lawrence, KS is pretty amusing. I'm sure they're a nice, hard-working band. Maybe their studio stuff is more fun.

Thankfully, The Epoxies came out and finished up strong. The guitarist and bassist had green laser pointer lights emanating from their instruments. The keyboardist was dressed like a caveman. (The drummer, like far too many drummers, sat in the back and banged away like a champ, but who ever notices, eh?) Roxy's got the pipes and I'm reminded again and again of other great female singers like Penelope Huston. The Epoxies our touring like maniacs the next two months. Catch them if you can!


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