Last night – Valentine’s Day Night – we were in Arcata, CA and we played a house show at a place called the Green House. We were all sick. We shared the bill with our friends, Geographer, from San Francisco. We had the night off from our tour with Airborne and the Henry Clays. We meet up with those kids in Seattle later tonight.
Over the years we’ve developed friendships with a number of San Francisco bands. Birds and Batteries. Tartuffi. We know that scene pretty well and we had heard much ABOUT Geographer, but despite our connections, we had never gotten a chance to hear them play live. I am ashamed to say that I don’t think I had even heard a myspace recording of them.
They are nothing short of amazing.
We were playing in a small room towards the front of this old Victorian House. It reminded me and Greer of Cafe Pergolessi in Santa Cruz. When we arrived, we sat with the kids from Geographer, Mike, Bryan and Nate, and drank a cup of matte and shot the shit while the folks who lived in the house prepared a delicious dinner. To avoid thinking about how awesome everything smelled while we waited for the food, we set up the living room for the show. We came up with a clever backline, EQed the vocals, and turned the space into what we thought was a pretty cool looking stage.
But now I am skipping around. I just wanted to let you know that these guys are amazingly cool as well as amazing musicians.
Let’s address the amazement factor in detail. The lead singer guy, Mike, has this weird croon that might remind some people of the guy from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. High. It kind of warbles. But it is way warmer sounding and he doesn’t do yelping sort of bits. I am trying to think of another comparison to make, but can’t. It is pretty unique and sounded great with a healthy dose of reverb on it and all the lows dropped out. So cool.
The band plays with backing tracks, so their drummer Bryan is always plugged into a pair of in-ear monitors, so the “feel” of the band isn’t as loose as I usually like things, but he has excellent, lockstep timing and his kit sounds crisp and deep. It was a maple CC kit with DW hardware and one of the most unique snares I have ever seen. Huge and ringing and with a great warm sound. I am not a huge gear person, but I was so impressed with how it sounded that I couldn’t help but make a mental note.
The third guy in the band is Nate. Who was really cool. Really rad. And he totally looks like the type of guy who could be in Guns’n’Roses. That’s not meant as a dis. Just a statement of fact. The other thing about Nate is that he can play the hell out of an electric cello. During the set he also cued up the laptop and tinkled on some keys, but his melodic cello lines were a driving force behind the music.
The crowd was great. I would wager that there were 30 – 40 kids there in a VERY small room. It was freaking hot and everyone was dancing. Even to Geographer’s slower jams. And they do some very slow jams.
After the show there was a dance party that lasted a very, very long time. And I like dance parties. I danced for maybe like 30 minutes and was pretty tired. The rest of the people there went ALL NIGHT. The bad thing about the all night dance party was that I was supposed to crash on the sofa in the room where the dance party was taking place. That wasn’t going to happen until the dance party ended. So I stayed up way past my bedtime drinking and waiting and talking.
The good news about the dance party was that I haven’t seen that many people dancing on all fours together since Light FM and I went to a strip club in Sacramento.
Greer slept through the whole thing. We had gotten up at 7AM that morning and she had driven 7 hours. And immediately after we played : zzzz. She just crashed out. She is pushing herself pretty hard on this tour and doing much of the driving. I am worried about her.
We got up at 7AM this morning and she started driving again. Se la vie.
We’d like to thank Geographer for being awesome, especially Bryan for feeding me lots of beer when things looked darkest. The Green House for being great hosts and throwing great parties. Heather for the delicious, delicious truffles. Thank you.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Posted by Malcolm Sosa at 9:45 PM