Guantanamo Baywatch - After a 35 minute break for some reason, this Portland based power trio hits the stage. They start with a very cool crazed surf instrumental. The sound also has a very harsh echo in this room which dragged down the last band a bit, I felt. Here, it was absorbed a bit more into the sound, but a better room/PA would have provided a stronger core to the crazed guitar sounds. They add vocals now and then, which are some of the more throwaway vocals I have yet heard. The instrumentals are much better as they really achieve a nice garbage-garage sound. It's a bit like the earliest Meat Puppets sound done in a surf manner. They sound a bit more like their older neighbors, the Monomen. This is a very intriguing band if the sound had been better.
Blankus Larry - This local quartet is releasing some new tunes and asked me to come out to the show if I could, although they knew my issues with this club. Kudos to them for remembering, as this is not one the usual things I whine about. It is getting late and I am getting tired, but they snapped me back to attention with a powerful swampy rock song. They are managing their sound quite well tonight with their understanding of dynamics. There is a great combination of a Bo Diddley style rhythm sections on drums and stand-up bass crossed with a couple of guitars that are careening away in the manner of Gun Club or Slim Cessna. I also like the restrained vocal manner that reminds me a bit in timbre of the singer for the Black Angels. I don't know why I keep thinking this is such a simple likable band, when in fact they can really bang out such great thoughtful songs. Sadly, I didn't last the full length of the set as it was getting late and I had some morning errands to do. I took a less sweaty walk to the Metro about 1am only find people yelling at the person in the booth as she did not know when the next train would get here as there was no contact. I backed my way up and took a cab home. I wish I would have driven, but I did not trust these minor dizzy spells I was having. Oh well, I won't be repeating this journey too often as it will take some super high quality music and arm twisting to get me back. At least there was some engaging music tonight, I will grant them that. And I will certainly be looking out for the next Blankus Larry show.
Quote of the Night: On the Metro escalator... "She feels like she just got into a hot tub with five dudes."