Sunday, July 15, 2012

Blankus Larry - Guantanamo Baywatch - Sad Bones -- Jul 14 2012

Sad Bones - A rare return to Comet Ping Pong for me will allow me to review three bands and a club which I do not enjoy. Reason one, is that this twin guitar four-piece 'starts' the evening at 10:30pm. Generally if my evening is not already roaring with excitement or at least active involvement with something by this time, I may as well focus on bedtime.  But I have made it to the club after a hot sweaty walk from a not-so nearby Metro station, so we are underway. The band plays a tight 30 minutes with plenty of power and volume. The style is energized hardcore music with a nice guitar swirl that elevated this a bit. Some songs were catchy, most were not. Fair enough effort, but nothing stood out enough for me.

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."


Unknown said...

I respect your critiques of the three acts,however, as a reader interested in a respected writer's take on these performances, I don't understand why there were so many words wasted on your walk and metro ride home. Forgive my run-on but I'm not a member of any of the three bands but I feel a little insulted on their behalf. Say what needs to be said about the talent and atmosphere at the space but spare us the personal details...aren't those really for your buddies on Facebook? Sorry you had dizzy spells and morning errands dude. I have two kids and a messy bathroom. See what I mean?

David Hintz said...

I rarely get accused of using too many words and I did try to keep it short, but when I have personal issues and long running issues with clubs, I feel that should be mentioned. There was about 100 words about the transportation. The words are there to highlight the atmosphere of why I may not be as relaxed and positive as I normally am. Sorry my personal details wasted 35 seconds of your time. But this is a blog with reviews of over 500 bands a year. If Rolling Stone calls, I'll tighten it up. I wish I could have written more on the headliner, but I liked the few songs I heard, quickly explained why and gave you a link to judge for yourself. My personal story last night ties in to exactly why I had nothing more to write about the bands.

Anonymous said...

David, I was discouraged to read the recent review of "Blankus Larry - Guantanamo Baywatch - Sad Bones -- Jul 14 2012". Why? Simply because it reads sloppily, like something written by a disinterested writer who wants nothing more than to go to bed early.

The first-person New Journalism style that is generally seen in music blogs like yours is meant to connect the writer to an audience. But what this review did was reveal a side of the author that his audience may not want to see. It's a peak into the life of someone who maybe isn't that impassioned about music, that he's too tired to even talk with the bands after the show, to see from where the inspiration came when creating that amazing solo... It was an incomplete review, David, and I hope that you take the next one more seriously. Otherwise, why should people care what you think about music if you don't seem to care about it yourself?

Anonymous said...

I agree. Blankus Larry deserves the creditability they have earned

Anonymous said...

Im sorry I let you down buddy. I should have been there to change yr diper between sets.

David Hintz said...

There's more to this story than I am going to say, but let's leave with this one point. Blankus Larry invited me to this show even though they knew that I do not like going to Comet Ping Pong shows. I wrote to them yesterday morning to apologize for not sticking around. I will be seeing them again. This was indeed an incomplete review, that was the point of the elaboration. But questioning my passion for music? I will stand on my body of work. The one thing I will say on that is that I plan to be even more selective in future.

VoxDedo said...

I'd heard of Blankus Larry through a few friends. I'd spent a good chunk of time during the day listening to their songs on Soundcloud. I was eager to get a chance to see them, plus I wanted to check out Comet Ping Pong - I've been lazy lately and hadn't been to any shows in ages. Glad I decided to get off the couch and make the trek despite the late hour.

Sad Bones was good. I was there early before my buddies arrived and the band helped pass the time whilst texting about parking. I loved the dude's hair - to the max.

Once my friends arrived, our time spent chillaxing on the patio was a fantasy of fun.

Guantanamo Baywatch was bad ass. Totally. Young Eddie Murphy on the drums and backing vocals dripping with sex. Andy Kaufman on the mic sounded like he was reinventing surf guitar just for us - plus he complimented DC for it's plenitude of pretty girls. A blue hairded mermaid holding down the bass. The music excited me and all those around me. People texted me later saying they simply had to learn more about these guys. The internet will help.

The patio, once again, was a great place to chillax and shit. People were willing to share their headache medicine with headachy strangers.

And then Blankus Larry took the stage. People everywhere were bouncing, sexy boys were ecstatically groping and poking strangers's buttoxxxes in the dark, the light show was boss, the lead Larry was sexy - even to us guys...

I'm no good at describing sounds, so I'm sticking with the crowd...the atmosphere... the mood of the crowd directly resulting from the music that moved their limbs and hair. Cause and effect in full effect, the das efx. The night ended with a mini go go hepped-up raga dance party with a orange capped MC inciting the crowd to further fits of fun until the bartender comped me one final beer after I'd requested my tab. See, the night didn't want to end.

Now I think I can stop procrastinating and unplug my awlsome Dyson and vacuum up all the dust from the fauxdenza I'm making in my living room. Lots of sawdust and debris to suck up. My cat just jumped through the window to eat. Maybe I'll comb him.

Google these bands and learn more if you like. Listen to the music, cause my mini review is just words. Wow. Long winded.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading David's blog for well over a year and I've discovered a number of local bands because of his write-ups. I reached out to him about this show because a review here may result in others discovering our music (duh).

I knew from reading his blog regularly that he's not too fond of Comet Ping Pong or late shows... and it's not unusual for him to not make it to the bitter end. I appreciate that he made it out to the show and had nothing but good things to say about our music. I suspect this is the first time some (all?) of the commenters here have visited this blog since he has his own approach to reviewing his evening and, well, it's his blog and he can do what he damn well pleases with it.

David, I hope you make it out to a future Blankus Larry show, and also that you don't get out to fewer shows going forward.

Cheers all!

- Bloody Larry

Anonymous said...

Uh, I meant that I hope you don't decrease your show frequency going forward...

- Bloody

James said...

Why don't you like comet ping pong?

Chris said...

Dave and others -

I guess they serve food in the back room until 9:30 or so, and the shows don't start until 10. I went there once and the wait was longer than usual because somebody was having his Bar Mitzvah in the room and it ran late. By the same token, the best set I ever saw there was the Paul Collins Beat, and they started at 12:45 a.m. The vibe there is odd, but they get some really good lesser-known bands, so I enjoy it in spite of my earlier misgivings. I also always have to drive to hear music, and CPP is the venue closest to home, so I like the short drive home afterward.

As for the show, I was out of town. I will, however, keep my eyes open for Blankus Larry in the future.


David Hintz said...

Just to answer the club question generally (as some specifics have been handled off line), my dislike of shows here are simply due to isolation and the late starts. I don't mind late finishes but I want to start my evening earlier most nights (I don't drink and hang out in bars, it's all about the music). If someone were to complain about the Velvet Lounge while they lived somewhere north or wherever, then that would make sense, but that club is walking distance for me. This club (like the VL) books well, but it is primarily a restaurant first and foremost (and a good one that I enjoy eating at). I've had some bad luck + bad advice from their staff for the shows I have attended here, but I will be back as a diner. As for the shows? We shall see, as they do stage some good ones that will work wonderfully for many of you.