girl monster

Monday, January 08, 2007

KEXP Audioasis @ The High Dive Is Actually Good

My friend Kate and I somehow always end up at the High Dive in Fremont on the first Saturday of each month for KEXP's live Audioasis broadcast and local showcase. The High Dive is a wierd club: since it's in Fremont it tends to draw a strange variety of greasy frat boys and patchouli-scented middle-aged women. The bar tenders are rude, the space is too high and narrow, and the bands are always hit or miss. That said, once a month we are somehow compelled to go. On Saturday night, our trip was worth it.

Kate, fabulously occupied at the Seahawks game, showed up later while I started my evening early with the Blakes' 6:30pm set. There seems to be a glut of garage rock in the Northwest and I expected more of the same, although since my favorite KEXP dj, Kevin Cole, has recently professed his love of the Blakes, I figured I'd give them a try. Turns out that they've transcended the formula: The Blakes are tight, stylish, Strokes-y yet exciting. Their songwriting is ace and their ferocious drummer, despite looking a bit like Frodo, is a real star.

Next up was The Hopscotch Boys: hate the name, enjoyed the band. During the set I fraternized with the staff of Essential Baking Company, including the manager Kate, on whom I am nurturing a girl crush. Apparently the lead singer of The Hopscotch Boys used to work there. They don't sound anything like what their name implies: this band combines elements of screaming, thrashing punk, creepy circus music and....something else. The singer seems to be made of rubber and wildly gesticulated, flexed his face muscles, and gradually peeled off layers of clothing. Not sure if I would ever purchase an album by them, but they're certainly entertaining.

The Vomited Unicorns opened the showcase portion of the evening, proving to be the second band of the evening that rocked despite its awful, awful name. They make punk-emo that's actually good. The Vomiting Unicorns are the kind of band where a few bars into their first song I know that I'm hooked. Energetic yet mature, loud with catchy hooks, the Vomiting Unicorns are a band with teeth. I can't wait to see them again.

My friend Greg shoots for KEXP; you can check out his pictures of the evening on the KEXP blog.

Stay tuned.

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