To put it simply, Weekends rocked. They’re a 2-piece rock band from Baltimore, with the members switching between drums and guitar. The vocals were really distorted, the guitar beyond blown out, and the drum beats were hard and furious. They played with a punk energy, and after the first two songs the members switched instruments and went even more wild. The drummer-now guitarist jumped on the bass drum, jumped into the crowd, jumped on the amps, then jumped on the bass drum again, steadying himself by touching the low ceiling. They made me wonder if this was as close as I could get to having an idea of what The Stooges may have been like live in the 70s. A bold claim, I know, but my association has to start somewhere.
Sonic Youth’s drummer (which this Village Voice article confirmed for me). Their show basically conveyed the fact that their recordings don’t do the band nearly enough justice. They played great psychedelic jams, but the live experience was so much more than that. I don’t even know exactly how to describe it, except to say that it was a sonic pleasure. If I were to make a comparison for them, it might be like if Yo La Tengo and Sonic Youth had a baby.
Sic Alps was the headliner, and after effectively having my mind blown by Spectre Folk, I was kind of just coasting on a musical high, which Sic Alps continued to float along. Drummer Matt Hartman (formerly in Henry’s Dress) also played electric guitar at his drum set, and singer/guitarist Mike Donovan played an acoustic guitar that he effected to sound just like an electric. They have an atmospheric noise pop sound that kind of descends upon the ears like a haze, gradually getting thicker and thicker until it almost feels tangible but is really still a ghost that can go through you when it wants to. All of their songs are on the short side, averaging about two minutes, but live their music felt much more sprawling, and definitely more magical.
Weekends are playing Death by Audio again this Thursday, and also have a show tonight in Denver, CO. With all the members in Spectre Folk being involved in a number of other projects, they have few live dates, but they will be playing Cake Shop in July. In July Sic Alps are part of a killer Woodsist Festval lineup in Big Sur, CA, and then they hit Europe.