Thursday, September 2, 2010

Upcoming concert: The Black Angels, Fillmore Jive

At the Big Hurry show at Howler's a few weeks back I saw a flyer for an upcoming show: The Black Angels & Fillmore Jive @ Diesel Club Lounge on the South Side. This will be a good show; I guarantee it. I've been listening to The Black Angels for a couple years after stumbling across them on eMusic, and I saw local duo Fillmore Jive open for The Black Hollies @ Howler's about a year ago. If you like lots of guitars and pounding drums and noisy, droning psychedelic rock then this will be right up your alley.

The show is hosted by Joker Productions, which seems to have a special contract with Diesel since a lot of their shows are held there. Let me get the bad vibes out of the way first and then describe the bands. Diesel is not a great music venue. It's also used as a dance club/lounge and it seems way better suited for that. There is a small area right in front of the high stage which is fine for watching music shows but it gets crowded there quickly and if you end up towards the back by the bar then you may not be able to see all of the stage. There is also an upper level with another bar (usually it's the only bar when the events are 18+ but this show is 21+ so I imagine both up/downstairs bars are open) and a balcony overlooking the stage, but unless you are right on the edge of the balcony you will find yourself staring at the backs of the heads of other concertgoers. If you enjoy just being in a room where people are playing music then this is perfect for you; if you're like me and want to watch the artists performing, then this is not the best place. Others have complained in the past, and I concur with their gripes and suggestions. In any event, advance tickets are available here for $12. They are $15 at the door, so I encourage you to think about whether you want to go and if so let me know and I'll buy a block of tickets. Doors are @ 6 pm and show starts @ 7 so I think I'll make an evening of it and go to the South Side for an early dinner and then go the venue around 6:00 or 6:15.

Okay, enough logistics. Let's get to the music. Oh boy. First, Fillmore Jive: guy = guitarist & vocals, girl = drums, both from the Pittsburgh area. They have a distinct noisy garage rock vibe, much like the White Stripes or the Black Keys, but their guitar sound and lyrics skew more towards the likes of Pavement (duh, given their name) and The VU circa White Light/White Heat. I have a copy of their Rock Bottom demo CD, handed out by them for free at the show at Howler's way back when, and their mySpace page has a bunch of other songs, including several live recordings (to give you a good idea of what they sound like in person), so it looks like they're working on new stuff. It's pretty straightforward rock and roll fare, but it's fun to see and listen to. Check 'em out.

The Black Angels hail from Austin, TX, which seems to be a hotbed for neopsychedelia. And speaking of The VU, their name derives from a choice cut on The VU & Nico. The guitar/bass/drum/keyboard sound combination is incredible, full of reverb fuzz and droning melodies, crafting a cosmic sinkhole from which Alex Maas' vocals emerge like a supernova. In general, they seem to draw from classic 60s psychedelic guitar rock (The VU, fellow Austinites The 13th Floor Elevators, The Doors, Iron Butterfly, etc.) and occasional eastern raga influences (see "Deer-Ree-Shee" or the opening riff of "Manipulation", for example). They've also been selected by filmmaker Jim Jarmusch to play at this year's All Tomorrow's Parties festival in NY state (just another VU reference!). Check out the videos below of them playing live and tell me you don't want to see this show. I defy you.

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