Digging through my hard drives, I found a couple Devo videos that I hadn’t posted from when I recorded their California tour in spring 2012, Mongoloid and Smart Patrol/Mr.DNA, live in San Diego from 12 May.
Check out Bob1’s epic rock god guitar solo at 5:25.
The San Diego instrumental surf/jazz scene might not begin and end with the Mattson 2, but theirs will be the first name that comes to mind when speaking of this hybrid genre. And deservedly so, as the brothers, Jared on guitar and bass (often times at the same time, with a little help from some sample/looping effects) and Jonathan on drums, are both wildly talented, as evidenced on their studio recordings as well as this live excerpt from an hour-long performance as they played to a packed house well after midnight on a Tuesday night (!) at San Diego’s illustrious hotspot The Casbah.
The Mattson 2, 24 April 2012, live at The Casbah, San Diego.
It was quite an auspicious occasion as Zola Jesus wrapped up their month-long US tour with a show at San Diego’s legendary Casbah.
I wrote an exhaustive post the first time I’d recorded ZJ up in LA this past Halloween, so see that entry if you need any background. But I will say this about this show-
It was downright industrial. I suppose that’s more a reflection of the club’s sound system (massive), the dimensions of the room (on the small side), and the way the sound guy was mixing the band (throbbing low end synths, thumping kick drum sounds, kinda tribal sounding electronic drums). Much heavier than anything on cd from the band. There were many moments where I very much liked this sound, as in this excerpt of ‘Vessel’ from that night, but at some other times I thought the heaviness did the songs something of a disservice. But at the same time, I kept all of that propulsive, pounding low end in the final mix, because it definitely shines a new light on the songs as they are performed live.
If you’ve got a subwoofer hooked up to your system (and you really should), this’ll give it a decent workout.
The way PGirls’ vocalist Zac Pennington struts around the stage (and often times into the crowd, on top of the bar, out on the sidewalk, whatever) reminds me of Mick Jagger. It didn’t even matter that they were playing a small-ish club. With his undeniable charisma and enthusiasm, you’d think they were playing to a full stadium.
While their studio recordings might be described as indie-centric baroque pop with (generally speaking) synthesizer playing equal parts to guitar, perhaps in the same vein as Pet Shop Boys, The Smiths, or New Order, during this show their sound leaned a bit more towards a traditional rock band with the drummer providing a rock-solid backbeat to the arpeggiated keyboards, synth-y bass lines, guitar accents, and theatrical vocals.
Here’s a taste of their track ‘For All the Final Girls’ as recorded that night.
Parenthetical Girls, 12 Feb 2012, live at The Casbah, San Diego.