March 6th 2010
Shannon & the Clams
The last time I saw Abe Vigoda live in San Francisco was at the Knockout in October of 2009. The Knockout, epitomizes something a guy with a mustache in 70’s reminiscent polyester shirt and skinny jeans with his girlfriend in a 50’s Retro style, red polka dot criss cross back swing dress and bright red lipstick envision when they google something “cool” to check out for the night, but don’t really know the obscure band that is playing that night, but say they do anyway. It wasn’t quite the same experience that I had at 21 Grand in Oakland this past weekend. On March 6, 2010, Pretty Blue Presents brought out Shannon and the Clams, (Oakland) Casy and Brian, (Oakland) Lovvers, (UK) and Abe Vigoda (L.A). Paralleling to L.A. DIY music venue, The Smell, 21 Grand hosts many avant-garde band and invites people of all ages to share their love for experimental, punk and noise music.
Opening for the show was Oakland’s own, Shannon and the Clams . Their sound is evocative of something that might have played at someone’s prom in the 1965, not your prom though, because then that would give away your age. After taking that hit of LCD and looking at the girls standing on one side of the auditorium and the boys of the other side, comes in a brawling roar of Shannon. Shannon, on bass and vocals, and Cody on guitar and vocals, have a somewhat of a Sonny and Cher duo going on, while Ian on drums and back-up vocals, it’s somewhat of a third wheel, burping at the awkward silences. The trio were wearing matching red, gold, and black ensembles as if they were in a space ship about to take us back to a time where Wanda Jackson, the Zombies or Elvis were still making music. Another Bay Area band, by the way of Seattle, played 2nd, Casy and Brian. At first when Casy and Brian started playing it was merely just joke. They played with things they found around their apartment and some drum kit that they found in a dumpster that said “Free” on it. If Casy and Brian were to go on tour right now, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were opening for Matt and Kim, and not just because their names have the same sound. they also have the same dance punk-ish vibe. It was about 10’oclock when the four and might I add, sexy UK natives, Lovvers, started setting up for their set. Throughout their performance, some floozy stood by one of the vocalist and guitarist and handed him her beer in hopes of going home with the British musician for the night and perhaps let him whisper sweet nothings into her ear in his cute British accent. Although her dreams did not come true, she did get to witness an amazing performance. Just like the other bands of the night, Lovvers have an “unconventional weird pop sound”. Their sound makes you want to do the twist and smash cans of PBR simultaneously. Lovver’s have shared stages with the likes of ; Butthole Surfers, No Age, Times New Viking, Jay Reatard, Awesome Color, Mika Miko, Fucked Up, Black Lips, Brutal Knights, Los Campesinos! and Boss Hog.
Then what we had been all been waiting for, or at least, I had been waiting for, Abe Vigoda. No, not it’s Abe Vigoda from The Godfather, although that would be cool. When I walked into the venue early, I was surprised to see half the band lounging around on the chairs with some of their friends. Apart of me wanted to be an absurd fan and run up to them and tell them how much of big fan I am, but I held myself back. When they started their set though, I was quite disappointed. There was some technical difficulties, although for some odd reason, they didn’t communicate what exactly was the issue, so for the most of the set I was confused to why the band seemed so agitated. Nonetheless the songs that they did play, were flawless. Although majority of the audience was moshing to the clamorous punk noises, I was bopping my head up and down to the faint pop sound and shaking my hips to the almost Calypso sounding Afro-punk-pop-noise. Hopping from one genre’s sound to another, so they can entangle you into deep puzzlement, but then you realize you will never come to a conclusion anyway.
Sadly, my night was ended shortly. Due to the inefficient BART that stops running at 12:00, I had to skip out of the last few songs of Abe Vigoda. Luckily, they were playing at Bottom of the Hill the next day in the city. They will also be returning on tour with Vampire Weekend, on April 16th and 17th at Fox Theatre.
EDITED VERSION UP ON SFBG SOON.