Friday, March 28, 2014
The 2014 Decibel Magazine Tour: Carcass/ The Black Dahlia Murder/ Gorguts/ Nausea and Noisem @ The Observatory, Santa Ana. 3/25/14.
This tour was destined to rule from the onset. Three of the four bands on the package (Carcass, Gorguts and Noisem) released albums that made my best of 2013 list last year, the other has been one of my favorite live bands for the past decade, and we Southern California blokes got local grind legends Nausea thrown onto the bill as a special regional opening act. This show felt like a late Christmas gift or something.
Los Angeles grindcore legends Nausea immediately followed and brought an air of precision that took me totally off guard. Not that I expected them to be sloppy, I just don't recall them being so locked when I caught them opening for Nasum a few years back. Like last time, the highlight of their set was the batch of Terrorizer songs they played off World Downfall (best grind album ever?).
The crowd went absolutely nuts for band, with mosh pits and crowd surfing galore. Unfortunately, the band suffered some technical problems toward the end of their set and had to pull the plug on their performance a bit early, which meant no old Obscura material for their die hard fans. Alas. Hopefully they come back before 2024.
the band played mostly all new material from their last two albums which got older TBDM geeks like myself a little butt hurt. They still put on a killer show and seemed to have most everyone inside the venue in the palm's of their hands (the bitter metal elitists probably went for a smoke outside).
Quite the rare show, where I arrived on time, enjoyed every band, didn't get ridiculously sweaty or injured and even bought some merch. Thanks Decibel. You've just guaranteed another years subscription.
Monday, March 24, 2014
The prog/math metal chameleons Between The Buried and Me brought Deafheaven, Intronaut and a band called The Kindred along with them as their "smart dudes of metal" (my name, not theirs) tour rolled through Southern California earlier this month. The Kindred seemed like nice, enthusiastic fellows but their performance was easily the lamest of the night. A little too much posturing for my taste. I used to consider myself a huge Intronaut fan back in the day, but I've steadily lost interest in the band over the years. They are still a tight live band with one of the best rhythm sections I've ever seen (Danny Walker, Joe Lester...keep shredding dudes) but sadly, the lack of an engaging frontman, the flat vocals and the monotonous vibe of their new material translates to a pretty boring live experience. I almost nodded off during their set.
|BTBAM- Math Warriors|
Monday, March 10, 2014
Raucous LA punks FIDLAR played a special "discount" show at The Echoplex in late Feb, brought to you by the corporate overlords at Red Bull. You register online at their designated website, hand over the keys to your facebook profile and bam, you get the chance to watch FIDLAR and three other LA punk/indie bands play for the low low price of $3. Sound to good to be true? Well, yeah it ended up kinda being that way.
The discounted price and the band's rising popularity amongst the social media savvy (re: kids) meant a shit ton of high school-ers swarmed the venue early that afternoon. We ended up waiting an ungodly amount of time outside The Echoplex in the cold to guarantee admission. I'd personally have rather paid a normal amount for a ticket than brave that monstrous wait again, but I'm old and cranky so whatever.
|aka: Fuck It Dog, Life's A Risk.|
FIDLAR have quickly become one of my favorite bands around these days. There was stage dives and crowd surfing galore all throughout their set. I love the fact that 3/4 of the band ends up on vocals at some point on stage. I love that Max is such a solid and drummer, even when he's pushing tempos to "ludicrous speed." I love that Zac always looks like he's about to die by the end of their set. All the blood sweat and cheap beer is on display for all to see with this band and it's damn good fun. What better way to spend a day off than rocking out and snapping pics?
|FIDLAR pit = HADES|
Monday, March 3, 2014
|My grandma and I, unintentionally matching in the 90's.|
She bought me clothes, toys, games, ice cream, anything I wanted but best of all, she showered me with her undivided attention. Apparently, I'm a bit of a motor mouth and have a tendency to babble when I talk. Ama would not only sit and listen to my juvenile rants, she hung on my every word. She learned about Ghostbusters and X-MEN, not because she cared about cartoons, but because I did. She never yelled or raised her voice at me because I never acted up with her. She said I was her "little pal," which implied notions of respect and companionship even a 4 year old could grasp. She was my mom's mom, my boss's boss, and she had MY back. I wasn't some kid she had to babysit or some genetic obligation, I was her friend. Ama made me feel safe and important. This means the world to someone when you can't tie your own shoes.
I visited Ama in the hospital two weeks ago and although I didn't know it at the time, said my last goodbye in person. Seeing her in that bed, so sick and frail was beyond heartbreaking. She used to help me buckle my seat belt and now I was pouring her water. It was upsetting to see such a strong and active person (a yoga enthusiast of 40+ years) succumb to the inevitable ravages of time. It was worse to stand in front of my old pal as a grown adult, utterly powerless and unable to reciprocate the feelings of comfort and security she had once provided me. We talked about her old house and naturally...X-MEN. Turns out one of her physicians looked like Hugh Jackman she said. This from the woman who bought me my first Wolverine action figure...I couldn't help but smile.
My grandmother Mary lived a long and fruitful life. She was raised during The Great Depression and saw more world changing events in her lifetime than I can fully comprehend. I'm not sad because an elderly person died in their sleep surrounded by loved ones. We should all be so fortunate. I'm sad because even though she moved away close to twenty years ago, it's only now that my old pal is truly gone. I love and miss my Ama tremendously, and will always cherish my memories of her. Maybe one day I'll leave a similar impact on others when I'm gone. I should be so lucky.