So. Here's the problem when you say you'll review the show that's starting in the Entry at 9:30 and you've been drinking in the Main Room since 7.
The problem itself needs not be stated - it's a drinking problem. You get it. The thing is, you have friends playing early in the Main Room at the Radio K Best New Bands showcase, or whatever they're calling it. You show up early. You see the first band, and drink a stiff First Ave drink. You know the kind. You see the second band, and drink a second stiff First Ave drink. You realize you are drinking on an empty stomach. Uh oh.
Come 9:30, you're in a predicament of being expected to say intelligent things about the opening band in the Entry, Total Babe. Ugh. But no big deal, First Ave sells pizza to absorb those stiff drinks, and no one expects you, the writer, to ever say intelligent things anyway. It's called setting the bar low for yourself. You do a pretty good job of that, Nikki.
Rather than attempting to say intelligent things, why don't you, the writer, take a photograph of this band, Total Babe.
Here's where you'll insert the photograph.
Cute, right? This band is cute. Now that I've said it, it seems patronizing to call a band comprised of girls cute, and I don't mean that at all. They play very sweet and pleasant pop/rock music. Total cute!!! (Sober afterthought: Yes, I did make an attempt to play on their name by describing them as "total cute," and in my notes did accompany that thought with three exclamation points. For shame, Nikki!!!)
I ran into a friend after their set to ask what she thought about Total Babe, and she agreed: total cute. They sound to me like a band that would be on Afternoon Records. Are they on Afternoon Records? I should look into this, see how spot-on my drunk assessment is. Probably not spot-on at all. Is Afternoon Records even a label anymore? I don't know much, but I do like this band. (Morning-after research: Yes, Afternoon Records is still a label. And nice work, Nikki! While Total Babe is not on the label, they are on Personal Best, a label associated with Afternoon and headed up by Total Babe frontwoman Clara Salyer. Very impressive, drunkass!)
(Sober afterthought: Clara Salyer, at 17, is fronting a successful band and now working on a record label. You, Nikki, at 29 are drunkenly reviewing her show. Grow up, Nikki.)
Aaaaaand next up, Daughters of the Sun. The pizza has sobered me up a might bit, but only enough to want to drink more, and faster. A couple years back a friend of mine told me about this new band he'd seen, and that I'd really like them. I don't like anything much, really, so for a friend to say I'd really like a new band, well by golly, that really meant something.
And he was right. Daughters of the Sun became one of my favorite new bands when I first saw them play at the Turf back then. These dudes have undergone a bit of a lineup change since back then, but still retain the psych-groove vibe they've always had, and are tighter than ever since fresh off their fall tour. But enough about that. The thing I really want to note right now? Dude takes his shoes off when he plays. Hi, this is my living room, and I'm gonna take my goddamned shoes off. Stage at the Entry? It's my living room. So's the stage at the Turf Club, the Nomad. Wherever the hell I lay my feet. The other two guys, shoes on. But the drummer? The world is his living room. Right on, dude. Bare feet and all, two years later, I still like these dudes a lot. (Sober afterthought: Why I was fixating on drummer Bennett Johnson's bare feet? Blame it on the vodka. Nice feet, Bennett.)
There's a long wait for Seawhores to take the stage, long enough for the Entry to fill nearly to capacity, folks seemingly wanting to avoid whatever band had just begun performing in the other room (now, this is just what I heard rumbling around the room, I won't say which band, and note that these folks were Seawhores fans, not the type to be boppin' their heads to whatever unnamed band was playing in the Main Room at that moment. Fair?).
Now, Seawhores is one of my favorite local bands. Always heavy, always a great feel, and their next performance always sounds a little different from their last. I've also often heard it said that Seawhores can, in some cases, do a nice job of clearing a room. A room full of pussies, maybe. I've never seen them clear a room, and they most certainly didn't tonight. I've always been puzzled at this assessment. Am I so drunk when seeing them as to not notice that I'm standing there all alone? It's possible, but I know the place is packed tonight. Detractors be damned, or just be downright wrong. They are loud. They are at times irritating. They defamiliarize noise, and rock, and performance. Don't be a pussy. (Sober afterthought: That's still good advice for seeing live music, so I'll stand behind it: Don't be a pussy.)
By the time headliners Gay Beast take the stage after midnight, I grasp on to the dirty foam insulation padding on the back wall of the Entry, lest I fall off the face of the very Earth. I am quite drunk. This night's festivities were planned as a release of Gay Beast's "Charm" 7" and to kick off their impending European tour. Concentrate, Nikki, concentrate. I can tell the band sounds well-prepared for tour. They sound very tight. People are dancing. Rhythmic. "Math-y." (Sober afterthought: Remember when you wrote that you told yourself not to actually use the word "math" in your actual review? Come on.) What's coming to mind? Sax. Singer/keyboardist Dan Luedtke is playing saxophone. This band is saxy, very saxy. (Sober afterthought: Saxy? Really? Sure, okay. Good luck on your tour, Gay Beast.)
Now, Nikki, go have a glass of water. And have someone call you a cab. The night is young, and there's whiskey to be drunk across town.