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Gig review: C.A.F.E. Infoshop, 3/17/2012 w/Symbolick Jews
This was a show without a promoter. Someone booked the thing, and then the original venue got shut down and the show was moved and then everyone seemed to forget it was even happening until the week or so before. Which is sad, because it was a lineup worth seeing.
The P.I.T.S.: The name is an acronym that changes every time the band plays. For this show, it was Primates In Thick Sweaters. Because it was freezing inside the infoshop and everyone was bundled up. The P.I.T.S. are an acoustic two-piece that does mostly covers ("because other people write really cool songs") and some originals. Think, Interpol done on acoustic guitars with a woman singing.
Strawberry Jam: There is a movement in Fresno right now that I'll calll un-punk. These are bands that have a clear punk ethos and intellectual style, even though they don't play punk music. "Punk" in quotes. In my mind these bands are putting out some of the most inspiring and interesting music happening right now.
Strawberry Jam is one of those bands. If they are serious about what they're doing, they could be dominating the scene soon.
Thrashing Bastards: This Visalia skate-punk two-piece plays for blood. Literally, tiny splats of red mark the head of the snare drum and cymbals after their sets.
It's all there in the name, really. Thrashing is what these guys do, with Motorhead-ish zeal. The songs seem to be written as an excuse for the drummer to move from fill to fill to fill, loudly, while the guitar keeps rhythm underneath. Read my previous take on them here.
Our set: We had fans camped out up front. Someone sang along. Other ones kicked up their feet and danced circle-pit style.
Symbolick Jews: Musically, the SF-based band has an David Bowie/Iggy Pop glam-punk vibe, intermixed with moments of Velvet Underground drone followed by riot-girl freakouts. It way more accessible than it sounds.
But also sort of weird and confusing, which I say with deep appreciation. Seriously, weird is good in this case.
Like when the singer picks up a chair (not sure where it came from) and you think maybe he's going to throw it? But then no, he just balances it on his head and keeps on singing. Or, several songs later, when he starts grabbing instruments from his bandmates and distributing them to audience members and you're not sure if the show is over or he wants them to play along.
The show was over, BTW.