I hafta* admit that when I first heard the Straight Arrows LP back at the beginning of the year, it was way too much like standard issue garage/psych for me, and I deleted it fairly quickly from my computer. This kinda made me not want to go to Popeye's to see them last week, though it's a good thing I changed my mind, because the show turned out to be a blast and Straight Arrows friggin' ruled. Any weaknesses found in the LP (and I did end buying a vinyl copy from the band, so there, I'm not being that much of a dick) were completely kicked to the side by their live set, which went a long way towards proving that underneath all of the "period-appropriate" production dreck, Straight Arrows have some amazing songs. They gotta be one of the top 4 or 5 touring bands I've ever seen at Popeye's, without a doubt, as well as one of the most hysterical bands I've ever talked to. Most people, when I drop one of my terribly dry jokes in front of them, just go "what the fuck", but these guys would pick it up and run with it until I was laughing my ass off. Australians...
Straight Arrows brought a tape with them that they'd made just for this tour, called "Hits From The Zong" (ahem), which as far as I can tell is a bunch of their early vinyl (like the "Can't Count" 7" and their split with The Creteens) plus some other odds and ends, like a cover of the Dicks' "Kill From The Heart". There's a whole bunch of songs on the tape that I hadn't heard before that are really great, and after about a week of listening to it I can definitely say that it's one of my favorite things I've heard so far this year. I don't know if you'll be able to track down a copy (they only made 100), but if you ever see one, try to grab it.
*old Flipside useage, don't try to correct my spelling
This was the last-ever show at Popeye's, making Estrogen Highs the last band ever to play there. As a result, they churned out a set that was nothing but heat, ripping through a handful of new songs ("Tell It To Them" keeps getting better and better, and I might like the song that they started off the set with even more, though I don't know what it was) and finishing off with a blood-letting version of Guided By Voices' "Quality of Armor". Wes kept randomly plucking the bass solo to Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain" in-between songs, which led to Stefan remarking that they've been working on a '70s rock cover band, to be called "Hug" or something. Not sure what that's all about, and seeing how I "missed" Shotgun Dregs, too, I'll probably never find out.
Estrogen Highs -