The Firehouse in Worcester is practically the coolest-looking place I've ever been to see a show; it's an old converted firehouse, obviously, and the garage floor where they used to park the fire trucks (which I'm guessing was a really long time ago because the garage doors don't look wide enough for a really big-ass firetruck to get through) is where you stand to watch the bands. The upper level and back room area are all apartments/living spaces, which look pretty neat from the outside with all the plants in the windows and stuff, plus there's a huge awesome patio out in back, which is where all the leaves and pollen from the trees stick when it rains and you could fall on your ass, since it happened to be pouring when I went there a couple of weeks ago. The street that the firehouse is on reminds me a lot of Poplar Street in Waterbury, where I grew up, in that it's hilly and narrow and really shitty to drive on, which is fucking great when it's YOUR neighborhood because nobody else likes it so they stay the fuck away.
California X's LP is going to end up on a lot of year-end Best Of lists, as it should because it's a friggin' beast, although I've seen them like 5 or 6 times already and it seems like their shows have become curiously inconsistent. They'll usually come out kicking ass for the first two or three songs, which is great, and then Lemmy loses his concentration or whatever, almost like Rube Waddell walking off the mound in the middle of a game to go chase some fire trucks or something. This time they pulled it back in in-time to finish the set off in good shape, plus I like how they've got the balls to play all of their slower songs (like "Pond Rot" and "Mummy") while everyone is standing in front of them hoping for the rockers. I don't see the Dinosaur Jr comparison much at all, especially since their songs have hardly any guitar solos, although now that they've added a second guitar player maybe they'll start working on that, who knows. Now that I've been listening to the record in the car constantly I've been able to figure out that it's the songs like "Curse" and "Hot Hed" and "Spider X" that remind me of Tenement when they play them live, although nobody else seems to think so, they just Google "California X and Amherst and Dinosaur Jr" and that's all they write about. It seems like this year Calfornia X and Metz are the only two bands that own guitars, the rest of the country all sounds like The National, that's something else I learned from reading reviews also. "Scales and fins growing in my skin/I need a pond to rot in" is a great fucking lyric, just figured I'd throw that in there, since I'm not making much sense right now anyway.
I was totally psyched to see Black Wine for the first time -- they're the type of band that you'd think I'd totally dig, and in fact a friend of mine sent me the files for their first record before it came out thinking that I'd dig it, but I didn't. Sometimes my brain's my enemy, I guess. I haven't been all-the-way into all the other records they've put out since then, either, but damn when they hit on a riff and come up with a great song (which seems to be at least once or twice on every record), they're freakin' golden. Watching them for the first time followed pretty much the same pattern: the first two songs (don't ask me which ones they were) were completely untouchable and had me standing there with my feet barely in my shoes, like "THIS IS THE GREATEST INDIE ROCK BAND ON THE PLANET", and then they started playing their other stuff and I was like, okay, maybe it's time for me to leave already. Except that I couldn't, some guy who was taping the show had put his tripod directly on top of the camera strap where I had left my camera, and I couldn't tug on it to get it out. So I stuck around a little while longer, and there were people there who were really into Black Wine and somehow knew every word to all of their songs, not just the choruses but also the verses, I don't even know how that happens. There's maybe two bands that I could try that with, the Replacements and maybe AC/DC, and even then I'd be shaky with the words to anything after "For Those About To Rock", although "Black Ice" wasn't too bad plus there was "Thunderstruck" and "Who Made Who", those ones were pretty good also. Eventually I tugged on the camera strap enough to get it out of there, so to the guy who was taping the show and has a wobbly part for a couple of seconds during one of the songs, that was me, sorry.
"Curse of The Nightmare"
Black Wine -
"Pick At Pieces"
"Spit to See The Shame"