Guilty Giraffe, Disco Cream, Sooner, Yairms
Wednesday December 28, 8 pm at Sunnyvale: $10
Welcome back friends, orphans, Santa assassins, and gainfully employed. This is our time to shine. Join us in grabbing life by the tender parts while everyone else is still blubber-stuffed and belly-up on their parents’ couch, where life has little meaning, and existence sits somewhere between sleep apnea and dreams invaded by Wilford Brimley, who himself is napping, bloated and spread-eagle on a powder blue La-Z-Boy while diabetic sugar-plum fairies shimmy across his spittle-soaked mustache.
Obviously, work must be rewarded with play, unless you’re actually sort of enjoying this whole Grinch thing, in which case I’ll leave you to it. If you’re game, there are some high quality music happenings going on during this otherwise severely boring period of limbo between whatever version of winter solstice you and yours celebrate, and New Years Eve.
The raucous headliners of this’n in particular are Guilty Giraffe, a band that’s (actually) from Sleepy Hollow. Their claim to fame is being a post-punk-ish rock band that, like many others, is “Really Loud.” But beneath that hefty pile of sonic rubble and gurgling feedback that the band is want to bulldoze right into your face, there’s some rather intriguing melody, something somewhat resembling a cultural phenomenon known as “song.” The band’s demos, aka A Time to Slime, are made all the more alluring when their beloved crashing chaos is washed over with a kind of calm, collected rock music, leaving the noise to recede off into the distance. These are but brief intervals, I’ll admit, but in that time Guilty Giraffe achieves something close to serenity. We like.
By virtue of name alone, Disco Cream might seem like a band that you can’t tell your mom about. Unless of course you’re willing to risk triggering some terrifying memory trip– if so, it’s possible that the next time you see her, she’ll have cracked open the ol’ storage unit and, taking care to dust off the remaining bits of disco dust, slipped on her sparkly little number from what she calls her “lost years,” which you will then learn were spent getting jiggy with a slender youth named Juan Carlos at Studio 54. Trust, that’s one bell that you don’t wanna ring. Consider playing it safe though, and just don’t mention to anyone over the age of 50 that there’s a band out there called “Disco Cream.” But feel free to listen to their tunes all you want– sadly/un-sadly, there’s nothing Saturday Night Fever about it.
On the other hand, you won’t be able to find Sooner on the interwebs. Not yet, anyway. That’s because this newgaze foursome are, well, just that: new. And by “new,” I mean “new to you.” No sooner did Sooner start practicing at my apartment months back, than I became totally enthralled by their strangely soaring and somewhat paradoxically upbeat shoegaze-influenced songs. And by “upbeat” I mean still sorta sob inducing but, like, better suited for the particular melancholia of our times (e.g., text-message breakups, Facebook unfriendings, and soggy Seamless). On the real though, the lovely vocalist Federica nails that tender/haunting thing, so you won’t even need an app-related tragedy to inspire a listen. Full disclosure: the drummer is my roommate and I’m pals with three members. But consider that I like their music even though I was forced to listen to it, so I strongly suggest you lend an ear too.
Phish Live Stream
Wednesday December 28, 7 pm to 2 am at Vital Joint (The Silent Barn): FREE
Obviously you know that America’s preeminent neo-hippie jam band, Phish, kicks off their North American tour tomorrow at Madison Square Garden. At somewhere in the $75 to $90 range, tickets cost a pretty, pretty penny. Seriously, F that. Anyway, everyone knows that real Phish fans (colloquially known as “Phish Heads”), would much rather spend that kind of money on fatty-fatty AK-47 kush weed joints and listen to their favorite band ever on headphones. That way, they wouldn’t have to worry about wearing their tattered Birkenstocks inside a packed-to-the-gills venue and in all likelihood get their toes stepped on in the process. We understand the situation fully– too much THC makes you a brittle-boned boy. It’s OK.
As for the rest of us, spending that much money to swim around in a sea of Phishies just for the lolz is a tough filet to swallow, especially since that still means having to stomach god awful music (which I’ll do us all a favor and refrain from posting here) in order to soak up the freaky vibes.
So what’s a Phish hater to do? Luckily, Santa has blessed every single one of us with this 100-percent FREE livestream event, where Phish’s way-too-friggin’ long set will be broadcast, presumably, in its entirety. In case you were wondering, this ensures a win-win for both parties: people like me can rest assured that our post-holiday afterglow subsides back to a baseline of misanthropic seething, and all you granola crunchers out there are guaranteed a weed score that’s as hefty and dank as always.
“Who are the blessed angels sent from heaven and hell as one to bring us such a gorgeous event?” you ask. None other than the good people at Vital Joint! Apparently, when they’re not organizing experimental theatre festivals or staging freaky Beckettian productions, they’re listening to Phish. Everyone is welcome, but as the hosts warn: “No harshies.” Fair enough.
There’s still plenty of chill times to go around, even for haters like me. Prepare yourself for a “mini” Shakedown Street (if you know, then you know), grilled cheese, dranks, and more. So breakout your floor-length flower skirts and tie-dye Sublime t-shirts (Bradleyyyyyy!), because it’s time to relive your festival days amongst pals and strangers. Just cool it on the Special K this time guys– there’s not gonna be a mud pit to break your fall.
Pearie Sol, Blood Club, Dougie Pool
Thursday December 29, 8 pm at the Silent Barn: $8
I’d be lying if I said I was drawn to this show for any other reason than the headliner, Pearie Sol, is clearly a real punny guy. But I’d be even more lying if I said that his freaky tunes weren’t what sealed the deal. This guy sounds like he was raised by Bozo the Clown, Daniel Johnston, and a pack of wild dogs (if all those things exist in D.C. and were at one point in time down to have a consensual, loving, child-producing relationship). That’s because this dude is clearly unbothered by the fact that, by playing such aggressively Dada anti-music music, he’s risking severe bodily harm. Truthfully, the obstinate, organ-grinding, one man-crooning punk of Pearie Sol is the stuff of nightmares so bad that you wet the bed not once but twice in one night. And in that way, it’s beautiful.
Blood Club, on the other hand, is doing a wonderful thing with conventional sounds, by breaking them down into their constituent parts and poking holes in each tiny piece, before sewing them back together into some sort of noise-worn, vaguely rock-informed, cracked bedroom pop. Ghostly and somehow distantly discernible, it’s nearly impossible to tell if Blood Club is rendered by a pair of femme vocalists, or a wavering chorus emanating from a single voice box belonging to a “72 year old genderfreak” (turns out it’s the latter). Similarly, it’s difficult to discern if said voice belonging to Liana Hell Lean is backed by a drum machine, or one of those mechanical cymbal-clanging monkey toys. Who knows? Who cares? Eat it all up.