Smith Westerns w. Yuck – January 28th, 2010 – The End
I got really lucky this weekend. Despite the fact that my trip to Athens to see Wavves and Best Coast fell through, there was still a good show going on that night in Nashville. Thank God. Luckily, when the nail in the coffin had been nailed on the trip Thursday night, there were still tickets left. Me and Ryan bought our tickets and even though the door guy stamped my hand (which by the way, the End is a DIVE bar. Who cares if I drink?), I was ready to have fun.
The first band on were local favorites, Big Surr. The band borrows most of it’s members from Diarrhea Planet but has a surf rock sound. They seem like cool dudes from when I talked to them, but their set was so-so. Out of the six songs they played, I only dug 3 of them and one was an interesting cover of David Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream.” Nothing really took me over though. Everyone keeps claiming these guys are like the “Best Coast of Nashville,” but I can’t see the resemblance. Even if it was true, when is imitation a good thing?
Next up was Yuck. I got a copy of their newest CD the day before, and while it was pretty meh, they had a pretty damn good live show. Judging by lead singer Daniel Blumberg’s bloodshot eyes and constant grins, it’s pretty safe to assume that homie was on some class A drugs that night. Luckily, these dudes know how to hold their shit together and powered through a good set of songs. It’s hard for me to place them in a category, cause while they seem mostly like a shoegaze band, it’s not like listening to a Jesus and Mary Chain set. Look at tracks like “Suicide Policeman,” which has more of an acoustic track feel with pretty melodies. I was dying to hear how it would sound live since it’s my favorite track off their debut. Needless to say, they killed it and sent shivers down my spine. Not in a “I just walked in on Oprah naked and now I need a lobotomy to get rid of that image”, but in a good/healthier way. When they closed their set with the echoing distortion of “Rubber”, I realized that they’re a pretty decent band that produces great shoegaze music. And even though the market is starting to become oversaturated with shoegaze bands, Yuck is definitely one of the bands you’re gonna want to keep your eye on.
The Smith Westerns were up next. Before I even heard their music, I had already heard a slew of good and bad things about the band. The naysayers were complaining that these “kids” (most of them aren’t 21 yet) should be home doing homework while the yeasayers were going on about how remarkably talented this garage-glam rock band was. After I picked up their newest album, “Dye It Blonde”, I realized the yeasayers were right. On that note, why the fuck does it matter if these kids just got out of high school? As far as I’m concerned, the band puts out great tunes and at the end of the day, isn’t that all that matters? Anyways, enough of that rant. The band came on stage and proceeded to play most of their new album.
This band is bright as hell, and I completely dig it. They played every song I wanted them to play, with the exception of “Only One”. I was skeptical if they could capture or even expand the album’s sound, since this is a huge problem with most bands’ live shows, yet the five piece band didn’t let me down the whole night. What they lacked in stage presence they made up for in performance. “End of the Night” and “Smile”, two very bright songs were the standouts for me. Yeah, they’re my favorite on the record itself too, but live, they sucked me in and made me want to dance (and I don’t dance unless I’m drunk). I even caught myself being a dork and singing along to their new single “Weekend” when they played it. While some bands can only cover glam rock, the Smith Westerns can make great glam rock.
If you get a chance, see these dudes and make up your own mind. This is definitely a “love-em-or-hate-em” band, because there is really is no middle ground. You’ll either get swept away by their catchy melodies, bright lyrics and glam rock guitar, or you’ll sink to the bottom with the naysayers. If you want to give them a chance, check out a couple of their songs I have below or see them on this tour. $10 well spent.
02/01 Atlanta GA Drunken Unicorn*
02/03 Orlando FL Backbooth*
02/04 Tallahassee FL Club Downunder
02/05 Baton Rouge Spanish Moon
02/06 Houston TX Fitzgeralds*
02/07 Austin TX Emos *
02/08 Dallas TX The Loft*
02/10 Phoenix AZ Rhythm Room*
02/11 Los Angeles CA Echo*
02/12 Costa Mesa CA Detroit Bar*
02/13 San Francisco CA Bottom of the Hill*
02-15 Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
02-16 Vancouver, British Columbia – Biltmore Cabaret
02-17 Seattle, WA – Crocodile Cafe
02-18 Boise, ID – Neurolux
02-19 Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court
02-21 Denver, CO – Larimer Lounge
02-22 Kansas City, MO – The Record Bar
02-23 Omaha, NE – Waiting Room
02-24 Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock Social Club
02-25 Madison, WI – The Frequency
02-26 Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle
02-28 Toronto, Ontario – Legendary Horseshoe Tavern
03-01 Montreal, Quebec – La Sala Rossa
03-02 Boston, MA – Great Scott
03-04 Washington, DC – Rock and Roll Hotel
03-16 – 03-19 Austin, TX – SXSW
* = w/ Yuck
Gone – Big Surr
Suicide Policeman – Yuck
Weekend – Smith Westerns
End of the Night