Echo - July 11, 2011
A famous Los Angeles comedian has a bit about how, for her whole life, she thought she hated The Grateful Dead until one day she realized that it was the fans, not the band, that she truly despised. This drives home an oft-overlooked fact about music: our opinion of a band often depends greatly (and unconsciously) on our opinion of its fans.
With this in mind, the Echo is a great venue to see a show because, since it's small, you don't have to squint to gawk at people. The audience for Crystal Antlers included two cool dudes who were dressed like they were Kid Rock, lots of pretty girls who had that awesome haircut where half your head is shaved, a couple who looked like they got lost looking for The Standard, and a group of honest-to-goodness grandmas. What a relief to have my high opinion of Crystal Antlers reinforced!
The first band, Pangea, was great. Their high-pitched, party punk songs made me wonder if maybe music isn't seasonal, since their songs sound energetic and sweaty like summer vacation. Also, points for having cassettes for sale for those of us who refuse to sell our Walkmans.
Clorox Girls were rude and forgettable, but Cold Showers delivered a set that was wet behind the ears but bursting with promise. The lead singer croons like New Wave and every song had a great, driving breakdown. Every member of the band looked like they were having a great time and they passed that onto the audience.
The house really filled up for Crystal Antlers. The band had a pretty interesting set up: keyboard, bass, guitar, drums, projectionist and sassy percussion guy. The sassy percussionist (whose name is Sexual Chocolate--incredible!) was more than worth the price of a beer. He lip-synced to every song, eventually became shirtless, and riled up the crowd without missing a beat on his bongos. The projectionist had those oil and water things that looks like cell division footage projected up behind the drummer. With the music--a loud wall of guitar and organ-driven psychedelia--the overall effect was that this was a performance, and that's something to go out on a Monday night to see.
The Crystal Antlers residency is at the Echo every Monday night for the month of July and it's always free.
More by this writer:
Fucked Up - David Comes to Life
Thee Oh Sees - Castlemania