Monday, June 4, 2012


Wow, it's been a long time since I've sat down to write about what's going on here. Been more than a little busy, but I'm feeling inspired...

The next big show that everyone's talking about here at Slabtown is THRONES/LEBENDEN TOTEN/ROSENKOPF/BELLICOSE MINDS on the 11th, but in all honesty, I'm equally excited about tomorrow night's show with ELECTRO-KRAKEN (my third chance to bring them in here since re-opening 3 months ago), DIRTY HAND FAMILY BAND, ROSELIT BONE, and the MINUTEMEN documentary "We Jam Econo."

We're gonna start off the night by putting "We Jam Econo" on in the back room about 7 or so. It's a weeknight show, and we'll be taking cash at the door at 8 and starting bands around 9. So, if you wanna just show up for the movie (and the "Sound Check Specials" on drinks until the opening band starts), it's free; stick around for the show and we'll hit you up for the $4.

First up will be locals ROSELIT BONE, a band I've been itching to see since Sean from E-K booked them for this show last month or so. Their bandcamp tags: country, apocalyptic, folk, deathrock, western. That pretty well sums it up. Dark, moody vocals over sparse music with a country Western vibe. Had the movie "Blue Velvet" been about a two-piece C-W band instead of a lounge singer, ROSELIT BONE would be that band.

THE DIRTY HAND FAMILY BAND are a seven- or eight-piece band vaguely out of San Francisco, although they seem to spend much of their time traveling from place to place. With vocals coming from two ladies up front as well as their guitarists and harmonica player, they take traditional American gospel, honky tonk, roots, and country and muddy it up with swamp water and moonshine. Similar to CAVE SINGERS in some ways and SOUL SAVERS in others, they're more than either or both.

Closing the night, at least the part on stage, will be ELECTRO-KRAKEN, a band that continues to be one of my favorite locals. If you haven't heard them, they are basically improv jazz, but they stretch that genre beyond recognition by running they sax through layers of effects and bringing the serious thunder with heavy, heavy bass and drums to back it up. In fact, they are more of a punk band that plays heavy improv jazz than vice-versa.

As I sit here and write about these three bands, the thing I love about them all is that they each take traditional American genres of music, expand on them, and drag them through the dark places of our minds. Their approaches remind me of the way that great post-punk bands like BUZZCOCKS and JOY DIVISION took the pop love song and twisted it sideways; their willingness to experiment with genre reminds me of THE MINUTEMEN and the way they made rock music their own (hence, the tie-in to the movie).

The liquor reps who do the promo for Kraken rum went grape-nuts when they heard I'd specifically started carrying Kraken rum for this show and gave us a bunch of swag. We'll be running a couple of one-night-only drink specials around that: The Electro-Kraken (Kraken and energy drink) and The Russian Kraken Hunter (Kraken and half-and-half, tastes like a White Russian).

See you at 7 for the movie. Doors at 8, bands at 9. $4, 21+

ROSELIT BONE on bandcamp: here
DIRTY HAND FAMILY BAND at the Stork CLub in Oakland: here
ELECTRO-KRAKEN at The Someday Lounge: here

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