Wednesday, July 23, 2008

King Kahn/Half Rats

So I followed my own advice last night and headed over to the Grog for the King Kahn and the Shrines/Half Rats/Dimeras show.

Dimeras was a local punk band. They had an OK sound, but I don't see them lasting too long as the two guitarists don't seem to gel that well. One guitarist seemed like a budding showman, at least in the sense he was trying to communicate with the audience. The other one, who seemed either drunk or pretending to be, kept interrupting him with lame "punk" things like, "Fuck this shit, let's just play a song."

I don't see that going over well at the next band practice.

To his credit, the "drunk" guitarist did apologize after the following song, asking the other guitarist to finish what he was saying. Personally, that seemed more like a way to mess with his band-mate rather than a sincere interest in hearing the dude out, but it didn't matter, because at that point the drummer screamed "Don't ever apologize on stage, you fag."

Next. Please.

The next band, Half Rats from Lafayette, Indiana, was really good. They had me grooving mid-way through their set, which was a blend of upbeat Midwestern rock, Buddy Holly/Richie Valens sounds from the 50s and some Laugh-In style 60s froog. Unfortunately they don't have any records out yet and, knowing me, I'll forget about them before I ever see one in the store. Anyway, they all seemed happy to be up there, particularly when the lead dude had his girlfriend on stage signing back-up. Yeah, they made out a bit in between two songs, but it was sorta Indiana sweet.

Another guitarist in the band made me snort with laughter between songs once when he wipes the sweat from his brow and then mutters into his mic, "Boy, it is really cold in here." Two seconds later, "I'm sorry, that's like the worst joke ever."

As you can probably guess, none of his fellow band-mates questioned his sexual orientation.

The headliner, King Kahn and the Shrines, put on a pretty decent show, but not one that really compares to other large-scale, novelty-ish bands. Their music amounts to what I would call r&b that you can mosh to. I like the r&b, even the novelty hook, but the moshing isn't my style.

Plus, by the time their set started, it seems like the entire chapter of Delta Gamma (or some other bleached Case sorority) had showed up in heels and expensive blouses and dates in Abercrombie polos with carefully tilted vintage Cavs hats. I didn't exactly understand. Is King Kahn popular with the frat crowd already? When I was in college, DMB was the frat act du jour, exactly because he was so mainstream and generic (i.e., safe for university greek life conformity). I can't quite place King Kahn in that box.

But I sorta hope he is the top contender for Frat Rocker of the year, because old Kahn is sort of a dick. Actually, not sort of. He definitely came off that way. Between asshole comments about Cleveland and getting bossy with his band because they didn't adapt quickly enough when he changed his mind about which to play (many of the members had to switch instruments), he seemed like an even pettier, more aggressive, more diva-ish version of Jeff Tweedy. That's not a compliment, by the way.

Anyway, once the moshing started, I moved back in the crowd and encountered something I never expected: a half-dozen or so middle-aged guys seriously straight off the golf course, with the polos and docker shorts and such. They all had been enjoying a few and kept calling each other "dork" which somehow was less annoying than the sorority reunion up front and the Beyonce impression on stage.

I ended up leaving about 12:30, and the Shrines probably had another 30-35 minutes to go. I'm sure it was good. I just was too tired to stay any longer.

Weird thing, I'm pretty sure I'll buy the Shrines record next time I hit up Music Saves.

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