Christmas Coverage of Creeps

12 01 2010

Oh the holidays. Another year of new socks, awkward conversations, cookie consumption and countdown to get back to what you were doing. I am pleased to have good friends and to have met interesting, passionate people in not only my Shire of Tampa but also in the Orlando Rivendell outpost and the infinite parties of the wood elves in Sarasota. So, family isn’t the primary reason for me to visit these places anymore, especially when a bonfire is calling out my name that has also attracted friends from as far as Nashville while discussing the events to occur the week to come. This is a very brief (in my terms) post about the shows that happened this week in both Orlando and Tampa, starting with the Christmas show at midnight.

I got to Heinrich’s a bit early and noticed a bunch of young punks arriving as the stroke of midnight was near. Unfortunately I missed the 1st half of the show because I had to pick up my car, but on my way back while listening to the Stay Away From Ghosts release of the Deltona Wolves tape, I was getting pumped up and as soon as I came back Merchandise was jamming and sounded just as good as I remembered, perhaps playing new songs off their most recent tape. ‘Dads’ then took over, starting off the set with a jingle bell dub (a post punk, dark, slowed down take on a christmas classic). Leave it to creeps like Cameron to destroy your jolly sing-a-longs and reshape your feelings. The trio of Cameron (Boulders), Carson (who drums, involved with Neon Blud/Slavescene) and Dave (guitarist; former Andros Rex dude) works perfectly; each have their own rock and roll personalities and skills that come darkly together just as well as Cameron’s Lou Reed fashion sensibilities. My favorite part about Dads is the minimalism of it, like the very short bat screaming guitar shrills or fast paced drum patterns you’ll hear but only for a brief moment. Dads don’t get together too often since Dave lives in Georgia now, so any chance to see them play is a must.

After picking up the Dads’ record, 2 more SAFG tapes (the new Outmode tape and split with Unicorn Hard-On), I left the show and was finally put to rest. The next day was my journey back home with my buddy Fuji. After he convinced his mom to spend post-holiday time another time with him, he was good to go with me for the Beats and Creeps tour kick off over at Uncle Lou’s, Orlando. As soon as I got home, I had to feed my cat and start hooking up my equipment to practice at the last minute to open for the show. Once I got a set down, I met up with Chris Shields and soon after the show was ready. Mr. Transylvania, the vampiric host for this evening, called together the children of the night and switched from Jekyll to Hyde and performed some new songs such as my personal favorite, “FUCK MONEY.” I can relate to this and many other Transylvanian laments. I played after, and once Orlando was done representing, Tampa’s solo crew took over for the rest of the night, and man was it good. To those that read this, you already know my gratitude towards this closely knitted, unique scene that has grown and still continues to do so. The bands that performed this night represent the most recent incarnation of some of these figures, with a couple new acts such as the drum and synth-looping Moon Dust + and dirge punk Father Finger. Moon Dust has a neat way to structure his sets, starting with strange keyboard melodies, then looping the entire song to play drums along with it. Sometimes you can do things better on your own and make it to every solo practice you set up. Father Finger realized this too as Kylie finally found them guts to go solo and perform some Big Black industrial punk. Her song ‘Separation Anxiety’ takes it where Byron House left off and has become the theme to my new year’s resolution. Get her tape if there’s even any left.

-J. Zagers at Cafe Hey Oct 2009, video by Brigid

Now with the classics; Ant Parade has returned back to Orlando since her last visit for the electronic show I set up in October, and siren called the audience once again with some beautiful illuminations that fit perfectly with the winter coldness. I hope some people up north appreciated her set (this is her first time touring) as much as I did, and she also had a release available. S2K molded the madness that was slicing through his stack of keyboards, and the more you listened in, the more layers seem to meet together  only to be demolished over and over again into a repetitious chem lab explosion. J. Zagers, who also does something different each time, played some night time electronic sounds that still somewhat sounded like his jazzy, timeless counterpart. And of course, what would a night be without the Beats of Haves and Thirds and the Creeps of Solid Susan Under Ice? H&T killed it as always, executing the beauty and the beats, and SSUI ended the evening with a play that opens up Carlos’ (tsarlagger) world to the audience even more. I’m not sure what the ice gang is, what they what from him, or what other powers the aluminum gauntlet has, but nevertheless, this is Carlos’ mind brought to life, and he doesn’t mind if you get trapped along with it into endangered escapism. The whole night was incredible, and I knew a lot of people had a good time at the show and much appreciation for all of those that donated/bought merch.

-Solid Susan Under Ice – I Was At The Lab Lastnight

This wasn’t it though. Nooo… definitely not. The next day was a Sunday well spent, seeing hardcore punk acts and even louder bands Slavescene and MLU. I missed out on Lesson Lesson Lessen Relearn, however, I made it in time to see my buds from Tampa and Nashville and was really stoked to see that both bands had a pretty big fan base at this point. I’m not too sure how many people knew of MLU previously, but the crowd were throbbing alongside the maelstrom of eardrum damaging loudness, the sound of a band that crawled out from hell to invite more to come towards the underground with them as the earth cracks into passages below. Slavescene, because of their last show at Stardust, had gain much recognition on the east coast of Florida and already had the crowd in a possessed trance to begin with. After a sound check of ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ rhythms and Trevor’s inability to start singing right away, the hell gates were open with a really demented version of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Slavescene’s version was even more apathetic and doomed, and songs were played one after another with not much breaks between, and the punk kids loved it (as can be seen by the trashed side of Stardust that I’ve never seen before). I made it through the whole night without my glasses breaking, and it was awesome to see once again many people buying merch from my friends’ bands and complimenting (“YOU GUYS FUCKING RULE DUDE”) after the show. Thanks to Josh Erickson for putting together another evening of wreckage. Another insight of this show can be found by a local Orlando music blog here: kickbright.

-Slavescene – Smells Like Teen Spirit @ Stardust Dec 2009. Video by JKickBright.

-MLU @Stardust Dec 2009. Video also by JKickBright.

So, was that it? NO. Florida is just that sweet to itself during the holidays. After visiting Christmas past and present, it was time to be visited by Christmas Future at the hour of the New Year. Unfortunately, my cat got a tapeworm on the night of New Years Eve, so I couldn’t make it over to the Skeleton Warrior New Year’s Branch Ranch Bash, so any additional comments on this show, good or negative, confession or critical analysis are welcome. After medicating my poor little infestation, I was ready to play again after practicing with Stephen for the show at his house later on New Year’s Day. I don’t know how the party went over in Tampa the night before, but this house party got the freaks getting freaky and the ladies passing looks. Cool World, a band from Rhode Island, played earlier in the evening and, although not what I’d expect from a Providence band, were pretty constructed just like the audience before the drinking, and were quite cool indead. Kreb Drawn Hoops (the new incarnation of the Globular duo) put the Sarasota party on reserve and brought their own party favors to the show. Instead of the loose, interstellar sounds they were making over the summer, Kreb Drawn is faster, more synth punk and electrocuting sounding. They could pull off replacing the soundtrack to the menacing machine room stages at the end of those 2D side scroller beat ’em ups if they hacked their way into one. Cyber-Swarm’s got some competition (or a planned split in the future if this competitive nature ends). Speaking of, we closed off the night, were kind of out of it, made no sense; I think people liked it?

-Diamond Hymen playing @ Shantytown on Philip K Dick Night, spring 2009

Between the sober openers and the crashing down closers was the touring dance duo Diamond Hymen and Outmode. I’ve seen Jasmine (DH) play a few times since exactly a year ago (her 1st show was at the Skeleton Warrior New Year’s Ranch Bash of 2009), and every time she just gets better and better. Like an ice princess, she freezes her audience only to thaw them out through lustful vocals and beats. I noticed more and more people dancing and drinking faster, especially during the DH/Outmode collaboration song that increased the BPM and had the whole house party grooving to the best of both worlds. Outmode, if I’m not mistaken, turned the drum machine on before Jasmine, and started off his set with a Brian Eno-esque intro of frippotronic loopings, and touched carefully to this craft with additional layers of waves that all slowly became a modern day funk song without the crowd even knowing what the funk was funking from the outside in. Cops eventually felt uninvited to the show, but luckily everything ended right before it was ended by other means. Orlando was treated yet again with spectacles from the outside, and I hope it encourages more bands to enjoy coming through here and vice versa. The key word here is donate, even a little bit helps, bands aren’t doing it for the money but for the experience, and just like most experiences, if ends can meet then everyone has a good time. Or you could go see Black Moth Super Rainbow again for $25 with some terrible openers if you wish. Hey, it’s your world and wallet, not mine.

THANKS TO ALL THAT PLAYED, CAME OUT TO THESE EVENTS, PROVIDED ROAD CASH AND MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL, SPREADIN’ THAT WORD LIKE BUTTER. I had a great week…. and a 2010 (so far) coverage will be on here soon…

Also if you have any additional footage from photos to video to audio, please let me know if you’d like to share.

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