Rock Library

May 4, 2013
By

So far so good. Two nights of Blow-ing-Out the Library.

Last night we (The Ferndale Library – as a venue, and as an entity of volunteer bartenders and staff members, myself included as it is, full disclosure, my “day-job”) were privileged with a pleasing line up. We had three proficient indie-rocking pop provocateurs with band names all starting with the same letter:

P

And it was one of those nights where any of these bands:

Phantom Cats / Pupils / Pewter Cub

…could have headlined the night. This writer had to stay stationary inside the library, being a roadie or a bartender or a trash collector or…that guy who passive-aggressively prods the bands when to start and stop their sets… I wasn’t the soundguy, though, thankfully, which means it was done right, that their levels were all right and everything sounded pretty great.

Phantom Cats lead off, full swing, barrel-rolling through this wonderful, winding pop blender of nervy jazz lounge blended to sunburst-soul and refreshing mutations on alt-rock:

Pupils -- Photo by: Kelly Bennett

Pupils — Photo by: Kelly Bennett

Now, as I said, I had to stay stationary, so I can’t give you a gauge of “what it was like” out there, on the streets, throughout fashionable Ferndale, as the city sat through Day #2 of It’s version of Blowout (16).  (Nor am I, at least momentarily, invested in unpacking the whole OneWeekend vs. AnotherWeekend or ThisCity vs. ThatCity or LastWeek’sLineUp vs. ThisWeek’s… There’s at least three other blogs shuffling around where you can get that kinda stuff).

All I can tell you is that there were never less than 50-ish people in our humble Community Room (in the Library) and, at its healthiest heaping, we were near or surpassing 100.

But there was just a constant stream (or a pleasantly chill loitering) of people; a constant presence. It felt like the hang out, a club house, a VENUE. (Our cool ambiance was augmented, notably, by the psychedelic film-collages of Robin Verish).

All I can tell you is that Pewter Cub performed a stellar cover of The Pixies “Wave of Mutilation” and that they’re hoping to put it out very soon. They blended the riffy-er, faster tempo of the original single with its B-side version, the more dream-pop, slow-dancer styled “UK Surf.” 

And then it was Pupils. Short a bass player and two back-up dancers, they had to improvise. That’s okay – it’s their specialty.

Pupils are six students of Kraut-/noise-/ambient-/acid-jazz-/ …and… all things cerebral, tribal and experimental… All things waking-dream and shamanistic;  …a thinking man’s punk! If you were there for their set then you’ll know exactly what I mean (and you’ll forgive me for whittling it down to this painfully cliched phrase): this is what Blowout’s all about.

That sudden brilliance struck from the mentality / game plan of: –  “fuck it, just play (it)…”

With a wicked and entrancing viola sawing away, a volatile, buzzy bass digging dark ambiance, a dizzying guitar copiously sprinkling lightning bolts, dual live drummers intertwining intricate rhythms, a band in a cowboy hat blowing bubbles and a half naked singer wandering throughout our hallways, testing the limits of the mic-cable. First song: 18 minutes long! Second song: 1 minute 55 seconds.

Blowout.

In the library, no less. And, yes, in Ferndale.

2013.

photo (1)

Pupils — Photo by: Kelly Bennett

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