Saturday, August 30, 2003

RobotZen's Secret CD Release

I went out to a concert last night at Jacques Underground. Jacques is a drag bar, but they have bands play in the basement. I was going to see RobotZen, since I missed their last two shows (the first due to work and the second was when I was in England). They were the second of three bands and I don't think you could have gotten three more disparate groups together.

First up was Malice in Leatherland, a group of three young folk who fancied themselves a goth band (although someone should really let the guitar player in on that as he seemed under the assumption that they were metal), all make-up and skirt-wearing male lead singer. They were loud. There were, well, not very good. The drummer has potential if she could spend a little time on playing and a bit less on attitude.

The thought struck me today that her stylized arm movements were a lot like taiko. Maybe this is the first time she's used a drum kit.

For their last song, they brought up a woman to sing who fortunately use the guitarist's mic as that was not turned up very much. Ugh. Over-all, I wish I had been drunk for their set.

RobotZen was up next. The performers were Steve on guitar, Sue on vocals and D.J. Funkypants on OS X. Okay, I made that last name up, but she did have funky pants and was doing the live mixing on a Mac (and yes, it was OS X). The guitar wasn't amplified enough for the first song, but they did turn it up twice after that (although Naz found that she couldn't hear Sue as well after it got turned up the second time). I really enjoyed their set. Sue has such a haunting voice (like what Nico would sound like if she could carry a tune), and let's face it, is just cute as a button. This was also the first time I've seen Steve perform and it was interesting to see his stage presence, which is a lot like his normal presence after he's gotten to know you for a really long time and you're not in a large group situation. Rather strange that.

To show that I'm not just a gushing friend, I will say that there was a clunker of a note on the harmonizing of one song, but it was just the one note, the one time. And after they did a cover of 'White Rabbit' Naz turned and said the exact words I was thinking: "That’s a really hard song." I think they probably could do that one if they played it a lot, but it's just a damned difficult piece. Over all I really enjoyed the music, and Steve's blues cover was really fun too.

The Gasolines were the last act, consisting of bass, guitar/lead vocal and drums. They were good, standard rock fare. They played well and well together, but they could use another singer as the guitarist/vocalist just didn’t have a voice that went well with their sound.

A fun night and I didn't even stay out too late.

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