Thursday, May 15, 2014

I am a Camera

And speaking as we have been for the last several days about last weekend's big Paul Collins/Shoes show in Brooklyn: Here are a couple of clips.

That was Paul, of course, looking like this guy.

And here's Shoes. Not filmed quite so well, but still.

Trust me: Both bands were scary brilliant; two of the best hours or so I've spent this century.

[h/t Unsteady Freddie]


steve simels said...

Note to self: Gloating about great shows readers didn't get to attend less interesting to readers than hoped.

Oh well, tomorrow there's a Listomania. Maybe that'll go over better.


Anonymous said...

The Shoes have a great drummer!

What is the approximate capacity of the Bell House?

What were the lengths of the sets?
Paul "Theo" Collins Savalas will be playing out my way in mid June at a club in Upland, California which I've never heard of before. Is he worth the dough?

I have a sophisticated rig for recording and if I get the club's permission (probably easy) and the band's (optimistic, with my charm), I could do a live multi-track and mic all the instruments etc. (Yes, Betty Cantor and Rob Bertrando were my inspiration).

But would it be worth it? Let me know. Length of set is important to me. Collins will not be co-headlining in Upland so I assume he may play longer.

Thanks for the clips. But I'm still waiting for that lengthy piece. Come on Steve, whip it out.

And.... did I mention the Shoes have a great drummer?

Vickie Rock

Anonymous said...

I came out from San Francisco for the show. I was super bummed to see that no one danced or sang along. Fuck it, i did. Maybe it's because i'm "only 38" and not a New Yorker. I dunno. Paul Collins was great that night.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, from the clip it seems like Paul Collins has a rockin' little combo. Anybody know how long the sets were for each band? Please.

And just in case you don't know, 38 year old anonymous non-New Yorker from the city by the bay, he's playing in your hometown 2014-06-11 at Hemlock.

BTW, I would have danced with you had I been there. I got twenty years on you but you wouldn't be ashamed to be my boogaloo partner.

That's the problem with lots of small shows - not enough dancing and too much chatter. I live in the L.A. area and I hate comped industry fucks at shows. And we have a shitload of them. They never listen, blab and drink way too much. Someone ought to go postal on these useless beings.

I'm dying for more details on this show at the Bell House. Somebody? Anybody? It's nearly been a week.

Setlists? Highlights? Memories? Tongue Rape Suffocation?

I gotta put this gorgeous full moon to bed in style.

Vickie Rock

Mark said...

The show at The Bell House in Gowanus on Saturday, May 10 was wonderful. The Bell House itself is a fantastic neighborhood venue, a large one-story former printing plant warehouse that was last used as a hub for shipping (the package variety of shipping, and not the on-the-seas variety). And for me, there’s a super-duper bonus: on-street parking all around the place.

Bell House lists its capacity in its main event hall as 500 standing, though I eyeballed more, and still the place was not as packed as it has been for other shows I’ve seen there (like Sloan, Ian Hunter, and Robin Hitchcock). The crowd was on the older side, where “older side” meant that Adrian Berrera, lead singer of the Barreracudas, the second of four bands to perform, was able to fire off an arsenal of AARP-themed jokes at the audience, myself included. I offered to make Barrera a junior member, a true honor that AARP extends to no more than 20,000 monthly. Barrera was unimpressed.

First up on Saturday was a three-piece band, GAMES, who played a muscular version of power pop that was more rock than pop, and performed for a relatively short period, oh, say 25:00, tops.

Next up were the Barreracudas, fronted by Adrian Barrera, mentioned above. The Barreracudas are a top-notch Atlanta band with great original power pop material heavy on garage, rockabilly, a touch of The Ramones, big melodies, and equally big choruses. As a band, the Barreracudas were tight and ready for primetime.

Although I’ve been listening to Paul Collins Beat since the band’s first (1979) album, I had never seen Collins before. Collins looked great, his band knew his material (and oh, what material!), and Collins clearly enjoyed himself on-stage by talking to his audience and fans respectfully while performing some mighty fine power pop music (his, that is). Collins made mention of the Flamin’ Groovies as the band that inspired him, which I found touching and among other things, on the money.

Shoes came on sometime around 11:15pm (they were introduced by Ira Robbins of Trouser Press fame), and played for about ninety minutes. I had never seen Shoes before, though I’ve been listening to Shoes since Black Vinyl Shoes, and I can actually say that I once drove through Zion, Illinois on a drive from Chicago to Milwaukee in 1989 to go to Summerfest, a large and long-running outdoor concert series where I got to see The Elvis Brothers, who were so good it hurt – back then, that is. Now? Everything’s OK.

Shoes were, as I texted my wife (at a family gathering in Manhattan), “magnificent.” I can’t recite each song title and the album from which it came from the show, but my experience confirmed what I previously thought: that no group pulls together the components of power pop to form great material better than Shoes. I could see notes of the Byrds, the Hollies, and many other groups that came before Shoes, bands like The Records from the same era, and bands that followed, like Teenage Fanclub and Velvet Crush. But that’s me, and even though my mind was swirling as Shoes performed, I found myself noticing how professional these guys were. To have great material is one thing, and to be able to execute on stage is another. But there was a workmanlike professionalism to Shoes that I didn’t anticipate: no swelled heads here, and no artificial stage bullshit – just song after song after song of great material executed with a precision that seemed to highlight the years Shoes have spent together writing, making and playing music together.

Sadly, I’m not a set list type of guy, so I don’t have that info for you. I did get to meet Steve, whose writing I’ve been following since his Stereo Review days (and in particular, his Blue Ash review, which put into words how I felt about NO MORE, NO LESS), and whose responsibilities at home elevates him to saint-like status (in my opinion, and note that I wrote saint-like), and Mary Donnelly and Moira McCormick, from whom I purchased a copy of BOYS DON’T LIE: A HISTORY OF SHOES, which you should, too.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mark. Finally some more detailed info. I'm not sure if Steve's gonna do it because he wants to keep his ratings up.

Looks like I'm gonna be taping that Paul Collins show out my way.

I already bought Tattoo Mary's book shortly after it came out, but thanks for the tip. It's a good one and certainly was meant for all on this blog. She deserves to be richly rewarded and recognized for her labor of love.

Excuse me. It's time for my morning Ivory tickling. Tusk, tusk.

Vickie Rock

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 38 year old SF guy here... i will definitely be right up front for Paul Collins at the Hemlock next month. That place won't won't hold 100 people if they are standing on each other's feet. I've seen him play there before and its great fun - lot's of energy.

During the Bell House Paul Collins set, about halfway through the set, a punk kid thankfully charged his way to the front. I sang along and fist pumped with him to every song. I was stoked to see someone else there to have fun! I also met some Spanish transplants that had moved to NYC a year before say they were really disappointed by the lack of movement in the crowd. Someone up front even told them to move to the back because they were singing along. WTF???

And i loved this joke by the Barreracudas singer (which i will paraphrase): One day you'll tell your grandchildren about this show... next week!

Anyway, the show was fun, but not what I expected from a crowd perspective.

Anonymous said...

Well, 38 year old SF guy, I can see it from a variety of perspectives. People go to shows for different reasons. Also the Shoes / Paul Collins billing is not going to be as lively as a Social Distortion / Reverend Horton Heat gig.

Being a person who tapes a great deal of the shows I attend, my outlook depends on whether I have my mics far enough away from any boohoo drunks or plain inconsiderate douches.

If I have good mic placement I'm cool with pretty much anything. However, if I'm recording stealth and wearing the mics, suddenly people having a good time become annoying and I avoid them.

I hate people who clap that have no sense of rhythm. I also hate people who sing loudly with poor intonation. And nobody likes being spilled or ralphed on.

I always feel like dancing at shows with a beat, hell, I did it for a living for a couple of years during college. But I don't always do it. Depends on the venue and situation.

The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano knows I tape and let's me, even if the bands don't like it. They have small dance floors on the right and left of the stage with PA's pointing right at them. So, at the start of a set I get my levels set and then head to the dance area. It's the best of all worlds, though the food is mediocre, at best.

I'm near there at Doheny Beach for the blues festival this weekend and a little bit of sailing.

Vickie Rock

Anonymous said...

38 SFer again. I can appreciate people being at shows for different reasons (and I appreciate how good the Paul Collins video above came out - its a good memento for everyone at the show- thanks!). But i like to think of Power Pop as Rock and Roll, where the top priority should be having fun (dancing, singing along, whatever). I know when i bought my ticket, i didn't get a numbered seat and some opera glasses. I was probably singing along with poor intonation right next to you... but fuck it, rock and roll. :)