Friday, May 13, 2011

Cold Cave at Space 15Twenty

Yesterday, FBC! had the good fortune to be invited to Cold Cave's free concert at Space 15Twenty (thanks, Jeff and Mimi!), a band I knew nothing about because 1) I'm old, 2) I'm old and 3) I'm old. Musically I've been caught in a time warp between 1965 (birth of the Velvet Underground) and the early 1990s (birth of that crapshit thing "grunge" and the moment when electronica invaded the airwaves in Europe. I like synths, but I like sexy bad boy rockers with electric guitars even more).

So I went there last night out of curiosity, and I had tons of fun, though I'm not sure it was the kind of fun the band would like their audience to experience. The music is heavily influenced by OMD, the lyrics, I can't tell because it was impossible to make out any words (sound engineer, Pro Tools guy, you need to improve). Nothing innovative musically, but it was fun because these guys take themselves way too seriously, so there's some inadvertent situation comedy  for an old fart like me to enjoy.

The singer had a really bad haircut AND greasy hair and obviously believes himself to be the reincarnation of Ian Curtis. He seemed pretty high (hint, young people: being high doesn't make you look more intense, just high), and so was the most amusing member of the band, the demented keyboard player bobbing his head in sync to the music.  That dude was a mad mix between Bez of Happy Monday fame and the Tears For Fears guys, and as an added bonus was crouching on his keyboards like Schroeder in the Peanuts comics. He was robotically dancing and he and the lead singer were doing a little homoerotic number by hugging each other on stage,it looked so cute to this fag hag. The only musician who wasn't high and who was cute physically was the drummer, who drummed in a totally straightforward way. Hey, it's not like everybody can be Michael Jerome Moore!

Looking at them, I could see a really funny future little novella, with keyboard dude wanting to take the band into a heavy dance direction while singer dude sticking to his Joy Divisions fantasies, and the band imploding mid-way through a grueling North American tour. Groupies in tears, Williamsburgers on Prozac, etc.  Yes, I've read too many rock'n'roll stories.

The audience was really adorable, with a special mention to the kid bobbing his head totally out of sync, with his eyes closed, right next to the girl with the Aladdin Sane tattoo. Coolest kid was the gay one in the white trench coat, closely followed by the Berliner S&M kid with a Erich von Stroheim haircut. What I really like about the hipsters in SoCal is that their population isn't overwhelmingly white, unlike the Brooklyn types, so there is a genuine mix of working-class Latinos, Asian kids and some pasty faces that seem to work out really well.

All in all a really fun event, though I don't think I'm going to spend money on Cold Cave's recordings any time soon. But I'd be happy to follow the career of Keyboard Dude, if he has one. Anybody out there can tell me his name?

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