3/4/09: Phones w/Paper & Holy Hail @ Cake Shop (41/100)

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I really didn’t want to go out tonight. Seriously, this was my 41st day in a row of going out to see music. I just wanted to go home, relax and watch some TV. Maybe play my Xbox, or my guitar. Something. I just know I didn’t want to go some small, dark venue again. Waaaaa waaaaa waaaaa…

This is a self-imposed project, so I can’t really complain. And I was meeting up with an old college friend Karen who I haven’t seen in years (thanks for the beers, Karen), and her friend Chrissy who she hadn’t seen in years. So at least I didn’t have to endure this night alone. Which turned out to be a good thing considering the bands I was about to see.

First up: Phones.

Ok, I’ve seen it all now. My music-fandom life has collided with my gadget-geekiness life. You know those little keyboards, drum sets, oscillators, guitars, etc that cost a few bucks for the iPhone? If you’ve downloaded any of these apps, then you’ve probably messed around with them a bit, but never made any real use of them. But there are definitely some people who have figured out how to create music from them, and the “band” Phones are some of those people. Sort of.

Phones is not a “real” band, more of a fun, random project from guys in The Subjects and a guy from White Rabbits. They toured together recently, and while on the road they were fucking around with iPhone instruments. Then decided, what the hell, let’s play a gig with our iPhones. And It wasn’t as bad as it may sound. Sure, it started out a bit rough, but then worked its way into something resembling music. Obviously it wasn’t much to look at, just 5 dudes holding iPhones, and one working a mixing board. But it was fun, and definitely the weirdest show I’ve seen so far.

Next up: Paper

How do you follow an iPhone band? You play soooooo fucking loud that people forget about the band before. Seriously, these guys were ear-piercingly loud. But in a good way (sort of). The guitar tone was Steve Albini-inspired, while the beats and keys were total Krautrock. Until they weren’t. It was weird because when they started, I was certain they were German. Then they played some dirty, garage rock which had be thinking they were Swedish (they were). Then the played some new wavey stuff that had me thinking they were German again. Basically, they didn’t know who they wanted to be. They were touching a bunch of different genres, and doing them well, but lacked a bit of focus overall. If they just picked on and went with it, they might have something.

As they tried to destroy our eardrums, the funniest thing ever happened in front of Chrissy, Karen and me. There was this guy, who I was calling him “The Hip Dancer” and not because he was cool. He was dancing so fucking hilariously that it’ss going to be impossible to describe. But this shit was funny as hell. He would dip his shoulders toward the floor, and then move his torso as if to shake out the dance through his ankles. That’s the best I can describe it. Fucking brilliant.

Finally: Holy Hail.

Meh. Holy Hail was annoying and not good. They photographed well, but that’s about it. Just suffice to say they missed the boat by like 5 years. They sounded old and tired to me.

Speaking of old and tired. After three full bands at Cake Shop, that was me.


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