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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Beestings @ The Comet, Velella Velella @ Nectar

posted by on February 28 at 17:58 PM

I wound up at the Comet to start a surprisingly busy Wednesday night, where local post-emo’sters Beestings were releasing their new album, Where It Goes. I’d been asked to go by friends and, having only heard a total of three minutes of their stuff on MySpace, decided to give it a shot. Beestings’ heavy-handed slow-mo-emo didn’t exactly win me over (set a quota on the use of “heart” in the lyrics, sheez). But the mom in the crowd—it’s no CD release without at least one older woman in a sweater, don’tcha know—was among the decent number of folks nodding their heads to the quartet’s slow, whiny heartbreak songs, and at the very least, Beestings took Grandy’s year-ago complaints about showmanship to heart. And their lead guitarist was pretty good…….at playing rhythm/bass lines. Too bad this ability often got buried in the band’s dependence on quiet-LOUD compositions.

Then my friends decided to bolt—presumably to lay in a hot bathtub while saying the word “heart” over and over and over—so I drove to Fremont and arrived in time for Velella Velella at the Nectar. Completely different scene, of course; V2’s gotten ample press for its acceptably danceable live shows, and last night’s attracted a surprising near-capacity Wednesday crowd. The scene was best summed up by the final song, when the song’s repeat requests for everyone to “get on up” resulted in this girl hopping the stage, grabbing a shaker and singing along quite well—dressed for the part, no less.

Get On Up

While I found myself nodding along throughout, one song mid-set amplified my ambivalence about the band. The track started out with an unnecessarily over-amped drumbeat playing on their iPod, and even though the band built a great mess of live melody around the track, it wasn’t until the iPod beat dropped out and the band began banging, clanging and beating their own implements that the song really came to life. The pre-produced drumbeats might’ve been easier to stomach if they’d come from a laptop with a nice sound card, if not a full-fledged drum machine. Upgrade, dammit, or at least hire the blonde.

While I’m at it, can I talk about the indie-rock line dance? You know, when lines form two-to-four deep in the front of a concert crowd, stare up at the band, and do the safe, boring, side-to-side dance? Seemingly in unison? V2 attracts ‘em like nobody else, and they make me feel like I’m in the middle of Beck’s “Where It’s At” video. Guh. I wish people would make up their minds—either lose your shit and dance, or hang in the back with me and the other boring wallflowers. Pick a side!

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v.v. fucking killed it last night. from the second they the started (seamlessly, from DJ james pants' cue) they were totally on. i've never seen andrew dance so much, michael was letting it hang out more than usual, sylvia sang better than i remember, and i can't think of anything specifically congratulatory to say about jeremy.

i think v.v. is getting better all the time and they are already dangerously awesome. #1 unsigned artist according to CMJ? is that right? something like that....

Posted by ndrwmtsn | February 28, 2008 8:54 PM

it's pretty easy to be overly critical of Beestings. the real charm comes from the fact that they don't expect much and play smiles for the minority of smiley pots-emo'sters in town.

Posted by Karen Andolfson | February 28, 2008 11:46 PM

it's pretty easy to be overly critical of Beestings. the real charm comes from the fact that they don't expect much and play smiles for the minority of smiley POST-emo'sters in town, also.

Posted by seeeejmie h4X0rburg | February 29, 2008 12:21 AM

I guess it depends on the mix and the sound person and whatnot, but I remember seeing them at the Vera a while back and being pretty darn impressed by the ipod drum sound. I'm admittedly not much of an audiophile, but for what they do (i.e., kick ass and take names) I think it's perfect. It's been too long since I've seen VV; thanks for the reminder.

Posted by Levislade | February 29, 2008 8:36 AM

I'm a big fan of the indie-rock line dance, personally. It's even better when they dance like Peanuts characters.

Posted by unarata | February 29, 2008 11:54 AM

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