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Friday, June 22, 2007

After Dark

posted by on June 22 at 17:08 PM


The show poster that could’ve been…

Glass Candy @ The Comet

I’ve already discussed my disgust with this poster for last night’s Glass Candy show at the Comet, but what I failed to mention is that maybe it was only a bad fit for the headliners of the show and not the opening acts. I missed the first two bands—Ari tells me the second one sounded like they were playing an Operation Ivy cover—but Lashes side-project Strong Killings fit that other poster perfectly. They played willfully adolescent, early 80s punk snot thrashers—the kind of thing music that warrants juvenile, hand drawn posters, bad visual puns, and silly attempts at shock value (a baby eating glass…well, I never!). But they were a bizarre choice to open for Glass Candy, and I’m coming to think that between the weird lineup, the bad posters, and the odd setting—the Comet is many things, but a cool Italian discotheque is not one of them—that Glass Candy might have been a complete afterthought on this bill.

The Comet does well for scrappy punk bands—plug in your amps, bang your drums, and the PA should handle your vocals—but Glass Candy’s array synths and CDJ seemed to test the sound system’s well defined limits. There was an obtrusive crackle throughout their first song or two, and the mix just seemed a little quieter than it should’ve been. Also, what the Comet lacks in ambience it makes up for with overhead lightbulbs, strewn newspapers (partially our fault, I guess), and spotty service. At least someone dimmed the lights midway through Glass Candy’s set (only to turn them back on at full blast during their last two songs).

Glass Candy were, to their credit, good sports about the whole thing. Johnny Jewel said he was just happy to have the show, and liked the opening bands just fine, favorably comparing Strong Killings to the Damned. I didn’t ask him about the poster. And Ida No seemed to be in good spirits, joking with audience members between songs and dancing around barefoot on the Comet’s questionably safe floor. Possibly in conjunction with the band’s shift from glam punk to nu Italo, No’s look has apparently gone from no wave ingenue to proto-cougar retiree—last night, she was rocking a vintage baby pink leisure suit and an equally vintage dyed-auburn up-do. Jewel must’ve been wearing at least one silk scarf.

Their set was, technical and ambience issues aside, simply fantastic. They played strictly their disco stuff—nothing from before Iko Iko—including, I think, “Etheric Device,” “Sugar and Whitebread,” and “Life After Sundown,” among others, and they sounded great. Their songs are pretty spare, but Jewel manages to stay pretty busy on synth and bass, and No’s vocals are as crystalline and eerily detached as they are on record. Their last show in Seattle, at Club Pop, featured a third band member on guitars, and that wouldn’t have been out of place at the Comet last night, but their icy new songs hardly need them. The crowd pushed forward and danced, No danced through the crowd, still barefoot (yikes), and everyone did their best to transform the historic dive into the Danceteria.

RSS icon Comments


i actually thought the "obtrusive crackle" was intentional. maybe it was too much PBR, but the crackle kindof worked, like listening to vinyl.

Posted by Erika | June 22, 2007 6:48 PM

"life after sundown" came out before "iko iko." i loved how "life after sundown" got a bit of an italo treatment, while "sugar and whitebread" sounded like their no wave stuff.

Posted by Sam | June 22, 2007 7:03 PM

The crackle in the PA was cause the openers LoveMachine totally got all "in your face" and busted the DI box that glass candy was supposed to use. The Soundguy/girl had to dig out an old messed up one. Punk rock, dudes.

Posted by Mooter | June 22, 2007 10:31 PM

grandy, you are a douche.

times a lot.

Posted by punxdead | June 22, 2007 10:49 PM

Glass candy weren't actually an after thought...they were actually a pre-thought; have been for as long as I have been booking the place. It was noticed that the band had a day open between pdx and vancouver so I jumped on the chance to book them. But they waited until less than a month ago to confirm as I held the date. The technical difficulties, were as afore mentioned, due to Love Machine, who rudely broke our DI box...and then disappeared. The DI box was a necessity for them to sound proper........maybe you missed me seething in the back.....that band is on mamma's SHIT LIST.

Posted by MAMMA | June 23, 2007 3:59 PM

#4 does not have any punk friends too bad so sad

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