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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Tussle, Lemonade @ Comet Tavern, Oct. 1, 2008

posted by on October 2 at 13:58 PM

San Francisco trio Lemonade radiate a feral yet focused energy and creativity as they put edgy post-punk movements through a dubadelic filter. They sound lo-fi and junkyard, yet still robust. They avoid much of new indie rock’s anemic primness and give the impression that they might actually, you know, have sex, while making music that could theoretically soundtrack said activity.

Fellow SF band Tussle joined Lemonade onstage during their last song, accepting the funky-percussion baton with grace and ease. Seamless transition executed, Tussle proceeded to give a seminar on rhythmic origami and motorik propulsion. Live, drummers Warren Huegel and Jonathan Holland face each other front and center, signifying the band’s emphasis on rhythm. The first track sounded like an ideal merger of Neu! and Konk, a pell-mell kraut-latino soundtrack for speed-oriented sporting events. The next cut evoked Kraftwerk’s warped, pastoral synth textures within a funk juggernaut framework. “Third Party” sounded like a dubbed- and funked-up version of Can’s “Hallelujah”, which is already dubby and funky as hell. A later piece emitted My Bloody Valentine-like squalls via Nathan Burazer’s synthesizer over wicked polyrhythmic interplay and liberal smatterings of cowbell.

Toward the end of Tussle’s set, Lemonade wandered back onstage and the beats multiplied exponentially while the bass lines deepened. Seemingly everything in the room became a percussion instrument, including people’s asses. A random 50 Cent-looking dude in a Broncos football jersey somehow found his way into the rock-ribbed ruckus and chipped in maraca- and tambourine-shaking. People moved with 61-percent more sexiness than they had done before the show. This was one drum… not circle exactly, but rather drum hexagon, that you hated to see end.

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I was super stoked to see this show, as Tussle killed it when I saw them out of town a couple weeks ago. But at 11:30 on a weeknight, the second out of four bands was just getting started. On a weeknight, I want to see the headlining band go on at midnight at the latest. If there must be four bands, either start at 9pm or have one of the crappy local bands play last (it's not a headlining slot if no one wants to stick around). I don't know if this was the band's choice or the Comet not having their shit together (I seem to recall other Comet shows running late/slow, as well, as if trying to draw things out until exactly last call), but this was lame. I know at least two other people stoked to see Tussle who bailed on this show because of how late it was.

Posted by Eric Grandy | October 2, 2008 3:19 PM

seriously, who was that guy?

but both lemonade and tussle KILLED IT... thanks to lemonade for hauling their system out!

Posted by Q | October 2, 2008 3:25 PM

I'm with Grandy on this one, I could manage only to catch Tussle's first song before I had to hit the hay. I also could have done without the sound guy throwing hissy fits between every set, screaming "This is the COMET! I run the sound HERE" at Lemonade as they set up their own PA. Pretty disappointing for what would have been a far more pleasant experience anywhere else.

Posted by Erin Resso | October 2, 2008 4:04 PM

"If there must be four bands, either start at 9pm or have one of the crappy local bands play last (it's not a headlining slot if no one wants to stick around). "
Eric, seriously, what the fuck kind of message does something like this send?

Posted by ??? | October 3, 2008 9:45 AM

I concur with Eric and Erin. I love Tussle, had been pimping this gig on my radio show, and was fired up to see them again. But ultimately, I had to call it quits around midnight and miss them. Bummer.

Hopefully the next time they come to town they'll play an all-ages venue. For old dudes like me, that's the best way to see a band I dig, with a fired-up crowd, and still get my much-needed beauty rest.

Posted by DJ El Toro | October 3, 2008 10:44 AM

Perhaps I threw "crappy" around unfairly, but I think my point is pretty clear: At 9 or 10, I might have really enjoyed Telepathic Liberation Army, but at 11:30, they're going to have a hard time getting me to do anything but look at my watch and wonder how late the headliners will be going on.

Posted by Eric Grandy | October 3, 2008 11:15 AM

If you don't want to see the local bands, why don't you stay home and take a nap until 11. Then go see Tussle and Lemonade. And stay for the whole set because it was worth it, even if it means waking up miserable at 7 the next morning. I wish weekday shows started earlier too, but if a band's worth seeing, I'll never regret sticking around until the end. Sorry you guys missed out. And I very much enjoyed both local bands that opened Wednesday night.

Posted by DC | October 3, 2008 11:41 AM

I don't nap well. Sorry. Clearly, you're a better music fan than I am for sticking out this one show that I skipped, having seen the band just two weeks ago.

Posted by Eric Grandy | October 3, 2008 11:58 AM

I was just saying I agree it's unfortunate when shows go too late on weekdays, but some shows, like this one, are the ones I don't mind staying late for. Never meant to imply I was a better fan. I hadn't heard of either band until I went to the show but ended up staying because I liked what I heard. People get way too defensive on here.

Posted by DC | October 3, 2008 12:10 PM

The show got started about an hour late.
We all thought it was lame too.
Whatever... had fun! Can't wait to play seattle again.. but NOT at the comet tavern.

Posted by Alex Lemonade | October 5, 2008 1:23 PM

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