The Livingstons, The Thingz, Aurora Indica, Plasma Cannon
The Redwood Bar, Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Billy Caldwell of Million Kids and head honcho at Spark Plug Magazine had arranged Spark Plug Night every Thursday in September at the Redwood in Downtown L.A.. And being he has such eclectic taste in music every show was wild. I saw a couple of bands I has never heard of before and got to see a burlesque dancer on top of that. Get your mind out of the gutter the burlesque dancer wasn’t actually on top of anybody.
During the week I’m pretty fucking lazy. I get my kid up at half past six every morning, get him showered, dressed, fed and off to school. After doing this all week I’m not crazy about leaving the house. This particular week I had gone out to see The Adicts and I was in zombie mode already. So, come Thursday Mr. Caldwell calls me and says, “Come on down, you’re on the list.” How can I say no to nicest guy in punk rock? If Billy ever runs for office I’ll vote twice!
The first band up is a band called The Thingz. I had no idea what to expect, never heard of them, and there was no gimmick or image (you know, torn-up Black Flag shirt, etc). This band was pretty cool to listen to. The closet thing I could compare them to it a cross between Devo and B52’s minus all the keyboards. Fun band.
Second act of the night was former Spark Plug Magazine cover girl Aurora Indica. The DJ puts on an up-tempo Iron Maiden track and Aurora comes to the stage in the whole Phantom of the Opera wardrobe, mask included. By the end of the song most of that wardrobe is scattered across the stage. Poor girl, she must have been freezing!
Third act of the night, second band and headliner, The Livingstons! In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past thirty years or so, the band’s namesake, Michael Livingston is also the guitarist for the notorious Hollywood band the Mau Mau’s. When playing in the Livingstons, Michael plays a much more blues-based style of music, basically he’s making the guitar moan, cry and whatever else he feels like doing. Midway through his kick-ass set Mr. Livingston announces he has a surprise guest, and almost at once . . . running to the stage is Mr. Rick Wilder the singer from the previously mentioned Mau Maus! Rick grabs the microphone, announces it’s his birthday and tears into a Mau Maus track. As soon as it’s done he leaves the stage, says, “Hi” to a couple of people, then out the door. Then The Livingstons finish their set with a bit more blues-flavored punk rock.
The fourth act of the night, and third band was a band I had never heard of called Plasma Cannon, and let me tell you I’m glad I heard them. As they’re plugging in and warming up the singer starts doing an acoustic version of the Clash’s Bankrobber, let me tell you it was fucking brilliant. I know, I know, nobody can touch Joe Strummer! But this guy is damn good. Vocally he sounds a bit like Billy Joe Armstrong, but without the pretentious attitude. By the time they are plugged in and ready to go the place, unfortunately, is a bit empty. For most bands that would suck, but Plasma Cannon uses this to their advantage, the bass player sets-up his amp in the middle of the floor and starts wailing. The whole night he’s either in the middle of the place or standing on our table. Every few songs the vocalist starts running across the place, from the stage to the front door. With only a handful of people left, we really felt lucky to see such a kick-ass performance.
Nowadays, if there are less than fifty people all you hear from a band is where is everybody? Or come on make some noise, and the always popular let’s start a slam pit. Not Plasma Cannon one person or fifty – they made the show happen. I’ll definitely see them again.
LAST ONE TO DIE is officially out, order at: https://www.createspace.com/3669330.