Symbol Six, Dirty Filthy Mugs, The Livingstons, and many more.
The Airliner, Los Angeles, CA
Friday, March 16, 2012
OK, true believers, here’s the deal, you know how the inner gossip in me loves the pre-show drama and bullshit that I eavesdrop on before a single note is played. Well, let me tell you, I could’ve written books about the shit I saw this night. First off Million Kids, with the man with a plan, Billy Caldwell, didn’t get to play, which in all honesty was a shitty move by the promoters. Through some kind of miscommunication, Million Kids showed up 15 or 20 minutes late. I know it’s tough promoting and putting on a show this big, but in a case like this, where some of us are there to see Million Kids (and a few others) put them on last if there is absolutely no way to fit them in. The way the show was going, oh well; 2:00 is Million Kids. Instead, around 8:30 or 9:00 they were sent packing. Another funny thing is if Billy weren’t such a nice guy there would be some backlash in an upcoming issue of Sparkplug Magazine (Billy runs it). Hell, even dogs know you don’t shit where you sleep.
Since there were so many people and so many bands playing I’ll give a rundown of whom I saw and how they were. So, let’s get started.
First off, let me say this, I printed out a map to this place, and I punched it into my GPS, and guess what? I still got lost.
The first band I caught was The Livingstons. I enjoyed these guys. I saw them back in May of 2011 and wasn’t overly impressed, but this show they were really good. Who knows why you like a band one night and not the next. But they were real good.
Right after The Livingstons was a guy who goes by the name Lightning Woodcock. Musically, pretty darn good. The theatrics and the whole “Look at me, I curse,” thing is kind of weak to me. The band can really play, but the whole image made me want to turn my back to the stage so I could deal with the music.
Next up was Dirty Filthy Mugs. The music was all right, and Matt Wedgley, the vocalist of Dirty Filthy Mugs, was doing his best to keep the crowd energized. Pretty strong performance.
I saw the Mugs a few years back at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach, I wasn’t wild about or the show or the venue. But tonight they were pretty good.
One last comment about Dirty Filthy Mugs, after seeing them live I came across an ad they placed in Razorcake, in the ad they quote a crappy review given to them from Razorcake, I thought that was great.
As the bands were switching, I went outside to put something in my car and noticed some asshole thought it would be cool to park diagonally behind my car, completely blocking me. I had no clue where to begin looking for the owner. The alley, I was in was deserted. I figured I’d go back to the show, and deal with it at the end of the night.
The second to last band of the night was the mighty — Symbol Six! As I watch the guys tune up, and prepare their sonic assault on my ears, I can’t help but feel like I’m at a communist rally, this blast of red and black, and armbands. This room of a hundred or two people are attending a rally where neither money nor freedom is being preached, tonight it’s music and decadence.
As I’ve stated in the past, when you see Symbol Six there is always the feeling that this is the show. Symbol Six is always upping their game a few notches. Not to say the other bands aren’t good, I’m saying if another band is playing a good set, Symbol Six will play a great set, and Eric Leach will howl the vocals from the pit.
Symbol Six steamrolled into their classics, like Viva, and Generation Damnation and brand new songs like Never Gonna Make It, with everybody is singing along.
After Symbol Six wraps up, I go back to check on my car. I’m still blocked. I wrap my belt around my knuckles and get ready to smash the passenger-side window. Figure once I’m in, I can pop the car into neutral, and push it out of the way. Just as I’m cocking back, and wondering if I’ll break another finger, I hear some shitty Ranchero music from one of the offices overlooking the alley. So, as I walk away from the car I notice a Piolin sticker on the back, so I figure the car doesn’t belong to somebody at the show. I might be wrong, but Piolin listeners don’t usually dial into Symbol Six. I figure maybe the owner of the car might be working in one of the overhead offices. I look around and see a small staircase; I head up and try all the doors all of them are locked. So, from the beginning, I start knocking. I knock and knock, I hear music, and so I kick. Finally, a guy answers. I tell him that somebody got the bright idea to block me in. He asks what kind of car it is. I tell him it’s a shit brown Acura.
He said to go downstairs; to the right is a tiny staircase, the owner lives there. It seemed, kind of, like a set-up. I rap on the door pretty hard, then stand off to the side, hey, it’s 11:30 on a Friday night off of Broadway in Chinatown, not a great place to get shot. Finally banging on the door for almost five minutes a young Latina opens the door. I explain that the Piolin fan has me locked in. And I need the shit-box moved quickly. She says, OK. Then disappears for about 10 minutes.
Finally, she comes back and says the guy that owns it is gone, and she can’t drive stick. I tell her it’s no big deal. Unlock the car, wiggle the shift, put it in neutral, I’ll push. She says OK and shuts the door again. Five minutes later she opens again and says, he’s on his way.
So, I’m standing in the alley, it’s almost midnight, and from behind I hear someone charging at me, I spin around (and unintentionally with my belt around my knuckles), I see a medium build Hispanic guy with a buzz cut change from being full on raged out to passive in seconds. I nod at him, and say, “Your car?” He looks down and says, “Yeah, sorry, I’ll move it.”
Just like that, he moved the car. I parked further down the alley in a spot where no one could block me.
The last band that I got to see was White Flag Down. I don’t know how to describe their type of punk, other than it’s about my favorite kind. Some people prefer the kind of punk where it’s nothing, but screaming and the sound of a belt-sander on a chalkboard. The vocalist, Coop can sing and the band throws in a classic blast of punk with an occasional seventies metal riff snuck in here and there.
Our next oddity, also, involves me personally. At the end of the night, I’m talking to Taz Rudd of Symbol Six, and this guy comes up. He starts rubbing the front of my leather jacket. He starts asking if I’m a musician or a producer. I say, “No,” to everything, and keep backing up, because I’m very claustrophobic.
Finally, he asks if I want to join him upstairs. I say, “I’m good and I’m leaving.” Then he moves his attention to a girl who was standing nearby, and tells her “The big guy doesn’t seem to dig me.”
About a half an hour later I go into the restroom. Unfortunately, he’s in there. I sneak in with my back to the wall so he won’t see me.
A minute later he starts yelling “Hey Darkness.” He yelled it about 5 or 6 times. At first, I thought he was talking to me. So, I was trying to finish up, and I was going to stomp him.
Finally, some guy outside (the two windows in the men’s room were broken), says, “What?” The guy starts yelling, “Come here, I want to show you my dick.” The guy outside says, “Fuck you.” So, the guy says, “Come on, it will only take a second.”
I washed my hands and left the place.
So, I headed back to the car, and the gods of punk rock were smiling down on me, my car was fine, and I was ready to make the long drive home.
So, do you think my drama was over for the night? Think again. I get home; step into the downstairs bathroom and right below the sink is a Black Widow, fuck. By now it’s close to midnight, the brain isn’t working well, I start to reach down to smack it. But luckily something in my brain click, I stop. I look around and grab the first thing I see, a can Lysol. I blast the bitch. It runs into a slot between the sink and the wall. I grab some toilet paper, tear away its webs, and blast Lysol into the slot. Close the door and go to bed. At 5:00 am my OCD alarm clock goes off. Suddenly, I jump up in a panic; I’m wondering if the Black Widow lives and what if my son goes into that bathroom. I go to the bathroom, sure enough, it’s walking around under the sink. I run upstairs to the other bathroom, grab some Clorox, come back down and blast the bitch. The spider starts walking wonky and heads back to the slot. I can’t get it in there. I run to the kitchen, get some salad tongs, reach in and smash the bitch.
Went back to bed, and at 6:30 my son was ready for breakfast. Damn.
Misconceptions of Hell is available now: http://goo.gl/n9ofGb