Symbol Six, The Crowd, Channel Three, The Ingrates
Rhino Pop-Up, Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Here was an insane line-up put on by the great people at Rhino Records. If you have never been to one of the annual Rhino Records Pop-up stores, you are really missing out. Great stuff to buy, everything is dirt-cheap, and a bunch of really quirky things that you would normally have to hunt down online. The staff was truly a bunch of super-nice, great people.
The show was also available as a webcast through a site called stageit.com for the ultra cheap price of $5.00 for the whole night. I asked one of the techs about the number of people logging in, and she said the fifteen people were already online watching before the show even started.
The night was set-up to honor some of the premier Posh Boy recording artists. Obviously, not all of them can be included, but the cream of the crop was included. I hear that Mike Ness guy is doing well for himself.
The first band on was a group called The Ingrates. Basically, they were supposed to do songs from Posh Boy artists that had passed on. Here is where I got a little irked: The drummer of the group seemed a bit disrespectful about the whole thing, at the beginning he says “We’re The Ingrates, and we’re going to do some songs by some dead dudes, and some stuff by some local bands.” He got a couple of chuckles, and they went into some songs. Dead dudes? Maybe it was just me, but the whole death thing isn’t funny to me.
The vocalist was pretty good, and pretty easy on the eyes.
Now, as soon as I start getting used to them the drummer announces, “Here’s another song from a dead dude, Jeffrey Lee.” There they are irking me again.
The highlight of the set was when they brought Jerry Koskie of The Simpletones up onstage to sing I Like Drugs. If you remember Jerry was also a member of The Chiefs.
Overall, The Ingrates played a good, tight set.
The second band up was the world-famous Channel Three. If you don’t know Channel Three, well like Eazy E used to say, “You better ask somebody.” Channel Three were complete professionals, and knocked out a flawless set.
The one funny thing about seeing older bands like this is that the fast songs end up being a bit slower than you remember, and everybody ends up much better than the old days. Better singing and better musicianship.
The highlight of the set was when they brought a woman named Maria or Michelle Montoya onstage to help out with the vocals. I’m not sure who she was, and everybody I asked in the crowd seemed just as clueless. She could really, really sing. Montoya ended up adding an extra polish to the Channel Three sound.
The one thing that seemed to be missing throughout the night was Jay Lansford. Jay either was in all these groups (The Simpletones, Channel Three, etc.), or produced them all.
The third band of the night was the original OC punk band, The Crowd. Just like I said about Channel Three, I’ll say here, a flawless set. These guys were great. The audience loved them, and there were a handful of guys doing the old HB Strut in front of the stage.
The highlight of the set was when they announced “the next song is from a compilation called Beach Blvd.,” people hollered up a storm. Great set.
Now, the band that has stripped James Brown of the title of “Hardest Working Man in Show Business,” Symbol Six. These guys are in perpetual motion. If they aren’t playing, they are recording, if they’re not recording, they are on the radio, if they’re not on the radio, then they are being interviewed. And each time I see them it seems like their crowd has doubled, yet again.
Side note here: On May 30, 2011, Rodney Bingenheimer played Sticks N’ Stones off of their Monsters 11 album, and even announced the Rhino Show.
They are one of the very few bands that played back in the eighties that seem to have more young fans than the older throwback crowd.
As soon as they hit the stage the crowd went ape-shit. A full-on slam-pit erupted, bodies flying off the stage, people banging all over the place. The funniest moment was when the pit was going so hard, I was standing in the back of the room, behind the DJ booth/table, and this one guy gets slammed so hard he hits the table, pinning me against the wall, knocking CD’s, and albums everywhere, me, and some girl who was standing next to me are grabbing all the equipment before it hits the floor, and the guy stands up, fixes his T-shirt, and launches himself back into the pit.
Symbol Six played their classic tracks from the Posh Boy EP, Ego, Symbol Six, Taxation, and Beverlywood. The great thing about these tracks is as they are being played everybody in the joint is singing along, and pumping their fists. In many ways these songs don’t belong to Symbol Six anymore, they are the soundtrack to my generation’s youth, our anthems (doesn’t mean we’ll be collecting royalties, though).
And then faster that you can turn from the Spice channel to Desperate Housewives when your wife walks in the room, Symbol Six steamrolls into their modern classics, like Dog Days, and Go. And again everybody is singing along, and pumping their fists, but this time it’s everybody who is, about, ten years younger than me (that is if I was 35, it’s my story . . . I could be 35).
Much like all Symbol Six shows, as soon as they hit the stage the front row fills up with photographers, and people with video cameras. They stay until the slam-pit sends them to the nosebleed section. Like I’ve said before their buzz is out there, and everyone is trying to record it.
The audience was a definite who’s who of punk rock, Mike Vallejo of Circle One, Mike Villalobos of The Gears, Michelle Flipside, and her husband Mike, and a truckload of other people whose names I couldn’t place.
One of the many highlights of the evening was standing outside talking to Symbol Six drummer Phil George (who by the way is probably the best drummer in L.A. right now), and watching people come over in droves telling him the usual cool stuff, “great set,” or “you’re a great drummer,” and then as they leave they would shake my hand say to me “dude, great set!” It was funny, so I would say “thanks, I’ve been rehearsing.” And last but not least Bruce Moreland of The Weirdos, Nervous Gender, and Wall of Voodoo DJ’d the whole night, before, and after the bands.
My overall assessment, this one is for the record books!
Born Frustrated is coming, Summer 2015: http://goo.gl/n9ofGb