Last Night: The Lickets, Moon Duo, The Spyrals
Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2009
Cafe du Nord
Better than: a space odyssey.
After last night's show, I'll be hard pressed to say nothing good ever comes out of being in line at the DMV. The Cafe du Nord lineup of the Lickets, Moon Duo, and the Spyrals came about, according to this cool, science fiction paperback-like flier, because someone in one of the bands was waiting in line forever at the DMV and fantasized about curating a gig that felt like a late '60s Berlin arts club. Having not been alive in the late '60s, and having been to Berlin only once, I can't tell you how close that El Cerrito DMV dream came to reality, but the performers definitely sent the crowd on a good trip. Particularly when their music was matched with a colorful light and film show.
The idea seemed to be to explore the outer reaches of various genres, from noisy, fuzzed out rock to folsky, orchestral mood swings, with visuals helping couch the experience in a multi-media acid bath.
The lineup was definitely one of the more interesting collections of local acts in recent days, and the Spyrals one of the best opening bands I've seen in a while. They tapped into that Stooges/shoegazer sound that reared its head a decade back with bands like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and The Icarus Line (who in turn were taking from the Jesus and Mary Chain). But that heavy effects, drony shoegazer style has become far too calm in recent years. The Spyrals projected pure adrenaline and aggression on one hand, and attention to sexy, druggy melodies on the other, kicking out the jams with a ferocity that's been sorely missing in their genre.