18 April 2006

Limbs, Proton Proton, Susu - Cake Shop, 15 April 2006

I was well excited to go see all of the bands that were playing this past Saturday at Cake Shop because I already really liked two of them (Limbs and SUSU) and had been wanting to see the other two (Print and Proton Proton) for a few months now. Sadly Print had to cancel, but everyone else rocked the shit out of that tiny, slanted-floor having, basement bar/sweat box.

Limbs played first and we'll get to that in one sec. Before Limbs came on there was an art show of sorts upstairs at Cake Shop. It was an opening of art done by Margaret Farmer and the pieces were really great. I'm going to make sure to head back down there sometime when my mind isn't just on live music, and Saturday night drinks, so I can check her stuff out more thoroughly. I suggest you stop by there as well and have a look, you'll enjoy it. Back to Limbs...

Having just gotten their new EP, I've been listening to Limbs a bit frequently of late. You may remember that I just posted about them a week or two ago? Well if you live in the city I sure hope you read that post and were able to make it out to see them this past Saturday because they were straight up fresh. Actually, they were much better than when I last saw them live, and they weren't exactly shabby that day I tell you. But that's one of the beauty things about not seeing a local band for months at a time. I could totally tell that Limbs has been working and learning how to fit together better as a band, and the show this past Saturday had the feel of being one of their better shows. That's not something I can say for certain, given that I've only seen them twice, but the vibe that was in the air was that of something very good. Maybe it was the fact that everyone seemed to be enamored with (and rocking out to) Limbs and their take on dischorded indie rock.

Listen - "Silver Fetters" by Limbs

Proton Proton
Proton Proton in one simple word - awesome. Frankly that word is used far too frequently, but it fully applies in this case. Did the fact that I liked Proton Proton so much surprise me? Yep, but it shouldn't have. Before they went on, Jeff from Limbs told me I'd love them. I checked out the Proton Proton MySpace page before I left my apartment that night and loved what I heard there. Still, none of those things properly readied me for having my socks rocked off by Proton Proton in a live setting.

What's so great about them? The music they make is interesting. I don't mean interesting like "goo! it's interesting that Sufjan is writing albums about lots of different US States!!" No no. Interesting as in "holy shit, these guys are really excellent and they make me want to dance and they make me want to wreck shit and they make me want to go 'la la la la'...how do they do it?!" They bring the music right up to your face, slap you around a little bit, and make you like it. Before you know it you're moving and bopping along to the grooves of Aron's (homemade?) guitar/bass, Paul's voice and (homemade?) toy piano, and Jarrod's skillful use of a drum kit. Proton Proton is spontaneous and inventive in ways I never before imagined - they're equal parts experimental and post-punk and dip from minimalism to full-fledged rock-out with great ease. Think Fugazi meets Deerhoof and you'll be approaching their musical neighborhood. Imagine seeing those bands in tiny clubs like Cake Shop and you'll know why you need to check out Proton Proton as soon as possible.

Listen - "Lock Picker" by Proton Proton

You gotta know Susu by now, right? I posted about them HERE and HERE, I'd place them as one of the top unsigned bands in Brooklyn, and more than one musician I've talked to has mentioned them as a band to check out. Why do so many people think they're a great band? Well, they bring a unique kind of raw power to the stage by combining Andrea's guitar and vocal skills with a rock solid rhythm section made up of Mike (who also sings and plays bass) and Justin (drums). Plus, there's enough fuel in one of their live sets to burn the hair clean off of your head.

Susu sometimes sounds like they've learned a thing or two from Sonic Youth, and a bit of research turns up an interesting fact relating to that notion. Fact is, they've been recording with producer Martin Bisi! Go figure, and well played by Susu. I was only able to stay for their first three songs on Saturday night but what I got to hear was exactly what I've quickly come to expect from a Susu show. A performance both loud and amazing filled with joy and professionalism that makes me wonder when, not if, these guys will be headlining a full-fledged US tour.

Listen - "Get Hip" by Susu