Sometimes you just have those afternoons/ evenings where every attempt that you make to finally get some rest is destroyed by various neighbors taste in music ranging from questionable (a radio station programed to think that it is o.k. to follow the Gin Blossoms with the Rolling Stones) to just flat out mean (a mix c.d. whose listener found necessary to play skipping back and forth between a Korn song, an Offspring song, and some other terrible single from a band that has hopefully faded far into obscurity.) Once it seemed that the worst was over, and I should maybe take advantage of the moment by falling asleep, the Mariachi pop hits began to mix with whatever new post trance dance music the hipsters are listening to these days to form probably the most awkward unintentional mash-up ever. Then you say to yourself, "Fuck it, I guess I'm going to Pehrspace after all."
I arrived at the venue still tired, and in a terrible mood to find Languis in full ambient, experimental mode. Turns out that after all of the assaults my ears had endured throughout the afternoon, this was EXACTLY what I needed to clear my mind. Alejandro Cohen was on stage alone alternating between manipulating the keyboards (when I walked in he was applying masking tape to certain keys to make prolonged notes,) and likely improvised freakouts on the drum pads that were set up the stage. They expanded to a two piece to take on the Jesus & Mary Chain's "You Trip Me Up." To my mind Cohen sounded a bit more like Stephen Pastel than either of the Brothers Reid which if you've looked at this site even once or twice in the past you can probably guess I had no objection to. New songs were played, and styles were changed, and technical difficulties were had. That is of no matter though, Languis are one of few bands that can make technical difficulties work, if not even seem intentional. Full drums were added about half way through their cover of the Field Mice's "Sensitive." Kind of strange to hear drums added to a Field Mice song, but goddamn they sounded great.
Tuscon's Mad River Glenn were up next. If was smart, ultra high energy, pop flavored indie rock played by a bunch of guys who are all really good at their instruments. I enjoyed it quite a bit.
Spider Problem were up next. I was terribly excited about this fact as I've been trying to catch them for a while, and wasn't even aware that they were playing that night. If it hasn't previously been a goal of yours to see this band, make it so immediately. Lead singer Shayne Eastin is one of the more dynamic performers I've seen in a while. She struts around the stage in torn fishnets, often falls to the ground writhing, and more often makes her way into the crowd to grab most of the men in attendence and make them (if they're being honest with themselves) slightly uncomfortable in the cool way. It's a type of performance that I secretly (well not so secretly anymore) wish that I could pull off, but never will. That being said, I'm content to watch others pull it off, and quietly write about it later. The music was all high energy rock; well executed, and constantly moving in interesting directions. It's also worth noting that they closed the show with a Prodigy cover (don't ask me which song) it took me about a minute and a half to realize that it was a Prodigy cover, and I probably wouldn't have realized it all had it not been announced as a cover.
Speaking of high energy rock; well executed, and always moving in interesting directions. Actually Mr. Free & the Satellite Freakout take their music far past the most interesting directions you would automatically imagine. Turns out they were most certainly my mystery band from Mess With Texas during South by Southwest (I had already mostly put that together,) and it turns out that Pehrspace is a MUCH better environment to see them in. They are all exceptional musicians, and do a very high energy psychedelic/metal/even somewhat soul tinged experimental rock show. Where before I thought it was veering in the direction of performance art (Mr. Free wears face paint, and never wastes much time stripping down to a g string,) but the musicianship is just way to tight for it to be anything other than flat out good rock & roll.
After Pehrspace most of us in the crowd made our way to Mr. Free's converted into a make shift travel venue school bus to watch the majority of the line up do it all over again. Other that the part where a wasted idiot came stumbling off of the bus, and decided to make his play for the "Worst Human Being Ever" title by punching a GIRL the show was just as great on the bus, and I was pretty impressed with the sound. Sadly the drunk loser in question made his escape into the near by park, and was not dealt with properly. I guess we all have to hope for some serious Karmic retribution in this case. Jax has some killer photos of Spider Problem's show on the bus, and more choice words about dudes who think that it's o.k. to hit girls. Check it out here.
So what did everyone else get up to this weekend?