Music

Fucking in the Streets

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Fucking in the Streets

Mad Rad / Kelly O

At Sasquatch!, the young gentlemen of Mad Rad literally elevated their game, with Buffalo Madonna scaling the scaffolding of the Yeti Stage to howl the final song of their noontime set, gargoyle-like, from the stage's unbearably flimsy-looking corrugated-metal roof. Then there was their usual grind: They'd come out hoisting giant cutout copies of their grimacing faces; Buffalo writhed around shirtless and dived into the crowd; everyone got in some good between-song banter; and later, P Smoov got every celebrity and musician he could find backstage to go on video saying "Out for Stardom." Of that between-song banter, the most telling was: "We met on Capitol Hill, but we don't really play there much anymore... it's a long story."

While the crew may be barred from Neumos, Chop Suey, Havana, and the War Room, they're not too much trouble for the Comet. So Friday night's show there felt not only like a victory lap from the fest but a homecoming to the neighborhood that birthed and then banned them.

They celebrated in typical style. Darwin, more often standing on his DJ table than doing any visible queuing, pushed the club's PA until Smoov's bass beats were all blown-out farting; Buffalo spent most of the show either lost in or surfing on top of the crowd, soaked in sweat, eyes rolled closed, screaming. The sound kept cutting out because the sold-out crowd kept pushing into the band's gear, accidentally unplugging cords. I haven't seen any local act—rock, rap, electro, or otherwise—tear the Comet up like that in a minute.

The next night was a more subdued party, a basement show benefiting 826 Seattle, but with more rewarding musical performances. Headliners Truckasauras played a fantastic "rock" set, the band's usual heavy-duty synth setup stripped down to just a Game Boy, a keyboard, and Tyler Swan beating the shit out of a drum kit, filling the Truck's songs with huge, hollow snare cracks, crashing cymbals, and tight, time-signature-fudging fills. It's maybe been mentioned before, but Swan is a fucking monster on the drum kit. Before that was Pica Beats, who despite a too-low vocal mix and a muggy room managed to still give me actual chills with the chorus/coda of "Poor Old Ra"—goddamn, that song kills me every time. The surprise highlight of the night, though, was discovering Brain Fruit, a new trio featuring Jon Carr of Bow + Arrow that sound like a homegrown counterattack to Battles. One instrumental song was all aggressively jazzy drumming, strobing guitar drones, and glittering synth arpeggio. Another song featured militantly barked vocals over fast funk bass and stabs of guitar skronk, which all seemed to accelerate (at one point the band all stopped and Carr spat out to drummer Garrett Moore, "Okay? No? Ready? Hurry up!" before the song resumed, in what I think was all part of the act) until a terminal wash of feedback drowned everything out. Their next scheduled show is July 5 at the Comet. Highly recommended, even if there might not be crowd-surfing. recommended

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The Mad Rad show was insane. Buffalo was stumbling and thrashing everywhere, including on top of the speakers and on the giant letter 'C' attached to the wall. After the set was over, he remained out in the crowd and continued to sing nonsensically, grabbing people's shirts to balance himself and attempting to serenade random women in a manner that can only be described as... athletic. Great show.
Posted by Critical on June 9, 2009 at 4:15 PM · Report this

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