Music

Fucking in the Streets

A No-Wave Weekend

Fucking in the Streets

Kelly O

STICKERS

Someone recently asked me what new local bands I was really digging lately, and I was kind of stumped. Everything I was most excited about was coming from out of town. It happens, especially if you find yourself going only to bigger shows for a while—you're not going to catch young 206 talent opening for Gorillaz. Last weekend, then, was a much-needed corrective dose of hometown promise.

Or to put it another way: I am very excited about Stickers! Stickers are a trio of drums, bass guitar, and saxophone. They are one boy (bass) and two girls (sax/vocals and drums). They make a great, groovy no-wave racket. On paper, their songs are goofy (lyrics about Thanksgiving, Princess Di, "White Jazz")—though not without some hints of personal/political implication ("You're the princess/You should fuck who you want"). At a house show in the Central District on Friday night, though, you didn't really hear the lyrics—or you only heard snatches of them, a word here or there caught in the rhythmic grind of their music.

Over the foundation of bass and drums, their singer tosses out her lines in a cracking, hiccupping, Valley-inflected voice, like a slightly less excitable Karen O. She takes up her saxophone and spits out atonal squawks and shards of melody. The bass guitar shifts from loose, low rhythms to menacing, overdriven descending riffs.

A side note: I've been reading Greil Marcus's excellent book of essays on '80s rock and post-punk, Ranters and Crowd Pleasers, and all the talk of X-Ray Spex, Delta 5, Bush Tetras, and the like had me pretty primed for this sort of thing. But it also had me worried: Could the same sounds and movements Marcus found so revolutionary some 30 years ago still mean anything? Was this merely traditional party music for the punk niche at this point? But don't worry, I've decided: It's always a riot when boys and grrrls make noise; a groove is always a groove.

Stickers' songs still sound fine in their recorded versions, with all the instruments relatively clean and the vocals clear and up-front, but there was something about seeing them for the first time in the sonic muddle of a house show that just fucking killed. More of this, please.

Opening the show that night were Witch Gardens, a young five-piece that does cute, kind of shambling garage pop, with a guy (onetime Stranger all-ages correspondent Casey Catherwood) and a gal singing into the same microphone. It's all moony-eyed duets; soft, fuzzy drones; start/stop rhythms; and the occasional Autoharp.

Rounding out the no-wave weekend was a Sunday afternoon show at Fish Fry with Wet Paint DMM and M. Women. It was one of the last shows Wet Paint will be playing for a while, as drummer Chris Brown is relocating to Hong Kong for six months (their last last show will be December 4 at Cairo with Stephanie, who are also going on hiatus, and U.S.F.). It's easy to see why the band won't just be getting a replacement: Their drummer is a beast, beating out frenetic yet precise patterns, jazzy but hit hard as fuck. The guitar pierces and screeches, the singer gibbers and wraps her mic cord around her head, pinning her hair over her face, and those drums just barely make sense of it all. Catch them if you can. Next on my must-see list: Tit Pig. recommended

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Comments (4) RSS

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derek_erdman 1
I saw the Stickers last week at Funhouse. I really liked them a lot but they depressed the shit out of me. That music was so good that it changed my brain.
Posted by derek_erdman http://www.derekerdman.com on November 24, 2010 at 2:10 PM · Report this
Travis Ritter 2
Gabby is awesome and Stickers is an excellent vehicle for her to scare the children, and hide the wives.
Posted by Travis Ritter http://nuglifer.wordpress.com on November 24, 2010 at 2:36 PM · Report this
3
oy gevalt! such things she sings.
Posted by old bobby on November 25, 2010 at 7:33 AM · Report this
icouldliveinhope 4
i am so glad everyone is getting stoked on stickers! they were "surprise guests" at this party on 15th i went to ~5 months ago and i was totally caught off-guard--they killed going-to-shows apathy.

pony was so good last night.
Posted by icouldliveinhope on December 1, 2010 at 1:01 PM · Report this

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