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Areola 51

Activator

attic ted

PONG  
Room 710, September 27,2003

pong

Pong is not Metal. Well no shit, you say? The point is, even though they're not Metal, they completely rock my head off. Must... bang... head. What they are is "retro-futurama" with bass-blasting butt-shifting power. Pong music bubbles up from the groin and fills your heart with bubbles. The nasty funk powers of Funkadelic and the soaring, Gary Numan-esque keyboard lines will strap you into your time machine. It's like taking off on a flying saucer to party with intellectually advanced but wise-assed aliens.

They pump out the best live sound I've heard at 710, plus a superior lights and video show. It's a beautiful world. It just pumps your butt full of boogie. Does that sound gross? I dare you to come to a Pong show and hold still. You can't. If you can you're full of cement. Yo miss Annabella, miss Belladonna, you wanna? All you college kids haul your Darque Tanned asses out of Spiro's and get your Pong on next time they rip the roof off of Room 710. I wish someone would-a told me these things when I was in college.

-Beky Hayes

Areola 51/Tia Carrera
Room 710, October 1, 2003

Areola 51

Tia Carrera, minus their usual bassist, plus Dixie Witch bassman Curt equals a hard rockin’ jamfest. Guitar player Jason Morales, drummer Erik Conn and Curt rocked out on 710’s stage, improvising slabs of mind numbing buzz. With Jason leading the way, and Curt and Erik backing him up, TC explored the musical spheres like a Slash led String Cheese Incident. Watching Conn play drums is like watching a well-aimed fist connecting with an out thrust chin, he has got to be one of the bad as in good drummers in town. If you dig free wheeling heavy improv, check out Tia Carrera and dance like a tripping hippie if you want to.

Areola 51 consists of ex-Butthole Surfer/Honey bass player Jeff Pinkus, Scratch Acid axeman Brett Bradford and Ministry skinsman Max Brody. Quite a powerful line up to say the least. The heavy cacophony that emanated from the stage hit me like a jet-black speeding SUV all tricked out with angry red and purple paisleys. Like a multi-limbed fever dream monster, A51’s psychedelic rock can leave your mind reeling. Sometimes Brody’s solid drumming is the only thing keeping you anchored in reality as the caterwauling of Bradford’s axe and freaky effected vocals wash over you. Areola 51 puts the noise in the term “noise rock” and throws the touchy-feely vibe of psychedelia out the windowpane. Go see ‘em and experience the auditory madness for yourself.

-James E
p.s.-I think my phone is being tapped

Attic Ted/Confuzatron/Rubber Robot – a Night in Outer Space
Room 710, October 2, 2003

Room 710 never ceases to kick my ass. Three weirdo bands in one night, and all the one-buck beers you can drink. A recipe for my destruction. Opening band Rubber Robot was boppy, sloppy and sludgey, with the first "thrash theramin" playing I’ve seen. The frontman thrashed his electro-gizmo, eventually onto the floor to my delight. So thrilled was I, that I bought a Rubber Robot shirt: a wife-beater displaying a hand-stenciled metallic robot. Low-tech, like their guitar amps.

Confuzatron was fabulously freakin’ weird as usual, but they looked even more mutated next to their "normal cute boy" guest bassist, John Acker of the 710 mafia. Even though it wasn’t their most pumping show, I still lost it. More quirky, groovy gadgetry to spin my eyeballs and spark my fuse.

Why did the chicken cross the road? To check out Brian Jonestown Massacre at Red Eyed Fly. Within 30 seconds after the hottie door girl let me through, it was apparent that BJM were not the crack-smoking rock maniacs I’d heard about years ago, but a pretty-boy poser band, swaying and dipping like a tribute to The Monkeys. I ran screaming, back to 710.

The crowd was pretty hopped up when I joined in. The macabre carnival sound of Attic Ted pushed us past the point of "jiving around acting cool" and into the swirling abyss of "geeks gone wild" – as in, who cares what you think, if I want to put on a boogie-monster mask and dance like a headless chicken till my hair is matted and my friends have all left without me. What I left with was one cool shirt, two CD’s, and a sweaty, cop-repelling stank. That’s the first time I’ve gone full-on psycho cheerleader in a long time. Well, not that long. My head hurts, my neck hurts, my ass hurts. Yeehaw! Freak out with Attic Ted at the BIKE RODEO on October 19th at Cafe Mundi.

- Beky Hayes

Otis/hellosuperlocal/Karate Cowgirl/Five Digit Disco
Room 710, September 30, 2003

A country band followed by three lesbo garage-rock bands? I just love Room 710, So I decided to stay all night and drink, even though most of the chicks in the bar were holding hands with each other. They're fun to watch, at least. Otis started the show with a sound that one girl in the crowd described to me Bob Dylan meets Dick Dale. I didn't hear the Dick Dale influence, but it was some good folky country music with really good lyrics. My favorite song involved a dark but hilarious story about the antics of a pregnant junkie girl. I liked this band because they seemed to be focused on writing good songs instead of the endless bluegrass jams that are so trendy these days. Oddly enough, their last song told the story of a girl who won't give head. I wonder if she was in one of the other bands? They had some really good songs, but they took their damned sweet time inbetween playing each one. Note to Otis : make a set list and make it flow.

After what seemed like an eternity of nothing on stage, the drums and bass duo of hellosuperlocal finally got started. The beat was good, but the soft whispering of the nervous bass player and her tendency to do some serious shoegazing made me want to fall asleep. Note to hellosuperlocal: Lighten up! Rock and roll is supposed to be fun!

Next up was Karate Cowgirl, another duo with drums and guitar. These girls kicked ass! Who would guess that such a small girl could be such a huge percussion monster? They could have blown the doors off the hinges with a bass player, but the rhythms were tight and the guitarist laid down plenty of solid hooks to back up her drumming sidekick. They threw in a few nice vocal harmonies in the right spots, and the cover of Tom Petty's "American Girl" took on a new meaning coming from a couple of cute lesbian girls. I wished they had played a longer set. Note to Karate Cowgirl: You Rock! Just find a cute lesbo bassist to finish the act and you'll really kill.

Last up was Five Digit Disco. I'll have to admit that by this time I was pretty toasted and I had started to chat up some of the cute dyke girls, so I didn't get to pay much attention to this band. They reminded me of some good old anything goes garage punk, the bass was very melodic and they had some really good freakouts. The drummer was solid and simple, and the singer/guitarist had a nice voice. After being drawn in by Otis and blown away by Karate Cowgirl, I just lost my will to watch because I was too busy trying to convert some of the cute lesbo girls. Note to Five Digit Disco: Nice leather pants!

-Mark Rossi

Activator/Totimoshi
Room 710, September 24,2003

Groove is Good! So many heavy bands seem to forget this major detail when trying to play music that has been lumped into the category of “stoner rock”. (Let me just say that I find this label offensive, as one that enjoys more than the occasional marijuana cigarette, because it’s all stoner rock when you’re high) Though I was not high at this particular juncture, I thoroughly enjoyed Activator and Totmoshi.

Oakland California’s Totimoshi came roaring out of the gates ready to lay it down on an otherwise ordinary Wednesday night. This three-piece makes their mark with heavy groove-oriented music.

When Activator took the stage I was reminded once again why I like this band. The low end produced by their rhythm section is astounding. Coupled with the one two punch of guitarists LJ and Derrick, you can’t go wrong. The quintet is completed by Jason R, whose vocal stylings and stage presence remind me of all of the rock gods that I worshipped during my formidable years.

I must borrow an adage from fellow Rank and Revue writer Erin Muscato to fully encapsulate their sound, this is music that provokes you to move like a whore. You know, the kind where you’re grinding that imaginary pole, kind of like that. So whores beware, you’ll get some stiff competition at an Activator show.

-Rhiannon Dillon

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