See also: "Make No Mistake: Bleached Are Punk as Fuck"
October 4, 2011
Better than ... girly boy bands.
Walking into a venue as Madonna's "Borderline" plays should officially be considered an auspicious start to a concert. If that's followed by Olivia Newton John's "Magic" and Culture Club's "Time (Clock of the Heart)," even better. Turns out Bobb Bruno of Best Coast was the DJ who made these selections. Very nice.
Bleached -- a band with a sun-soaked, punk-tinged vintage vibe, and made up of sisters Jennifer and Jessica Clavin -- have these sort of friends. Bethany Cosentino was in the crowd, and Bass Drum of Death played a secret set after Bleached left the stage. Those in the know probably spotted a few Twitter-famous folks, as well.
Then there were people like me, who had questions.
Questions such as "Will people crowd-surf even if there is no stage from which to jump?" (No.) "Do all punk rock boys have such shiny, enviable hair?" (It appears so.) "Are you not supposed to be able to hear the vocals?" (Not sure.)
Openers The Clavins struggled with the sound. Los Globos is transitioning from a venue hosting Latin music only to one hosting parties like Hang the DJs, but a few kinks remain. The sexy, but underwhelming, lighting was also an issue. "Can we get a little more light up here?" Jennifer asked. "I like red, but I can't see the dots on my guitar."
Before long, however, the girls ripped through a swift set. Even though they sounded tight musically, their voices were practically drowned out. Too bad. Bleached's vocals are flat, the edges rounded by a dull blade, and verge on sing-shouty. When harmonizing -- their voices intentionally rough sounding -- they produce a sound so oddly compelling, it overshadows the guitar.
A couple of guys in the middle of the crowd ricocheted against their neighbors, and one even flew onstage and into Jennifer (she grinned). At one point Jennifer set down her guitar, grabbed her microphone from its stand, and pinballed across the space singing a cover of the Misfits' "Horror Business." It felt like the show was just beginning, but that was the end, and I was disappointed.
The crowd: Girls dressed like Jennifer and Jessica in their new video, "Think of You," and guys in plaid button-downs (is it already time for grunge to cycle back around?).
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Random notebook dump: At one point the DJ before Bass Drum of Death scared a whole lotta people into leaving (or at least into taking a smoke break) by spinning hip hop.
Set list after the break.
(They didn't play "Love Spells.")