Old FakeLast weekend spent a lot of time at The Frequency watching some good acts including Cemetery Improvement Society, The Revolving Doors, Old Fake, Child Bite and Sally Grundy.

This was the first time that I got a chance to see Cemetery Improvement Society since they became a two band act. The last time I had saw them is when I was the opening act for one of their shows at The Annex, and I was (due to post show celebratories) incredibly inebriated, and only remembered how much I enjoyed the show but no details, except that the dude played the guitar like he was fighting with it. This time around, I enjoyed them, but I suspect for a very different reason. The effect of a second mind (new member Russell Paul) in the mix has resulted in something slightly different, but more solid, and the balance between rock and techno has been tipped (paradoxically, and probably for the best) a bit more toward the rock direction. I suggest you check out THIS LINK to The Isthmus to listen to the track “Sixth Severance” to get an idea of what I mean.

They have  a CD out called “Lonely Dog Island” and it runs the gamut of bleeps and bloops, guitar wankery (the good kind), and irreverent pokes at pop music.  Live, they performed a pastache’ of pop songs that seemed like an adaptation of their CD track “Drunk Up The Jams”.  This wouldn’t be a first for CIS, as the previous release, an acetate CD EP called “You Are Lucky”, contained a cover of Pat Benatar’s song “Love is a Battlefield” that was at once perverse and catchy.  I look forward to seeing them again at the MAMA’s Afterparty.

Child Bite 1

In the two nights of music that I had taken in, I had also seen The Revolving Doors and Old Fake. Both bands were enjoyable. However, and this is not meant to be a diss, I don’t remember much about them at this time (this article is, after all, written several weeks after the fact).

What I do remember, above all, is the band Child Bite. I had no idea what was in store for me with this band, and I still don’t know exactly what to call their music. It’s almost metal, but still good old fashioned rock, but with the energetic intensity of punk music without the trashy trappings. For possibly the first half of their set, I wasn’t especially reeled in, and made a few trips to the bar.  They were maybe a little bit too metal (not in that fortunately dead NuMetal sort of way, but in something more akin to simply really hard rock) or maybe their long scary beards distracted me.  However, after a little while they got the audience, and myself quite wound up.

At one point of the show, I was busy shooting photos of the lead singer and I looked up from my camera to see that the guitarist had disappeared.

Child Bite 3

Scanning over the room, I found him, with his wireless guitar, rocking out in the face of the guy who stamps your hands when you pay cover. On his way back, he was kind enough to tap me on the shoulder and pose on one of the bar stools (the photo is below). Their set ended with the lead singer climbing up and around the amps and rather dramatically falling off them, onto the floor, out of the sight of the crowd. Great fun.

The last band was Sally Grundy. Seeing that I had already made the acquaintance of this band via their bass player, I was long overdue to hear them perform. First off, the stage set up and the way the band presents themselves is very well tailored. The sodium flare of an old TV set flickers away in the background, while what sounds like a 70′s era hygiene instructional plays on an old record player.

Sally Grundy 2

The disembodied legs of a mannequin seal the deal. Musically, they seem reminiscent of early Nirvana, blended with a little bit of Sonic Youth which surprised me because I had listened to an audio tape demo (such a great, and sorely missed format) that they had produced of some of their songs and found it to have a very different quality entirely, something of a similar era, but altogether different.  The show was entertaining, slightly sleazy, and perhaps a little dreary.

They have an EP out, and it’s four tracks are dutifully performed.  It’s a pretty decent little record, probably good for listening to while smoking cigarettes on a porch during a rain storm, probably good to listen to while fucking as well.  Short EP aside, this band has an extensive repertoire of songs to choose from when playing live.

The live show itself was pretty standard (though since this show, I have seen them at smaller venues such as The Wisco, and they get ROWDY) and perhaps a little tame.  My only complaint was that the show itself seemed a little sloppy.

Sally Grundy 1

The stopping to restring the guitar, while affording the audience time to get another beer, or listen to the record player, was perhaps a bit much.  But hey, it’s a bar, it’s a show, and maybe it all was pre-planned in a ploy to make us all go “What the Fuck” right before dropping a sonic brick on our heads.

A nice long weekend.  Lots of shows, and a thirst for more.  Lots of Ale Asylum’s fantastic Ambergeddon (The Frequency has it on tap!).  All and all, I went to work the next morning paying for it, but not regretting one bit.




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