A new addition to the site...live show reviews. I used to do
these for Playing in Fog out in the Bay Area, but now that
I've made the move to the North Carolina I guess this will be the new
home for my rambling, incoherent thoughts on live
With Des_Ark & Noncanon
The Cat's Cradle
May 10th, 2008
I'm a huge Polvo fan. HUGE. One of my favorite bands of all
time...and when I found out they were reuniting, I nearly
soiled myself. At first the only show mentioned was a reunion gig
at the Explosions in the Sky curated ATP festival
in England. And even though I'm broke as a joke and unemployed on
top of it, I contemplated going into debt to fly over
and see this show. It may have also led to divorce, but so be
But then they announced a few shows here in the states, including one
in their hometown of Chapel Hill. I was moving
back to the area and boy howdy was I excited. Of course the show
sold out of tickets quickly - they are local heroes
after all - and this just happened to coincide with my cross country
drive, when my mind was more focused on national
parks than live music. I was feeling pretty fucked about my lack
of ticket, but luckily my old friend Craigslist came to the
rescue and I managed to procure entrance for only 250% of the face
value (that being 10 bucks). This show was easily
worth 25 bucks though...shit, it was worth 200 bucks, which is how much
the guy next to me at the show paid. Judging
from his reaction to their set, he wasn't pining for that money
Without going into all the details, let's just say: the show fuckin'
ruled. Other than not getting to hear every song I wanted
to, the gig fully met all my expectations and then some. So much so
that even though I was really far from the band I took
a couple of photos anyways, just to commemorate the event. And
why the fuck not, it's not like I was wasting film...so
here is a blurry shot of Ash and Popson rocking the fuck out:
The band was much tighter than I would have expected after coming off
of a ten year hiatus. And much heavier than they
once were. This may be a matter of maturation, of years passed,
or because they added the drummer from Cherry
Valence, Brian Quast, to the line-up. It kinda felt like all the
classic Polvo tracks were being run through a Thin Lizzy filter,
not that I was complaining. I've never been much to
remember song names or track lists, but they did a good job of
hitting a lot of the highlights on nearly all of their albums and
EPs...some stand outs included "Fast Canoe", "Feather of
Forgiveness", "My Kimono", "Bombs That Fall from Your Eyes" and most
importantly, my favorite Polvo song of all time,
"Tragic Carpet Ride".
As my first show back here in "god's country", I couldn't have been
more pleased with the results. Word is Polvo have
even been writing some new material, so who knows where this
reformation goes...keep your fingers crossed for some
new releases by the one of the best and most underrated bands of the
last 25 years.
On a side note: both of the opening acts were pretty good. Noncanon had a very poppy
indie rock sound brewing, a
sound that is easily identifiable as the "Chapel Hill sound" that we
all know and love. A couple of superb tracks in their
set and the rest was decent...I'll definitely keep my eyes and ears
open to catch them again. Des_Ark
had their moments
as well, but thinking back on it right now it's the drumming that
really stands out, but I feel like the singer said it was their
last show together? I may have misunderstood that, but either
way, that drummer straight killed it live.
Here are some Polvo songs for the listening and such:
addition to brunch, the restaurant was known for an item on the menu
called the "Skip's Scramble", an omelet that
contained everything on
the menu. Do not order the Skip's Scramble."
The Grey Daturas - Beyond
And Into The Ultimate. An actual new song, and not
shit that's been out for months or
years!!! The new Grey Daturas album has a few killer tracks and a
lot of noisy filler I could do without. But the good
stuff, like this song, makes sifting through the static worth it.
Andy Capp - Pop-A-Top.
This might be my favorite reggae song of all time (with "54-46 Was MY
Number" by Toots
& the Maytals a close second). It's a weird little song and
gets stuck in my head all the goddamn time.
Charlie Feathers - Tongue-Tied
Jill. I don't even know what ot say about Charlie
Feathers...weird, comical & catchy
country songs by one of music's true oddballs.
The Count Five - Psychotic
Reaction. A garage rock classic...you gotta love that
breakdown. I wish more bands
sounded like this these days.
Eddie & Ernie - I
Believe She Will. This classic soul duo are not nearly
well known enough for me. Yeah, they might
sound a bit too much like Sam & Dave, but if you're going to sound
like someone that is damn good choice.
Les Savy Fav - Raging
In The Plague Age. The Fav may have slowed down as a
band, but when they do get around
to releasing new material it fuckin' kills.
Bonus: The Year Before The Year 2000.
Some Chicken - New
Religion. A classic little-known punk track, and one
of John Peel's all-time favorite songs.
The National - Brainy.
All three tracks are from my favorite record of last year,
"Boxer". I feel like I may have posted
some of these before, but the tracks are so good they are worth a
Bonus: Guest Room.
Bonus: Slow Show.
The White Stripes - Lord
Send Me An Angel. An old seven inch track. It
sounds a lot like the White Stripes, as you