Friday, January 23, 2009

Wooden Shjips, Ezeetiger, Hank IV at Eagle Tavern.

Last night I went to the Eagle Tavern on 12th street, mainly to check out Wooden Shjips — and another beautiful, tall, but not so wooden form, which was sadly absent from the horizon. It was a grand night, I ran into some friends, an old friend whom I hadn’t seen since 2001 and good sorts all round. I’m embarrassed to admit it but this is the first time I’ve been to the Eagle, but it won’t be the last after last night’s events.

Let me try to be brief. The opening act was Ezee Tiger, which is one guy, a set of drums, a mic, a geetar, a bass and a multi-tracking device. The music constructed by this collection of gear, and the person with it, is at times noisey, abrasive, driving, percussive, unruly, hypnotic and rousing and that was just the first song. Enjoyed this, it woke my ass up and was wildly entertaining, all from one dude who bears more than a striking resemblance to Dave Grohl. Has anyone noticed this?

Next up was Hank IV, another SF based act and a motley crew to boot, some youngsters and some more seasoned dudes knocking out rock n roll that stylistically swerved between The Fall, early Talking Heads, Television, Volcano Suns and the Stones. Lead singer Bob McDonald comes across animated and salty and looks not unlike Jello Biafra in a grueling collision with Pere Ubu’s David Thomas and Mark E Smith. Good front guy, tight band, zippy little bass player.

Last up were SF’s own psychedelic rangers, Wooden Shjips, who I want to see every time they play in the city. I loved their self-titled five track mini LP from 2007, and gave it a very positive review around its time of release and after seeing them live last night for the first time I love them even more. If you like Spacemen 3, Kraut Rock, early Floyd, Suicide and The Doors, then you’ll like these guys. And though they look like imposing and serious musos, which they are, their drummer and bass player lay down a mean groove that makes you wanna get up and dance. The guitar player and vocalist looks and sounds great — his voice and instrument — and the keyboardist adds some great textures, sounds and licks.

I’d love hear someone like Weatherall, Padded Cell or Tensnake doing kicky remixes of a few of their tunes so that Euro types can get acquainted with their name and sound and buy their records. I’d also love to hear them at a face meltingly loud volume with a gang of heads frugging out to their menacingly groovy sound. An SF band to watch, I’d watch out for all three of these acts in fact.


No comments: