Sunday, May 8, 2011


Last Friday afternoon, I sat on the grass outside of the Beach Art Museum, listening to the band that was scheduled to play before us at a benefit show. After a Weezer cover with a rather interpretative djimbe part, one of their four rhythm guitarists stepped up to the mic. She wore a tiara, which she adjusted before singing the radio-edit of Ceelo Green's “Fuck You,” complete with censored “shhhts” and “forget-yous.” Upon hearing the song for the first time, I remember sincerely wishing that a Caucasian female would provide a more child-friendly version. At last, I was satisfied.

The Low End is not keen on covers. That is not to say that we dislike them. I am always up for a great Dylan classic, or a reinterpretation of some electronic jam. I've heard some good ones. Personal Dead-Birdhouse picks include The Bears of Blue River's take on “Dead Skunk” by Loudon Wainwright III, and Dastardly's “The Man in Me” by Bob Dylan. Local act Shaq Panther also does a wonderful version of “Cut Your Hair.” However, I do not possess Jeff Buckley's voice or Duane Allman's chops. The Low End leaves the covers to others.

And there were plenty of others. The band, who was playing their first show, played “Margaritaville,” complete with shout-outs to Kim and Kevin (“Wastin' away down in Aggieville.../some people say that Kevin is to blame/ but I know/ it's Kimberly's fault”), who I presume were in the audience. But that is understandable for a band starting out, I guess.

I sat with a kid from the local high school who was wearing our band's shirt. He surprised me with his knowledge of bands; he mentioned that he had been listening to the new tUnE-YaRdS album and one-upped me on his appreciation of R.E.M.'s “Murmur” and “Reckoning.” I quickly realized that this guy was a lot cooler than me when I was in high school (which, in retrospect, isn't saying much; see “Bleached Hair w/ Leisure Suit”). He was not pleased with the four synched-up rhythm guitars, nor with the covers.

We had long backlined our gear at this point. The band playing after us shared their ample speakers and monitors, which saved a lot of work on our part. They treated us pretty well and even recorded our live set, which was incredibly friendly. The gear and sound quality were great; we were a little phased by the awkwardness of filling more than ten square feet (our usual setup) and being visible in daylight (which we typically avoid, as a rule). Nevertheless, we had fun and played for some folk who don't regularly visit the dank DBH.

But for those who thirsted for songs they actually knew, respite would soon come. The band after us offered a variety of canonical tunes, including some Eve 6 (ah, middle school), Third Eye Blind (classic?) and the ubiquitous “Friday” by Rebecca Black (oh). Sorority girls swooned at the sight of the singer's white pants. I waited to snatch the last of our gear off stage and thank the band for letting us use their PA.

By the end of the night, after the rest of the band, my girlfriend, and her Doberman puppy (Santiago) had long abandoned me, a kid who had won a portrait of a clown approached me. "Give me one second," he told me before chasing his friend around my van with the framed painting. “You want this?” he asked unnecessarily.

I obviously took it home.

Dan/The Low End


Here are some more pics from the show:

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