Punkin’ Out At The Ol’ Blues Club

Fashion Slaves joined The Plurals, The Blast!, One After Another at Eli’s Mile High Club on Friday and it was a blast.

Eli’s – the famous Oakland tour stop for every blues band that ever toured the left coast – has been doing punk and other eclectic rock shows for a while now, establishing itself as a fave over-21 punk spot. Gone is the upstairs band room – replaced by a tattoo parlor, naturally. Around 6PM bands from near and far started arriving, plopping their gear and bags on the main floor in front of the stage. I thought, this can go any number of ways! Then the self-organizing chaos of punk took form, and somehow, without a stage manager or other discernible authority, a great fun 4-band show started on time at 9PM, and went smoothly to the end. The bands helped each other on and off the stage, no one played too long or too short, it was just punk rock poetry in motion. I liked all the bands and made a few mental notes – decided to start bloggin my shows again. So here’s wha’appen:

One After Another went on first with a set of beer-fueled punky anthems which set the tone for the night. These guys were tight, and their fiery 2-guitar blend reminded me of the Stooges-worshipping West Hollywood band, the Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs. Just as I made that connection, as if on cue, they played a great cover of “Search And Destroy” – the very Stooges song which gave the aforementioned ‘Cheetahs their name.

The Blast! came out next and true to their name they were LOUD! Just loud enough to please the We Like It Loud crowd, but not soooo loud as to scare away the rest of us. Their bass player Dominic – veteran of North Bay heroes Tsunami Bomb – put the show together and was a joy to hang out with. He’s also a superb bass player and their band is a hoot onstage. They have one of these lunatic animated drummers who uses maximum body effort for every single hit. I mean he is flailing, and when he isn’t falling out of his seat he’s leaping out of it, standing on the kit and bashing all the cymbals at once. Miraculously he didn’t miss a beat, and survived the performance with minor injuries. I need to get a hold of their recorded music so I can find this one tune they did near the end, which earwormed me for the rest of the weekend.

The Plurals – oh my gawd. Bless these lovely indie punky kids from Lansing, MI, touring DIY-style in 2013 with their wits and talent. They have great songs, hilarious and deep (yep, that’s the word) lyrics, and look, they are crazy enough to tour the country in a van in 2013 with today’s gas prices and widespread public apathy about new original bands. They get a medal, from me, right now, for courage and excessive coolness. You can listen to their music here.  The Plurals remind me of The Replacements and other midwest champs of a certain brew of sincerity, bleakness and humor, delivered unfiltered and raw. Did I mention they were absolute sweethearts to meet and hang out with? I’m a fan.

The Fashion Slaves – my band with Emily Jayne, Eric Knight and Pete D’Amato – played tunes from our new EP, “GO INSANE” live for the first time, plus songs from our live album. It was crazy fun, and I look forward to goin’ nuts at our next show, August 3rd at the Starry Plough.

Thanks to The Blast! for loaning us a guitar amp! Thanks to everyone who came out for making it a happening show! Til next time, you don’t have to be crazy, to GO INSANE!!

Author: Eric Din

Eric makes songs, records, and little forts for cats to play in. Founder/lifer in The UPTONES, guitarist, songwriter, music teacher and music curator, Eric blogs at ericdin.com except when he doesn't.

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