Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Beginning of The (Week)End.....Day 3

I had intended on writing about the show, last night, but as soon as we got back...I hit a bowl twice and feel asleep (mostly cause I was kinda drunk from the pitcher of beer I drank by myself.)

We walk into Oade's to find Ozenza hard at work on the pool table (make no mistake about this band: they will take your money!). A few people and Beast In The Field showed up roughly about 35-40 minutes before bands started playing. Ozenza went first. Good thing I'm not in a band and would have to follow that. For the past 4+ years, Ozenza has been writing some of the best down-tempo/"stoner"-rock in Michigan. Josh, their drummer, played as if he was channling Gonzo, himself. It was 6 or 7 songs later and they left some people asking the question 'Should I really play after that?'. As of late, Beast In The Field has been using much smaller set-ups for shows. Even so, Jordan still manages to make teeth chatter and lower intestines grumble with discomfort. Jamie's lumberjack-like approach to the drums is far and away one of the best drummers I have had the chance to see and hang out with. Beast's music really does sound like a glacier floating down a river or an avalanche of lava. The best thing one could do, while watching Beast In The Field destroy...? Stand there and take it like a human being.

The night ended with a hot, 40-minute set from Lansing's only REAL doom band, The Plague Years. Off and on, they will play with a bassist. This paticular show was just Derek and Steve. Aside from an extra body not being on stage, one would hardly notice with all of the low-end that is put out. The Plague Years' general attitude is simple: all of "this" will be over soon. Their music is what the apocolypse will sound like, a la vintage amps (ie. orange and green). While the song structures and chord progressions are in fact simple, it is the underlying idea behind their music that is so captavating to yours truly: the end is near and you only have one chance to be who and what you are behind closed doors. Seize this chance before it passes you by like traffic on the freeway.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Beginning of The (Week)End....Day 2

I forgot how uncomfortable a couch can be. (Note to self: drink more before sleeping on a couch.) Although I will admit that I have slept on some rather "questionable" surfaces including a washer and dryer, the floor of The Nain Rouge van, and the Caledonia-House couch that was in the living room (if that couch could talk, it would commit suicide from all of the nasty shit that has gone down on it's cushions.) However, I'm thankful to have friends out here who look out for me (Derek, Steve, Kori, and Kori's bf.) The apartment I'm staying at is set in what seems like the "student ghetto" of Michigan State University: basically, it's all college students over here. Rent is about $650 a month. Said apartment is laid-out kinda nice (two bedrooms, living room, a bathroom with a closest connected to it, and a balcony.) Outside of the Nuthouse and Stober's...this is probably one of my favorite places to kick it, in Lansing.

For me, the day of a show is like the first day of school and Christmas all rolled into one. You can almost never tell what's going to happen but you know you want it to happen already. Like I had mentioned in the previous blog, I get to spend the evening with friends (which means I'm guaranteed to have a good time, no matter what.) Ozenza, one of the bands playing tonight is what you might call a "stoner-rock band": think Doomriders, replace the punk-rock influence with classic rock, and you have Ozenza. In my honest and humble opinion, Ozenza is one of the very best (in Michigan, playing that style of music). Certainly one of the most underrated bands, period. Beast In The Field, probably the first two-piece doom bands to not suck in Michigan. Jamie and Jordan are, for lack of a better word, geniuses at what they do. Their music calls upon the classics such as Sleep, Electric Wizard, Black Sabbath, and Keelhaul. Jordan is most know for his 'larger-than-life' amp set-up which is taller than the backboard on a basketball hoop. One of the many things I like about Jamie is is his ability to back vans with trailers into tight parking/loading spots (in the words of Brad from The Nain Rouge...Jamie is putting on "clinics".)

Tonight, I look forward to a few things: 1. Obviously, I'm pumped to hang out with friends 2. music worth listening to and 3. the sound-guy freaking out. Wave goodbye, Lansing. It's almost over.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Beginning of The (Week)End....Day 1

Who would have thought: Lansing, Michigan is Ground Zero to 'the end, as we know it.'

The drive between Metro-Detroit and E. Lansing is fun, for me anyways. Generally speaking, I'm jamming Sleep's 'Dopesmoker' but this trip called for something a little "lighter", maybe it was the decent weather we got, so I went with Hot Hot Heat and Goatsnake (I know, weird. Indie/Pop-rock and "stoner/doom".)

Tomorrow's show is at a venue called 'Oades Hidden Camel' (Lansing, MI). If it weren't for the slightly awkward location, this bar would be pretty fucking cool. The bar staff is nice enough, their booking agent is a former musician (which means he understands what his real job is), and their drinks are cheap. One of my major complaints is their outdated sound-system. Now, I know...times are tough, no one can afford to sink $8-10k on new equipment but really...for such a decent sized room, they sure do have the bare essentials when it comes to monitors, etc. It's not strange to be asked to turn down and you're at 3 or 4 on your volume. It's rock-n-roll or metal or punk, it's suppose to be loud. Or no? Either way, it's all loud-as-fuck bands (Beast In The Field on Saw Her Ghost Records and Ozenza on Friction Records.) Their sound-guy won't have much of a choice and it will be kind of funny (or annoying) for all of us.

Those who live in Lansing can come to the show or just open the window. It's that simple. See you there.