Sunday, May 31, 2009

show: black dice, wolf eyes, sir richard bishop & earthless

black dice at the escarpment
So this was my first show since moving to LA, and what a killer line up it was. It was also in some warehouse out in the warehouse district, so it was pretty deep in the cuts. I guess the same incarnation of this show that happened in SF last night was shut down by the fuzz. No police problem tonight, though, and everyone seemed to be having a good time. Although we arrived late, Earthless had not yet started their set when we entered the cavernous warehouse. Despite the fact that there seemed to be a reasonable amount of people at the show, it wasn't difficult at all to get up right in front of the bands, so we got a good view.
Earthless played one long, grooving psych jam that was pretty fucking killer. I think the drummer was probably the best part of the group, to me; the guitar player was mostly off in his own world, and the bassist was locked into his own groove. But the drummer kept the momentum going, even when the guitar playing was getting aimless, the drums provided interesting fills and the necessary intensity.
Sir Richard Bishop was up next, and I have to admit that I was really stoked to see him play. I'm not super familiar with the Sun City Girls catalog and I've only heard some of his solo stuff, but I've liked what I've heard. It surprised me that he was playing with a full band; it was even more surprising that what he played was a south-Asian surf-guitar prog-rock sound. It was good, and fun, but pretty goofy. I was expecting something more like when I've seen Tom Carter play, who can rip it up. But this was good too. The fat kid in the Black Flag tee, who had been headbanging to Earthless, did a nice little jig to Bishop's set.
The area in front of the stage got more packed for Wolf Eyes than it did during any other point in the night. Wolf Eyes are some funny looking dudes. It's interesting to me to think that probably most of the performers tonight were 30+ years old, despite the young and hip demographic that came out to watch them. So after an extended mic check, Wolf Eyes launched into their dark and threatening take on noise. It was cool, and super fucking loud, but maybe not totally engaging. I enjoyed it mostly for it being an overwhelming aural attack, rather than being very substantial. We went outside midway through the set, and the sound outside the warehouse was phenomenal. It sounded as if a massive demon had been conjured from the dark pits of hell, and was thrashing to escape the warehouse in which it had been imprisoned.
Finally, Black Dice took the stage. The last time I saw Black Dice, if you'll recall, we spent most of the time drinking in front of the Great American Music Hall, rather than enjoying the set. I think that this performance was a lot more engaging, in part because I was not intoxicated, but also because it seemed a lot more rhythmic than last time. There was a great visual show going on behind the band, and they guys did their best to find hypnotic and grooving loops in the squall they were generating. They didn't always manage to find those moments, but when they did, it was pretty captivating. In all, it was a great show, I had an excellent time, and I'm looking forward to similar shows in the future.


  1. my buddy mike was at that show and i guess ended up kicking it with them after the show. i wonder if it was at the same warehouse that sarah and i saw lightning bolt at. was it south of downtown la?

  2. Yeah, it was on Soto street I think.