From: jay <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: [mkultra]: unwound @ troubadour
Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 04:58:05 -0700
i wasn't planning on going, but a friend and i were hanging out at my house, he put on "repetition", and then it hit me. i HAD to go... nothing was gonna stop me and my impulsive tendencies. so at 5:30 pm i jump in my car, go down to ticketmaster, buy two tickets, fill up my gas tank, pick up my friend chris, and we leave san diego at around 7pm, speed up to west hollywood in the pouring rain listening to the contortions, rodan, and mohinder, and get there around 9:45 or so, just while the peechees were finishing their set. then my future wife, ms. sara lund, walks out on stage and sets up her drums. then the roadie appears and sets up justin's shit, then vern, once again looking like he just rolled out of bed, yellow karp shirt and all, then justin, with an interesting smirk on his face, probably laughing to himself about the arena-rock feel of the troubadour. sara looks up at these disgusting purple lights above her and asks to have them turned off, only to have them turned back on two minutes later. they started with all souls day, and the fog machine turns on in the middle of the song. sara made the funniest face i've ever seen. anyways. they continued with dragnalus, arboretum, murder movies, laugh track, meet the plastics, devoid, what went wrong, the side effects of being tired, and ended with valentine card and an unbelievably loud, noisy, reverberating guitar-filled ending. (they played a few more... but i can't remember which.) nothing from "the future of what", unfortunately, which is my favorite of their albums. the sound was really good, much better than the other times i've seen them, and they were a little more interactive with the crowd than usual. someone yelled "justin, i want to get you high!", and justin responds, "you want to get me hard?", then later some girls yell out "justin, you're so sexy!", and vern agrees, and justin says "i think sara is pretty damn sexy" and the crowd explodes with agreement. kinda sickening in a way, after hearing about the bottom of the hill show, but ah well, it was really a great show... well worth the long, sketchy drive in the rain. met another person from the list, jarret, and saw listkeeper brian briefly before they played (sorry i'm taking forever sending the lync shirt... i've been really busy... i'll send it soon). but yeah. i'll stop now. hope the rest of you get to see them while they're on tour... definitely not a show to miss.
From: Brian MacDonald <email@example.com>
Subject: [mkultra]: Unwound at the Troubadour in L.A. 2/19/98
Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 17:39:15 -0800 (PST)
There's been this nasty trend of great shows coinciding with shitty weather here in SoCal, lately. Last night was certainly no exception -- what with the rain blast. After passing Los Angeles Airport on the 405 freeway, the average speed limit was 10 mph -- so I ramrodded my way out onto side streets the rest of the way to the Troubadour. Thankfully, I had my handy cassette with The Fall's "Dragnet" on Side A, and "Totales' Turns" on Side B during my bout of simmering "road rage". It's nice that have Mark E. Smith rage it all out for you.
In case you were wondering about the Troubadour, it's the odd runt of an otherwise trinity of Sunset strip L.A. Glam metal pay-to-play venues. The original three were the Roxy, the Whiskey, and Gazzarri's. Gazzarri's shut down circa the birth of "grunge". So that allowed the Troubadour to join the trinity. While all these venues (except for Gazzarri's) also booked cool higher profile shows and sometimes low-profile shows for huge bands, their day to day operations include milking worthless aspiring shitty metal/blues bands for their money and naivity. (Except for Pretty Boy Floyd, who are the undisputed kings of rock). Venue uber alles, essentially. Which makes the Unwound/PeeChees show happening at the Troubadour seem quite odd.
I got there and ran into Chris Applegren, lead singer of PeeChees (and incidentally the owner of Lookout! records, along with wife Molly, PeeChees drummer, who is the president of Lookout! records -- last I asked a few months ago). Turns out we both are pathetic Beach Boys/Brian Wilson fans... and you know what happens when one Brian Wilson fan meets another...
So anyway, I missed Deerhoof, so no report there, unfortunately.
The PeeChees went on afterwards, and had some surprises. The biggest one being their acquisitions of some light systems. Mind you, the Troubadour provided a hefty amount of the lighting themselves that night. (The Troubadour lights/FX guy would play a recurring theme throughout the night if you haven't already guessed.). The PeeChees only light system was the spiraling rotating rays of rock lights beckoning behind Rop and Carlos. The combination of all the lights was quite overwhelming, which may be a good or bad thing. Anyway, I got the impression a lot of folks were either confused or annoyed with the megastrobelight action. Kinda reminded me of Organic '96 -- which isn't necessarily a bad thing at all.
It seemed like the PeeChees were denied a proper sound check. There was a lot of that big room echo on their sound, and seem to blur any bite of the rock and roll. Everything sounded like one big wailing din of noise fronted by a lead guy immersed in his catlike sexuality -- which isn't necessarily a bad thing at all. Kinda like early Cramps I guess.
Also, it seemed they weren't as energetic last night as they were in the past, though that got rectified by the end. I'm sure it could have been a better set, though I fear that this set may have given a not-so-good first impression to those seeing them for the first time. (there was heckling, mind you). Chris' voice has always been an acquired taste. Given the dizzying echo he had on his voice last night, I'm sure the taste was even harder to acquire.
Unwound took the stage not too long afterwards. The band seemed pretty content and laidback. Justin was looking the most stylish I've ever seen him, with the black dressy buttondown shirt, and longer hair. Vern went for the opposite -- poofy bleached mop with dirty yellow KARP shirt. Sara was dressed somewhere in the middle...(in terms of fashion sense that it). Unwound were playful with the audience at times. The "sexy" story went pretty much exactly how Jay described it. Fortunately, no one shouted anything in poor taste. Anyway, Justin was more relaxed than usual, while Vern was flailing away on his bass moreso than usual. Sara did her Sara thing pretty much.
The set was very similar to the Bottom Of The Hill show, I guess. Certainly one for fans of "Repetition". Here it was to my recollection.
All Souls Day
Meet The Plastics
For Your Entertainment
What Went Wrong
Side Effects Of Being Tired
blissy noise blast
Highlights were the "New Plastic Ideas" tracks played, "All Souls Day" and "Arboretum". Somehow, their current live version of songs from this album always rule the high heavens, what with the great "Hexenzsene" they did on their short west coast stint a month ago.
The sound was a lot better for Unwound than the PeeChees. One of the better sounding Unwound shows I've been to, actually...(The Casbah show in San Diego 1/10/98 still being the ultimate Unwound show in sound and in many other ways)..
Another thing. The light show they got, at times to the dismay of the band, really worked in my opinion. As Jay mentioned, there was that slight flavor of "arena rock" to the whole experience -- It HAD to be -- it was the first time I smelt pot at an Unwound show after all. But anyway, I was always curious what it would be like to go to an Unwound show if, say, they become really popular and got airplay on MTV and that kind of thing. Maybe I'm just a sucker for lights, I don't know, but I guess my point is: *IF* Unwound decided "Aw fuck it! let's rock for Walmart, and sign with the big guys!", as long as music wasn't compromised, but played venues like this or bigger, it wouldn't necessarily suck. Fortunately for the sanity of most of you, it doesn't look like Unwound is interested in that whole lifestyle at all.
Where I thought the lighting was very effective was during the soft and slow parts of "Arboretum", "What Went Wrong", "Side Effects Of Being Real" and the My Bloody Valentine-esque noise blast after "Valentine Card" (Nope, no "Kantina/Were, Are, And Was Or Is" last night, ah well)
What happened after the show is something I leave my mainman Jared from ISLAND OF JOY to describe to the list -- that is, if he wishes. In brief, we learned bits of Unwound info that will probably interest you all. (Nothing "juicy" or "scandalous", if that's what you were hoping for).
Only ran into Jay briefly, and had a fun time with Jared and his friend... but I missed everyone else. Where were you all?
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This document was last updated 22 February 1998