Saturday, June 14, 2008

August Teens; June 14, 2008; The Frequency

There had been a good buzz surrounding the opening of Madison’s newest small club. Owner Darwin Sampson, as a member of the God Damns, Helliphant and formerly of the Skintones, knows his way around a club not only as part of a band but also as a booker, having booked the less appealing Annex for the past year. “Reminds me of O’Cayz,” was a comment I had heard more than once. Sure, it is a small, dark, loud club, but really the similarities end there. So far the Frequency has been booking almost exclusively local and regional bands, whereas O’Cayz hosted its fair share of touring bands. And while O’Cayz was a charming jumble of posters, western themed items and other paraphernalia, at this point the Frequency is still relatively sterile. The paint still seems fresh on most walls. Not that there is anything wrong with any of that of course, it is already light years improved from its former incarnation. The Slipper Club with its awkwardly located stage was one of my least favorite places to see a show, especially if there were more than ten people there. Darwin has moved the stage to the back of the room where it belongs.

Admittedly, there are other less tangible things that bear out the O’Cayz comparisons, my whiskey/coke (cheap at $3) had only a splash of coke (yum!) and the shows start and run late. Like really late. I was hoping to catch the Alarmists on the Terrace before making my way over to see the August Teens at the Frequency, but was worried I would miss part of their set. “We probably won’t go on till 12:30 at the earliest,” Teens’ lead singer Dan Hardgrove reassured me. He was right, I didn’t need to worry, when I arrived at 12:15 second band Tangy was still on stage, but I’m glad I got there when I did. Tangy called Teens’ bass player, the ubiquitous Kyle Motor, to the stage for some help on vocals. He looked worried until they started the song, and then just smiled. I did too once I realized it was the classic Kiss tune “Strutter.”

For their set, the Teens did what they do best, play catchy power pop loud and fast. Songs that I had heard for the first time in my basement a couple months ago were slightly more familiar tonight, “Pizza in my Heart” the foremost among those of course. Tonight Josh Motor was back behind the drums which meant they had their whole catalog to draw from, though occasionally there was a moment after they would introduce a song before he would say, ”oh yeah, I know that one.” I kinda felt like that too, never quite sure if what I was hearing was an original or a track from one of my Nuggets CDs. I can’t wait to see them again. Play more shows boys.

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BeanCake said...
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