Tag Archives: punk

No Suck Fest 5

Awesome NSF 5 Banner by the Gurus Themselves

No Suck Fest, Hawaii’s biggest DIY music festival, is going on this weekend for its fifth year. I managed to attend NSF 3, but not the outing last year, so it was high on my priority list to make it out this time around. Tonight was Day 2 of 3 and included performances by Animal Mother, The Instigators, Pink Mist, TV Microwave, Beaman, Harshist, Siblings, Botoroke (Karaoke), and mainlanders Gentlemen Prefer Blood and Big Eyes.

The mix of bands was actually quite amazing. There was a strong pop-punk showing in TV Microwave and Beaman. The former is very reminiscent of an early Blink-182 with the same strong beats and a sort of rough, fun-loving edge to it. Beaman is a bit harder to describe, though definitely inspired by early 90’s  alt/pop-punk with snappy, quick beats and songs about buttholes. The band also includes Adam Funari, China Town’s fastest drummer and an all around good dude. Oh, and he also managed to smash his way through his snare drum half-way through the set. Good job, Adam.

                          

We’ve talked about Harshist quite a bit, but it’s worth noting that they have honed that noise rock/experimental sound even more since I last saw them and they are playing damned tight. Honestly, I still haven’t found a way to fully describe this band beyond calling them a tempest mixture of harsh and smooth. If that didn’t make any sense to you, then maybe you should check out the live set they did for KTUH on their Bandcamp.

The out-of-towners that played were as different as their roots suggest. Big Eyes, originally out of New York but now residing in Seattle, is an eclectic mix of genres that falls more or less into indie rock, albeit with a definite ear for rock of decades past. I picked up their latest LP (Almost Famous) after the set and I will say they certainly played a grittier set for the mostly punk crowd tonight. Glad they repped well for us Northwesterners.

LA natives Gentlemen Prefer Blood, however, is all punk. The three-piece’s fast, growly set really got the crowd moving. The band was very experienced and crafty, dealing easily with a broken guitar string and three or four microphones knocked over by sprawling moshers. I think the lead singer may have been kicked in the face, too, though it certainly didn’t slow him down. I’m rubbish with punk, but I will say I sensed some Rancid and Irish Punk themes in the music. You punks can call me stupid after checking out some of the free music on their Bandcamp.

I managed to miss the first three bands (Animal Mother, The Instigators, and Pink Mist), but I’ve heard tell they rocked as expected. I have actually seen Animal Mother recently and would highly recommend their Strokes/Weezerish sound.

I want to make a separate note to the crowd tonight: You guys are fucking crazy. Now, I may not be as active in the scene as I used to be, but I definitely feel as though I know most Chi-To crowds. The one that came out tonight was like nothing I’ve seen before. They moshed every song. They screamed every song. They crowd surfed every last song. That’s right, crowd surfed. At Mercury bar. Sometimes there were two surfers riding the thirty person dance floor. And every time one would finally drop down, another would just jump right up. It was madness, with limbs flailing and beers spilling. Not that I hated it. I loved it. It was just so different than a usual night at Merc. And wow, do my arms feel tired.

So, you think I forgot about Siblings, eh? Well, that is far from the truth. Due to their placement between the travelling bands, Siblings actually only got about 11 minutes worth of stage time. But it was 11 minutes of raw punk power. They had the mosh spinning and slamming harder than at any other time during the night.

Not fully content with that small of an outing, however, they invited some of us to a super secret location for a post-show set. Now, I wouldn’t use the word ‘intimate’ to describe any punk set, but this was a good as it gets; Just the band and fifteen people in a tiny room. No moshing. No talking. Just the sound of every song in their repertoire washing over us, all of the fury and frustration ricocheting off of the walls and our psyches. It was an amazing experience I am glad to have been able to take a part in.

So, if any of this No Suck Fest business has piqued your interest, tomorrow night (or tonight, I guess) is the Third and Final Day. If you are available, you would be silly to miss. It’s at Anna Banana’s starting at 4 and going all night. The two travelling bands from Day 2 will be there as well as the rest of the visitors and some new local talent. Also, check out the No Suck Fest website for the schedule and updated information about the after-fest beach party. And, as always, you can see more pictures at Flickr as well as check us out at Facebook and Twitter. Keep rockin’, Honolulu.

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Year End List! (Part 4)

January 4th isn’t a statistically fancy day…

UNTIL NOW. Year End List! Part 4 is much more positive than yesterday’s. Savor it, as there is only one more to go.

Top Five Best Music Videos

5. “Blow” by Ke$ha: Ke$ha may represent all that’s terrible with pop music, but this video is pure gold. James Van Der Beek gets dissed, a laser fight breaks out of nowhere, and unicorns bleed rainbows. Let me say that last part again: unicorns bleed rainbows. Let’s forget how terribly creepy they are and all have a good laugh over their deaths.

4.  “Short Lived” by Siblings: Travis D Wiggins is a Renaissance Man. He DJs, is one half of Coral Stabz (as well as other projects), and makes lovely music videos. This gem is by far the scene’s best video of the year, featuring everyone’s favorite lovable punk band, Siblings, in hand drawn stop motion animation. That Short Lived is also one of my favorite punk tracks of the year doesn’t hurt, either. Check out some of Travis’ other work on YouTube.

3. “The Creep” by The Lonely Island: SNL offspring The Lonely Island were one of the biggest success stories of 2010 after reminding the world that comedy music can also be great listening. Continuing this on their second album, Turtleneck & Chain, the trio gave us songs about sex (especially involving mothers), Jack Sparrow, and the Golden Rule. The Creep stands out, however, for giving us possibly the greatest dance move ever. Bonus points for getting Nicki Minaj to go for first base with a corpse.

2. “Party Rock Anthem“/”Sexy and I Know It” by LMFAO: Although they also made our more dubious list, LMFAO still blew away 2011. “Party Rock Anthem” came out of nowhere in March and took over clubs and pop radio stations. Party songs are great, but only one is so great that it turns otherwise normal hipsters into shufflin’ zombies. “Sexy and I Know It” successfully built upon the catchy-dance-beat-plus-cool-dance-circles and upped the ante with speedos. Lady Gaga may have been Born This Way, but I submit that dancing around in a banana hammock next to “The Hedgehog” was the real show of positive body image.

1. “Simple Math” by Manchester Orchestra: I only very recently came in contact with this absolutely fantastic music video. I am a real sucker for good cinematography (which most music videos lack) and “Simple Math” has some of the best I’ve seen. To be able to tell the story of a whole life of heartache and pain in five minutes is seriously impressive, especially with the use of Inception-style memories-in-memories, all tied together by a terrible accident and wonderfully powerful song.