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Sunday, July 07, 2013

Show Review: Oblivians, Octa#Grape, Shake Before Us & The Kabbs

Oblivians- no "the" FYI- Casbah wrote it as The Oblivians on their website, d'oh.

Show Review:
Shake Before Us
& The Kabbs
@ The Casbah

  Haven't been to the Casbah since April, when I went to see Kurt Vile.  I was happy to be back last night, excited even.  I went to this show cold simply because they've been selling so many copies of their LP on the Midheaven/Revolver site- currently #6 on the Midheaven/Revolver Six Month Top seller chart (Dirty Beaches is #4 on the same chart.)  So I know, for a fact, that Oblivians are going to sell six figures worth of music.  That's just a cold hard fact about the Audience for Oblivians, so if I see that a band that has sold that many records is coming to San Diego it's my business to see them live.

  The price point last night was 15 USD, fine with me, but maybe the reason the show didn't sell out.  If the ticket costs 15 bucks the show doesn't really have to sell out, but the fact that this is the first record by Oblivians in a decade plus probably accounts for both the high sales of the record and the inability to sell out the Casbah on a Saturday night.

  The crowd was a solid garage rock crew- much older then the group that showed up, in force at the Shannon and the Clams show last month (unreviewed), but still recognizable as the local Audience for garage rock.  One might reasonably have a discussion about whether garage rock is "hot" or "not" at any specific moment, but the established Audience is not open for discussion.  A garage rock outfit with a solid pedigree (prior tours, record out) can count on a minimum Audience of something close to a hundred, and this includes people who will go the Tower Bar on a Tuesday.

  Garage rock fans are typified by a long-term commitment to the sound, and they make for a great, respectful Audience- the number of people smoking on the patio during the set was low last night.  The Casbah staff looked happy to be there, and Tim Mays himself was in attendance.   Clearly this was a show that the venue itself was excited about.
Octa#grape- locals with the chops to go National/International- need the right label: In The Red, Swami, Hardly Art
     Openers Octa#Grape really dazzled- I didn't know anything about them going in- not even that they were local (Octa#Grape Facebook Page)- in fact- based on the skill level displayed I thought they were tour support for Oblivians until I looked them up on the web.   They played a style of sloppy garage punk with good songs, musicianship and stagecraft that really sets them apart from any other local act I've seen in the last five years.  The most recent band I've seen that I would compare them to is Olympia Washington's Milk Music.

  Label wise they would be a good fit for an In The Red, a Hardly Art or a Swami- or a newer label that is looking for a band with a shot at making a national impact.  The band looked older (as am I) so I'm not sure if they are going to be hitting the road full time but it looks like they've already been to sxsw and toured Europe as an opening act.

  While I was watching them last night, I was literally tapping my show companion on the shoulder and saying, "Wow- these guys are really good." That doesn't happen very often.

  Hopefully I will be able to see more of them in the future.

Weedeater, from Wilmington North Carolina plays Soda Bar on Tuesday night!
     I wanted to mention that Tuesday night Weedeater plays Soda Bar.  With 1.3 million last fm plays, Weedeater is a legitimate, viable force in their genre (stoner/sludge/rock/metal) and they are from Wilmington, North Carolina so it's cool when they get out here.  I try to limit my exposure to this genre, but I've seen Weedeater before and they do not play slow.  It's a good live show, worth checking out even if you aren't a genre fan.  I've been to the Soda Bar a couple times in the last few months, but I haven't actually written a Soda Bar show review since King Dude in November of last year.


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