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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Show Review: PRIESTS @ Ebell Club Highland Park

Image result for katie alice greer
PRIESTS Katie Alice Greer in a Merchandise music video.

Show Review:
@ Ebell Club Highland Park
Los Angeles, CA.

  If you can watch a PRIESTS show and not feel nostalgia for a dissipated youth, then you have no heart or soul.  PRIESTS hail from the Washington DC area, and they, I think, would have to be one of the flagbearers for the post-punk sound commonly associated with Dischord.   It's a sound and era I'm well familiar with, having attended undergraduate at American University in Washington DC, the home of Dischord.   It is a DIY ethos, and one that greatly influenced my own involvement in the production and distribution of popular music.   I fear that while the ethos has very much shaped the anarchic chaos of post-Napster music business, the sound itself is more of a museum piece than a living, vital situation.  If you want an example, take a look at SAVAGES, a band that has more Facebook friends than monthly listeners on Spotify.  That is nuts.  So people like to SAY they like Savages, but they don't actually LISTEN to Savages, is what that statistic tells me.

  So the question is, can PRIESTS escape from that box? Maybe.  They are a tight band- hardly an overnight sensation with records going back to 2012.  They've hooked up with a highly reputable management company, which shows that they have some understanding of the larger game (although the manager they selected is very DIY friendly.  The live show was very good- lead singer Katie Alice Greer has Karen O type potential.  Less clear is whether they can/will settle down and, you know, write songs with melodies and bridges and stuff.  Not very punk, but kind of a deal breaker in terms of gaining wider acceptance.  Not that they care about that bullshit!  I know they don't!

    Look at the progression of Jen Clavin of Mika Miko and Bleached, from punk screamer to proto-blueswoman. I'd never been to the venue- the Ebell Club in Highland Park, nor heard of the promoter, "Sid the Cat" who had his own merch, including t shirts which said, "I hope people show up," which I thought was kind of amazing.   The Ebell Club is like an old (in terms of year established) club for old(in terms of age) women- mostly white from what I could see.  A take on the Moose Lodge, with a classier "classical" vibe.  The room was very warm and the sound was excellent, parking was easy, I would go back, and see another show by the same promoter.

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