The Beets, German Measles & Coconut Coolouts at the Funhouse, Seattle | 30 April 2010
New York’s ramshackle, frumpy party scene visited the Funhouse on Friday night for some debauchery, good times and music. Seattle’s Coconut Coolouts played hosts, opening the night with their version Pacific Northwest garage party rock. The Coolouts have boiled party rock down to a science of two stand-up drummers, Bruno Kirby on keyboards, a primal stomp and some well chosen covers. It seems like every time I see them, they pull a new obscure jem out of their back pockets, this night it was Comander Cody’s Two Triple Cheese, Side Order of Fries.
German Measles are another punk rock party band, but of the east coast kind. They seem to enjoy getting drunk, stumbling around on stage while trying to play their songs. Their song Wild Weekend kind of sums up the band’s modus operandi: C’mon baby and party with me, take some drugs and party with me…We’re gonna drink as much as we can! The band contains Arno and Alex formerly of the defunct Cause Co-Motion! who seem to be the mellow half. The crazy drunk half consists of members of Nik Curtin and Serge Pinsky who also are in the Beachniks with JB from Crystal Stilts. Their EP on Captured Tracks and Color Vibration single (Color Vibration kind of reminds me of a lo-fi version of Alternative TV’s Action Time Vision) on Wild World are well worth getting, but I’m not sure I can give the same endorsement for their live show. When they act like sloppy drunks, pouring beer on their heads, and drinking out of the cans thrown on stage it’s probably funny to their friends, but it doesn’t go very far in winning new fans. They were kind of lovable and fun, but I say that only because I was already a fan based on their records. Bassist Serge Pinsky was a monster, playing it like a guitar. I was just hoping for a bit more. Maybe when they get older and tired of partying?
German Measles didn’t stop partying after their set, they were front and center for their friends the Beets, falling over each other, and throwing their shirts on stage. The Beets seemed to take their antics for granted and the four piece ripped through a birthday fueled set. It was bassist Jose Garcia’s birthday, so the band did a special birthday set complete with birthday song which had the audience singing the refrain Joooseee, and Batman Piñata. Beets records are more lo-fi than most and that’s saying something these days. They sound like they were recorded down a drain with the vocals coming up from a few leagues beneath that. Live, they appeared lo-fi with singer and guitarist Juan Wauters’ guitar looking like something he salvaged from a second hand store. It had wires coming out of it from all directions, scribbles all over it and pick-up duck taped to it. Appearances were deceiving though, with Wauters bounding about on stage with his pogo jumps, while playing with aplomb. He was a maelstrom in a bottle, while their piccolo player sat crossed legged at the back of the stage. I don’t know if the Beets brought their fans from Queens or not, (I do know they brought one of the Vivian Girls with them, I spotted Kickball Katy rocking out a side of the stage) but the audience seemed to know quite a few of the songs, singing the choruses. When they brought the Piñata out, the German Measles were wrestling with each other on the floor and I half expected it to explode with airplane bottles of liquor, but it was just candy. It was probably a good thing, I don’t think anyone there need another ounce of alcohol.
mp3: The Beets – Happy But On My Way (from Spit On The Face Of People Who Don’t Want To Be Cool on Captured Tracks)
mp3: The Beets – Don’t Fit In My Head (from Don’t Fit In My Head 7″ on Captured Tracks)