Sunday, April 27, 2014

AP Show Review: UPSET - At The Satellite with The Lovely Bad Things, Flytraps and Girl Tears-- LA- April 25th

UPSET - LOVELY BAD THINGS - FLYTRAPS - GIRL TEARS Friday April 25th @ the Satellite in L.A.

Presented by Dirty Laundry TV and sponsored by Loli Pop Records, KXLU 88.9 FM, Origami Records, and BuddyHead.

First things first. The drive up from Orange County was stellar. NO TRAFFIC. Yes this declarative statement warrants capital letters. I always catch traffic heading into LA and half the time this causes me to miss the first band because I am always running late. Well, the traffic Gods were on my side and I am forever grateful because I got to catch Girl Tears. They are a three piece punk band from LA. Listening to them thrashing out their set, there was this patina of late 70's / early 80's mod on their sound. The lead singers vocal attack reminded me of one of my favorite bands of all times, The JAM and that made me happy. While Girl Tears may take inspiration from bands like The Nerves or the Undertones,  Flytraps pump out garage rock with classic surf rock DNA inspired by the Cramps and the Mummies. The male drummer threw on a wig eluding to the fact that Flytraps used to be an "all girl" band. Cool set with solid rock chops, belted out vocals and blistering surf guitar. The Lovely Bad Things played a killer raucous set which seemed to spill over into the audience as one over zealous (or overly buzzed) guy took to the stage and poured a beer on the head of guitarist / bassist / drummer Tim Hatch as he played drums during "Gravel Dreamer". The garage rockers have been injecting new songs into their sets (as was evident at Burgerama) and unwrapped a brand new one this night as well. Very cool.

UPSET carry with them this kind of indie / punk pop gravitas before you even hear their music. I mean, if you were inclined to do so, you could probably construct some kind of six degrees of separation game that would lead to some heavy hitters in alternative rock music. You have Ali Koehler (guitars / vocals) who played drums for Best Coast and Vivian Girls, Patty Schemel (drums) who played in Hole (and also currently drums for Death Valley Girls), Jennifer Prince ( lead guitar, vocals) who was in La Sera and Rachel Gagliardi (bass) formerly from Slutever. As headed by Koehler who peppered the audience with hilarious banter in between songs, UPSET's brand of punk pop is catchy as hell. The punk punch of the music softened a bit by Koehler's vocals that sometimes hover in that cool "I don't give a fuck" semi-monotone style of the Joey Ramone. When she wants to her vox can rip it up as demonstrated when the band covered 7 Seconds' "Not Just Boys Fun" which surprised me so much I stood there enjoying it but not shooting the performance. Good MOVE - Robb! On stage and off, Koehler is super sweet, smart, witty, charming and funny and these traits carry into the music. I am not sure but I get a sense that the music (especially the lyrics) just might exist on many levels from reflections and homages to punk to sardonic punk art rock. I could be over thinking it. Apart from the solid punk pop songs their performance was pure fun and all the members of UPSET seem to keep fun at the forefront of their minds.

It was fun to hang with friends at the show as well as meet and talk briefly about music with all the bands as well as scarf some damn tasty fish tacos from a food truck poised due right as you exited the front door. You all should check out these bands if you can and if you are in LA check out the Satellite.
Do check out the footage below that contain snippets and an UPSET full performance.


Robb Donker

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