I cut my musical teeth on DC hardcore a million years ago, and I used to have a couple of axioms about music. First: hardcore is fundamentally a live medium. Of course I bought the Dischord pressings as they came out (you’ve got to support the home team), but in its ideal form, music should be part of an event, not a captured recording. My second tenet was that a show isn’t worth going to unless the venue is small enough that you stand a good chance of having some of the singer’s bodily fluids land on you at some point.
That was a long time ago in a universe far, far away, but Saturday’s Les Savy Fav show at the El Rey made me affirm those beliefs once again. When I posted about LSF last week, someone commented, in response to the post’s picture, “who’d want to see some fat bearded guy with no shirt and a bucket on his head?” And I just want to say to that commenter and any other doubters, Tim Harrington rocks so hard he restores one’s faith in the whole idea of “indy” music.
If you’ve heard LSF’s music but never been to one of their shows (as was the case with me), you’re missing a lot. It was the kind of show that fills you with good-hearted rebelliousness. “Let’s go do some crimes…. Let’s go get sushi and not pay“–that kind of feeling. The band played a great mixture of old favorites like “Meet Me in the Dollar Bin” and “We’ll Make a Lover of You” and new songs like “Kiss Kiss is Getting Old” and “What Would Wolves Do.” The whole show was amazing, but when Harrington came out to perform “Who Rocks the Party” clad in a Santa shirt and red underwear, it put the evening right over the top. You need to know that something like six or eight giant stuffed teddy bears were disemboweled, dismembered, and flung into the audience during the course of the finale. At the end of the show, the stage was strewn with cotten batting entrails and the happy crowd in front of the El Rey left clutching bear feet and heads. Sadly, P and I were empty handed but we did borrow the bodiless bear head pictured above for a photo op. See Losangealous for a nice series of pictures of the show.