Live Review: Shiny Around the Edges, The Dinks; Death Cab tonight…

Category: Blog — @ 5:40 pm April 13, 2009

The smoking Quonset hut has been dismantled, freshly graded beach sand has been added to the volleyball courts, spring is in definitely in the air at O’Leaver’s. After catching a little bit of The Ten Commandments (Nile turns to blood, green death sequences) it was off to everyone’s favorite booze dispenser, where I arrived just in time for Shiny Around the Edges. I’m told they change their line-up frequently. For Saturday night, the band featured frontman Mike Seman, his wife on drum (not drums) and a guy on bass for a set that can only be described as “experimental tribal noise.” The first 15 or 20 minutes was drum and bass and feedback and ethereal vocal/chants. The last 10 minutes, when Seman switched to drum and his wife strapped on a second bass, was more interesting in a throbbing-post-rock sort of way. The set was more “out there” then I remember the last time they came through; you got to hand it to them for changing things around.

The Dinks got off to a rough start thanks to a broken bass string, but their follow-through was golden. Most of the guys in this band were in the now-defunct Shanks — a violent, free-for-all punk experience that had a way of driving itself off of a cliff every time they performed. Shanks shows were dirty train wrecks that consisted of thrown beer bottles and man-on-man make-out sessions. The Dinks are a different thing altogether. There is an obvious, focused attempt to make this into a rock band rather than a performance-art experience. The result is better music that ranges from punk to metal to straight-up rock. I credit the double-guitar attack, which is getting there but isn’t quite there yet. And while I enjoy Shanks’ recordings purely for their noisy decadence, this band’s songs could be acceptably added to anyone’s playlist. This is rock music — not garage rock — just rock, and if they keep their eyes on melodies (yes, melodies) they could turn into a winner. Check out the action photo from Saturday night (and get a peek at O’Leaver’s state-of-the-art stage).

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Tonight at The Holland Center, it’s Death Cab for Cutie with Cold War Kids and Ra Ra Riot. This is promising to be a memorable show for those lucky enough to have tickets. I don’t. The 1 Percent website says that it’s sold out, but was still offering second-tier tickets at $35 apiece, but they won’t last long. Show starts at 8.

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