I ended up at Dan Sung Sa again, a rare late night eatery in Oakland, and a new personal fave. They are open evenings only from 6pm-2am. The walls are plastered with vintage Korean movie posters and most of the seats are in cute little curtained booths. If you find yourself in Oakland after midnight, check them out at 2775 Telegraph. The spicy pork is delicious. The menu is extensive and includes chicken gizzards, snail salad and yogurt soju!
Just prior, LA based Radar Brothers played the Rickshaw Stop (for the very first time). The crowd was small but the band didn't seem to care. They added some new members since I saw them last. The young dudes on keyboard, guitar and bass brought a fresh energy to the brilliant songs of elder Radar Brother, Jim Putnam. "And the Birds" from the new record, The Illustrated Garden, was a real high point with four part harmonies (yes, four!). The show covered lots of new material including another bird song called "For the Birds." Between the performance and all the birds, I was hooked. I purchased the new record, a t-shirt and a copy of the first (self-titled) record from 1996. They also had their debut EP available from 1993, but I had run out of cash. The band came out for 2 encores. I couldn't remember the name of that song about chivalry so I kept my mouth shut, but somehow they picked up on it telepathically and pulled out my all time favorite RB tune, "Shifty Lines," from the beautiful 1999 record, The Singing Hatchet. They closed with "You and the Father" from 2002's And the Surrounding Mountains, another masterpiece.
Oakland's Man/Miracle had the middle slot. They played a very inspired set. I enjoyed the syncopated pop, the African style guitar work a la Abe Vigoda, and I really appreciated the singer's voice, but I am fairly picky with vocals and I couldn't get past the singer's 1980's influences. Having suffered through the '80s once myself, I think he often does a bit too much with his impressive vocal range. I hope to be less critical when they play July 23rd at the Verdi Club for our very own Regional Bias 2010. They will share the stage with John Vanderslice, Thao Nguyen and Exray's.
The night began with Mist and Mast. The Berkeley based band has some serious guitar action going on. There are bits of Crazy Horse in there, and some Rolling Stones as well, and for a moment I imagined them sitting around listening over and over to the holy grail, Television's Marquee Moon. Maybe I was just stuck, in the mood for Radar Brothers' lazy vocal drawl, but once again I had some issues with the singing. It often seemed like a mismatch to the mighty guitars. I do yearn to hear these guys play a few instrumentals.
Tags: Radar Brothers, Mist and Mast, Man/Miracle