Last Tuesday, November 26, Santa Cruz noise rockers Comets on Fire played their first Oakland show in six years. The mighty Stranded Records managed to set it up at the fabulous White Horse Inn. Advance tickets sold out and there was a long line for tickets the evening of the show. The band formed in 1999 and disappeared in 2008. From Oakland they head to the UK for the All Tomorrows Parties festival. This was my first experience with the band.
Holy Echoplex! I have never see a band use an Echoplex (tape delay effect) with such enthusiasm. With multiple guitars blazing, they easily accomplished a wall of noise that filled the tiny White Horse. With little pause, the band burned through over an hour music that ran the gamut. My favorite moments sounded like Roky Erickson singing Neil Young’s “Danger Bird.” Low points veered into the feared jam band territory.
Thanksgiving Thursday, the Night Light hosted a very festive little rock show. Yea-Ming Chen opened up the evening. She has finally assembled a full band of her own, and she seemed to enjoy it quite a bit, even taking a deserved moment to introduce the members. It was a real treat to hear this material in a new, more complete way. I am very thankful.
Seattle’s Week of Wonders played next. Unfortunately the already small crowd had thinned even further, because these guys rocked. I guess they call this blend ‘tropical punk’. It’s a fair title. The guitars possess a wild freedom most associated with Nigerian players. Putting it all together, they remind me most of the late great Abe Vigoda (from LA). There might be a little Dodos in there as well.
Oakland’s very cute Deadpanzies closed out this turkey day. I’m not sure they will consider it a compliment, but they seemed a little more polished than their recent Oakland appearance at Total Trash last month. Considering they play only bass and drums, they make a lot of noise, and some of it sorta catchy. Even up against the all white clothes of the prior act, they certainly win for best outfits.