Total Trash 2014 came to its filthy climax at Leo’s on Halloween and proved once again why it is the world’s best budget music festival. Night one was all covers, with headliners Shannon and the Clams playing Metallica. I was never into Metallica, but that has all changed, I have seen the light. The Clams were on fire – hands down the greatest show of their career. They play the Eagle on November 13. Your chances to see The Clams at the Eagle may be very limited – be early or be left outside.
The fun continued on Saturday at Eli’s Mile Club where The Phantom Surfers headlined. Kicking ass since 1988, the Surfers returned with their surf-tastic blend of rawk ‘n’ roll. Russell Quan played guitar instead of drums (he had played drums at the start of the evening with The Chuckleberries). The stone-faced bass player worked the behind-the-head trick without cracking a smile or missing a note.
Thee Tee Pees came up from LA and brought the angriest set of the evening, combining hardcore punk and garage in just right proportions.
Oakland’s Ogres played a very tight set of garage dance jams. First they taught us “The Waddle” and a little later everyone was doing “The Crouch”. Singer, guitarist Johnny Bartlett is the man behind Hillsdale Record Company. Starting with The Trashwomen in 1992, Hillsdale has been pressing some of the hippest vinyl in the universe! The Ogres play this Thursday November 6 at Winters Tavern in Pacifica. Do yourself a favor and go.
Charlie Megira came all the way from Berlin (via Tel Aviv). Charlie played his first US tour last spring with a band of Bay Area locals backing him up (Michael Beach and Alexa Pantalone). He returns for his second US tour with his own imported band of misfits The Bet She’an Valley Hillbillies. Charlie was in rare form dressed in a Tallit.
I bought a “mountain of tater tots” for the bass player (it was her first days on US soil and she had never heard of them). The band is headed cross country but concludes the tour nearby: November 23 at the Make Out Room and November 25 at the Night Light. Don’t miss the chance to see them! This is rusty Memphis-style rock re-interpreted through life in Israel, exile in Berlin, and loads of acid.
Guitars & Bongos, Eran Yarkon’s Oakland based record label, fought long and hard to bring Charlie here, bongos and all. We are most appreciative.
The Scouse Gits rolled in from Sacramento with a blazing set of garage rock. The singer did some impressive leaps off the bass drum. If you are up Sacramento way, check them out at The Hideaway on Saturday, November 8.
The Teutonics took first prize for beer consumption. They also handed out FREE raffle tickets. Fortunately I didn’t win. Raffle odds leaned heavily towards “beer on the head.”
The Teutonics can only be described as the German version of the S’Lobsters. The S’Lobsters, of course, are a crustacean version of The Teutonics. These crazy kids know how to have a good rockin’ time. They took full advantage of the beer coolers on stage (GBV style). They must have grabbed 20 PBRs during their set: drinking, spraying, or pouring on the head.
All this and more for $20? Why can’t all festivals be like this?