I don’t get out to see bands as often as I’d like but I definitely make a point of trying to see Portland based Quasi whenever they make the trip South to the Bay Area. I’m always left with the feeling that I’ve been hanging out with friends after one of their shows. No rock star attitude, just excellent music performed by genuine people. Janet Weiss (current Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks and former Sleater-Kinney beat-keeper) and Sam Coomes (who used to be in one of my favorite local bands The Donner Party as well as doing Heatmiser with Elliot Smith) have been making a very distinctive brand of pessimistic power pop for over fifteen years now. They inject a healthy dose of atonality into the indie rock formula that keeps things interesting and Sam’s catchy crooning is a perfect foil for lyrics brimming with irony and cynicism. Ms. Weiss is one the best drummers around and I’m crushing on the heft added by Jicks bass player Joanna Bolme (who is apparently a full fledged member now). Last night’s show at the Rickshaw Stop was not the smoothest show they’ve done in these parts but Sam forgetting the words to a tune or two or starting a different song than the one his band mates were charging into is part of their charm.
To give you an idea of what their live show’s all about here are a couple of tracks from the bonus live cd that came with 2003′s Hot Shit, called Live Shit (natch) :
Under a Cloud
A big reason to go see more bands: the “self-released sold only at shows” CD. Taking advantage of obsessive completists like myself is a time honored tradition and Janet was up to the task, selling me a copy of Quasi Self Boot 93-95 that features sundry outtakes and singles like this nifty Prince cover:
Take Me With You
I was very impressed by the opening set (and first show ever) by peoplepeole, a new side project from Tyson Vogel (Two Gallants) featuring Andrew Kerwin (Trainwreck Riders), Antonio Roman-Alcala (Dear Nora) and Jesse Sabin. Great noisy guitar indie rock that sounds like this: Rock Ins.
Janet Weiss will be back with Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks for a free show at Amoeba Records this Wednesday.