y2k Moshfest 2012, 2014: Garage Vibes at the Grove

I’ll admit it. I was this close to writing a think-piece
about Dean Spunt’s performance piece at last week’s No-Chella, during which he
and his band “sound-checked” for their entire half-hour set.

Fortunately for you, not
even I could manage the insufferable demands of writing such a piece. And
besides, there are more pressing matters at hand, namely the Y2K Moshfest 2012,
2014 that’s going down at Pitzer College tonight, April 18 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

If the name is a little off-putting, I guess you and I have different senses of concert intrigue, but not to fear. This
isn’t a metal or punk show. It’s actually three lovely bands signed to the
supremely reliable source of fuzzy garage pop, Burger Records: Froth, Mr.
Elevator and the Brain Hotel, and Tomorrows Tulips. There’ll even be two
(comically named) student acts for openers: Bone Hedz and Milky Dix.

From Costa Mesa come
Tomorrows Tulips, the duo of Alex Knost and Ford Archbold. They trade in
laid-back, fuzzy bummer pop. Both of them surf, and it shows. Their sophomore
album from last July, Experimental Jelly,
is a blissed-out, summery mess of awesomeness, full of the SoCal vibes that
most bands can only dream of. They write songs that, lacking the brashness of
punk rock, go for the slow burn of nostalgia. 

Knost’s lyrics speak of the
dilemmas that only someone who has fallen in love with the waves can express, such as, on “He Quits,” the story of a man who quits modern life because it’s so
damn dull. And that doesn’t even address his voice. If you left Mac DeMarco out
in the sun for a few weeks, you might end up with something close to Knost’s
affectless croon, the perfect medium for the message of Tomorrows Tulips.

Mr. Elevator and the Brain
Hotel, as you might have guessed from their name, are a much more psychedelic
affair. I mean, come on, their album from last year was called Nico & Her Psychedelic Subconscious, and the first track throws a wah pedal
on an organ. They’re not messing around here (or, more accurately, they totally
are, and they kick ass at it). Their sound is beat-driven psych freak-outs,
undeniably vintage but with a surprising level of production value. Sonic
descendants of Jefferson Airplane and 13th Floor Elevators, they’ll
have no problem getting the dance floor moving, hopefully helping to create the pit
promised by a name like Moshfest.

Froth are similarly
psychedelic, but where Mr. Elevator and the Brain Hotel play around in the fun, lighthearted side
of the genre, Froth take things down to the reverb-drenched inner spaces of
Spacemen 3 and throw them into the ramshackle folk of the Brian Jonestown
Massacre. Their debut record, Patterns,
is an incredible mixture of poppy hooks and profoundly zonked-out textures. The
druggy vocals are drowning in effects, and weird organ drones pop up all over
the place. Even as the typical Burger surfy lead guitar occasionally cuts
through the mix, the walls of wavey, melting noise never let up. If their live
show sounds even half as good, it’ll be worth seeing.

Last but certainly not
least, two (mostly) student acts will be opening the show. Milky Dix (formerly
known as Jorf’s Egg), made up of Jeff Burger PZ ’15 and Shaban Torres PZ ’15,
will be providing some nice garage vibes. They played at the Kohoutek Music and Arts Festival last year, so
I’m sure they’ll have no problem rocking this one. Bone Hedz, consisting of
Annelise Stabenau PZ ’14 and Cherish Robinson, are apparently a brand new act,
so that’ll be dope (and potentially historic).

P.S.: Shout out to Thee
Commons, whom I accidentally forgot to include in last week’s roundup of
No-Chella acts. They totally killed it last Saturday.

Gage Taylor PO ’16 is majoring in media studies and philosophy. He is the electronic music director for the 5C radio station KSPC.

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