Autolux Rattled Eardrums @ GAMH, 4/25/09

My ears are still ringing.

Last time I saw Autolux was a Noise Pop show in 2007 at The Independent. Their set was cut short due to some fried amps or something. I had to ditch my ticket at the last minute when they came around last year. This time, I wasn’t missing it.

Autolux has been riding a buzz wave for several years now- a long time for only putting out one album. Their second album has been held up for awhile now- I was looking forward to hearing the new stuff.

I walked in late to this show, coming from a fundraiser party for a good friend who is getting a liver transplant next week. The opener on stage was playing super dreamy, slow music- not what I was looking for, not what I needed.

When Autolux hit the stage, the tone changed. The room darkened, the crowd grew oddly hostile. As they launched into their first song, my ears screamed in protest. They were a wall of sound, near My Bloody Valentine style. I don’t know if it was where I was standing or what, but my ears were bleeding even with my super fancy earplugs. Perhaps it was just a shock to my system after the opener- I soon gave into the full auditory assault and it felt good after the first song.

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First thing I noticed was that Eugene seemed very smiley and happy compared to the last time I saw them. Carla, dressed all in white, was like the angel of drumming. Greg was very focused. The stage was so dark that you couldn’t help but get lost in the sound, except for the moments when Eugene does his guitar tricks, which, as any regular reader of HRC knows, gets me very excited! The axe is wielded like a baseball bat to the amp, or pressed up against the mic stand for ultimate distortion. Love it.

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This is going to sound really odd, but there’s something about Autolux that makes me think of the fifties. I think it’s because the first song of theirs that I heard was ‘Here Comes Everybody‘, and hearing “sha-la-la” made me think of the Beach Boys or something. Perhaps paired with band members’ old school names like Eugene and Carla, I’ve never been able to shake this sentiment.

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The new songs sound good, but at this point I still have to give it to the old favorites ‘Turnstile Blues’ and ‘Capital Kind of Strain’. There are some video snippets, albeit very dark ones, that I took below.

The set was barely one hour, with a one song encore. I really like Autolux, but the love is going to have to wait until the second album hits and I see a longer set.

They had a really cool poster on sale that I hope to pick up online later…..I believe Carla designed it.

Once again, the marquee was taken down before I left the venue. GAMH, what’s the rush to move on to the next show? I guess I will need to make a point to take the picture before I go inside….

OVERALL: 8.25/10
Autolux performance: 8.5/10
venue (GAMH): 9/10
crowd/scene: 8/10
value ($18.00/ticket): 7.5/10
memorable: 7/10

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