Rock a la Carte: Dommin, Seventh Void, Kill Hannah @ Slim's, Mini Mansions, Spinnerette @ GAMH, 7/27/09
It never fails- I go over a week without a show, twiddling my thumbs, and then there are two I want to see on the same night. Lucky for me, my well-connected friend Umlaut took me as his plus one to both shows, so I got to have my cake and eat it too. Sort of.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, 7:30pm is too fucking early for a rock show. I’m barely out of work mode, I don’t have time to primp, and forget about eating. Good thing I only take 5 minutes to get dressed and I don’t eat. OK, maybe I take 10 minutes….
Umlaut had seen Dommin with me at Warped last month. He needed to see them in their natural habitat: a dark club, complete with their props- roses. Lots of them. The light was still peeking through the doors as they took the stage, but close enough. The roses that decorate their mics may be fake, but the ones that hang from the keyboards are real. I wonder who’s job it is to get those for every show. Is there a rose wrangler? The girls are screaming- the San Francisco Dommin contingency is growing. They were rewarded with dramatic rose tosses into the crowd- one by one between each song. It was the same set from Warped, only quieter (noise complaints have had an effect on Slim’s shows). Lots of thank yous were said at the end, as this was their last show of the tour.
Next up was Seventh Void, which features the vocalist and drummer from Type O Negative. Before you start thinking that they sound anything like Type O, or Dommin for that matter, they don’t. They are doom metal with a Southern injection- odd for guys from Brooklyn. While their performance didn’t blow me away, I liked the sound enough to check out their album. The last two songs of their set were infiltrated by the Dommin guys, in the typical end of tour antics that I love to catch. Bags of balloons and silly string were unleashed on the band while playing, complete with a sign reading something like ‘you have been Domminated’. Then the cymbals were removed from the drum kit by some members of the other bands on the bill. It was funny, but pretty disruptive for someone trying to evaluate a set…just sayin’!
As I saw members of Kill Hannah trickle on stage, I became doubtful of the enjoyment I would receive from their set. Dreads on one, some weird faux hawk mullet thing on another, business casual on yet another, and a hoodie on the singer. They were completely all over the map with style. And don’t even get me started on the lasers. Well, if I must: they have green lasers shooting out from the pegs of their guitars! WTF. Hi, I’m a gimmick, and I’m going to blind you with it! Their sound, electro pop rock, was such a departure from Seventh Void that I decided to spend the time in the bathroom fixing my lipstick and stopping to say hi to the Dommin guys.
Seriously, how did this tour get put together? I guess it’s for 18 year olds having an identity crisis- but the audience didn’t seem to entirely fit that demo. The headliner was Lacuna Coil, which we skipped, because….
It was time to move on to part 2 of the evening- off to Great American Music Hall! Man, walking into this venue sure makes you realize that Slim’s is kind of a dump in comparison. When the guy at the front door stamps my hand, he turns it over and smiles, “you’ve already been at Slim’s!” Yep! Mini Mansions are on stage. I really feel like I’m on some kind of genre tour as this band is poppy indie rock with a smidgen of psych for flavor. The sound here is so much better that, even though this band is a bit mellow for my liking, they were much easier to get into than the previous three just because I could get a bit absorbed into their sound. They did an interesting cover of ‘Heart of Glass’. I was told their bassist is from QOTSA (‘Mikey Shoes’).
I was a bit worried that Spinnerette would be a major hipster douchefest, but it turned out to be only partially so. Apparently the buzz hasn’t quite reached all of them yet. But the ones that were there were in full effect- drunken girl on girl arguments, drunken boy crowd surfing. The most noticeable thing about the crowd for this set was the Brody Dalle fangirls. I would have to say that she has cult status- hair, makeup, outfits, tats- all mimicked with precision. Oh- and the alcohol and slurring, too.
Spinnerette may have been my favorite performance of the evening, but it was by no means perfect. Perhaps it is not meant to be. Dalle has one of those powerful voices that makes me want to borrow it and try it on just to see what it must feel like to possess such a thing. However, she could really elevate her status if she just tightened up everything a few notches. The performance is a bit loosey-goosey; borderline bedroom performance level at times. The songs from the album soften a bit on stage, like a candy bar left in your pocket. Songs are randomly dedicated to people, and half-baked banter about drinking and the history of the theater fail to completely connect with the crowd.
That said, I appreciate that she’s kind of a mess. After the first song, she spit on stage. Just to the side, not on anyone- but this simple act that guys do all the time is a rarity to see amongst the female artist population. She takes swigs from her beer bottle- no girly wine glass here. I have to think that there is some balance to be had- where she keeps her rough edges but just tightens up the performance. Then she’d truly shine.
The set was on the short side due to limited material, ending with ‘Ghetto Love’. “I’m just a girl out looking for love”….
5 bands, 2 venues, 1 night. This was show number 50 for me for 2009. Damn…