Bottom of the Hill. The venue oozes with offbeat charm, which is promptly eaten up by it’s hipster frequenters. Tonight, the hooded, skinny-jeaned, purposefully unkempt tastemakers greet me at the corner with their too-cool-for-school clan stares. I snarl in return and go inside.
Mi Ami, locals who attract this type, are onstage. Their electro rock beats are conjured up by three gents. The one doing the shrieking is of indeterminate age; he could be in high school, he could be thirty. All I know is that he sounds like a girl. In fact, when I took them for a brief test drive on their myspace earlier today, I totally thought it was a chick band. My bad.
He thrashed around frenetically, often putting the mic in his mouth to sing, sans hands. He’s barefoot. The drummer keeps tribal time for the shrieker; the bassist rocks side to side. Something in the back of my mind starts humming Le Tigre. The hipsters are uber happy, and when the band is done, they promptly leave. They only come for openers.
Of course, the name Pissed Jeans may have scared them off. It was interesting to see the crowd I often share shows with swoop in for the headliner. Changing of the guards! My timing was off.
The show coincided with the release of their third album, King of Jeans, which has a head scratcher of an album cover. This was also their first show in SF. They started by slapping each others’ hands, removing their shirts (well, two of them), and getting to it.
Pissed Jeans is kinda all about the lead singer Mike Korvette. He starts by roundhouse kicking the mic stand sideways and catching it for the first vocal. With moves often Chippendale-esque, he traverses the stage screaming and shoving things down his pants. He pulled apart the mic stand, darting around with with the top half stuck to the mic and the bottom half serving as a menacing booby trap for his cross stage maneuvers. He tied the mic up to the string of lights and tongued it for a bit. I hope they changed mics from the last set.
A narrow, brutal pit erupts on the floor, and the temperature and humidity promptly rises in my vicinity. I’m comparing Pissed Jeans to Fucked Up in my head….they start down a path together, but where FU veers off into epic-land, PJ keeps it raw and simple. There’s room for both.
The set is short- barely an hour. The crowd chants ‘Ice Cream’ to squeeze that one song out of them for the encore. “That’s all”. The crowd yells for more.
I think Pissed Jeans will be back around for seconds with SF.