Show @ The Smell feat. Abe Vigoda and friends

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After a mentally exhausting few days, I was more than delighted to finally get back to the Smell for the first time in a month or so. The amount of press that place has gotten in the past year is beyond nutty at this point. After going there the first time about two years ago, I would never have imagined to see the Smell written up everywhere, The New Yorker, Pitchfork,Vanity Fair, and to name a few. Even with all the new found press though, the crowd hasn’t seemed to have changed all that much, and the intimacy between bands and fans hasn’t changed a bit. This place is still just as special. How many people can say they can see some of their favorite acts in a tiny venue with less than 100 people with any regularity. One of my favorite parts of going to the Smell is getting their early for the undercard. I can’t even begin to name how many of my favorite bands/artists that I first saw opening for a band there.

The doors opened at 9 like usual, and I got there at 10. I just missed the opening set by the first performance ever by Small Breed(featuring members of Mika Miko, Silver Daggers, and Kyle H. Mabson). Soon after a young band called Hey Buddy and the Pals played a nice little set. They opened by saying “Hey we’re Hey Buddy and we’re from the I.E.” Then their posse of high school girls got all excited, and I figured I’d be walking out in 5 mins. I’ve never been to the Inland Empire, and I haven’t seen David Lynch’s film “I.E.” either, but I’ve heard nothing positive. In fact, the only thing I currently associate with the name is this youtube video that I discovered when looking for videos of Captain Ahab ( That guy in the video sums up I.E. enough for me. But a lot of great bands have come out of some real crappy parts of Southern Cailfornia. That being said though I really kind of enjoyed Hey Buddy. They seemed to be an Abe Vigoda jr, sharing similar styles in riffs, noise, and barely discernible vocals. Overall a pretty fun set.

Talbot Tagora were the following band to play. I overheard a bunch of people saying some good things about them before they went on, so I expected some good stuff. But, I really don’t remember much at all. I remember quick punchy drums, and two guitarists that both had just enough distortion to have their sounds merge into noisy mush. Granted, they were playing on the floor without the PA, and I was a few rows back, all the way to the side. Yet somehow though, it erased all bad vibes I had from the past few days. I got lost in the distortion, and I was OK with that. That’s all I could’ve really asked from them. I have no idea what they sound like, or look like, but I enjoyed it.

Teenage Moms aka Tony

The next set was Teenage Moms (members of Mika Miko and Finally Punk). After a ceremonial lipstick application to the band members and a declaration that they’d no longer be Teenage Moms, but Tony, I figured they’d be fun if nothing else. They proved to be just that; good, clean, fun rock (punk?, idk). At one point I decided I really liked the guitarist sound/tone, and wanted to see what she was using. I must say I felt pretty stupid seeing her plugged directly into her Blues Jr. Amp (the same one I had before those fuckers robbed me). I haven’t seen that in a while, and was pretty impressed. That’s just like jumping in naked, so bravo for that.

Abe Vigoda

Abe Vigoda was pretty great. After going throughout the whole show earplugged, I unplugged for them. I needed them to be louder. Unplugging for the last set is kind of like holding out all the red starbursts for last. Though, I’ve realized later in life though they kind’ve all taste pretty great……ANYHOW, they hadn’t played in a while, presumably due to their drummers broken wrist, so they had a pretty nice turn out. The drummer still was in a cast for his right arm, but was able to still rock pretty hard with just 1 hand. Def Leopard would be so proud! They seem to be the most plugged band in the Smell community by other Smell bands, while still not collecting the same press. I think they have a really great and unique sound. Trying to describe them, I’d probably call it Beach Punk. I made that term up, but I think it fits. By beach though I’m in no way associating them with the HB Strut, South Bay Punk, or any sort of Hardcore reference. These guys aren’t going for that kind of edge. I hear a mix between old surfer music, and noise rock. It sounds a bit punky, but barely. The show was short but sweet. At the end the two guitarists finished off with a few minutes of wild feedback that somehow seemed to be working in harmony. By putting the mic to the amp, an endless loop of noise was continued until they both decided to pull the plug. It was a good and fun show. I felt cleansed from all the built up stress from the previous days. thanks.



Written by RocksRocksRocks

March 27, 2008 at 5:59 am

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