October 7, 2012
Chelsea Light Moving. White Out
285 Kent. Sep 12. 2012
Showed up to 285 Kent with my stepbrother Matthew Savins Jr. in tow. Being somewhat green to the freak scene inside, I noticed he anxiously eyes the crumbling brick facade of the “venue”. His only question to me prior to going in was “How much are tickets?”
I froze up.
Scrambling to find a price that would placate him I blurted out “Fifteen… fifteen dollars at most”, thinking it safe to highball the ten dollars I assumed it was gonna cost. I’ve learned to let Matty down easy since the divorce. To be perfectly frank, I hadn’t even thought about “ticket prices”, and I see now that that gross oversight was to be the beginning of an unfortunate downward spiral that would cost me a friendship and a brand new Montreal Expos baseball cap. But I digress.
As we walked up to the ticket selling “girl” I not only felt tension rising off Matt but now also from his good buddy Dave who decided last minute to join us and “catch a show with the boys”. Poor bastard. So yeah, we got up to the counter and this cheery smiling girl chimes up “It’s a twenty dollar suggested donation”, her smile never changing a bit, not even a bit. I knew this wasn’t going to sit well with my “guests” and I didn’t dare turn around. I could feel Matt’s breathing becoming more pronounced, heavier. “Well, it’s a benefit show so…” (For Tom Carter of Charalambides) I reasoned internally as I handed her the cash. I heard some quiet murmuring between Matt and Dave as they went for their wallets. The mood shifted.
“Why?” I could see them thinking. “Why 20 bucks, and who is this Tom Carter guy?” Maybe this is the future of punk rock that Billy Corgan warned us about. I didn’t know what was going through their sick heads but I wasn’t about to let it get me down. No. I was here to see the Chelsea Light Move.
Anyways… after that rude entrance I needed a drink. I got the attention of a pretty bartender and motioned for her to come within earshot because I’m above screaming out my drink orders these days. “What can I get ya?” she quipped. “What’s yr cheapest can?” I said softly with minimal embarrassment and before I could fully finish the question she was handing me a can of what I can only faintly recollect as Bacardi Lemon/Love 8% apv.5 “One dollar” she said without making any eye contact and I couldn’t blame her. I paid the buck, tipped a buck and backed away quickly into the crowd, knowing full well that regrettably I’d be back. The mood in the room was a mixture of boredom and body odor. I tried to explain to my “friends” that the opening rock group White Out was rich with traditional blues grooves and emotionally prodding instrumental sprees that would bring them back, mentally at least, to their glory days, where Boz Scaggs ran amok on FM radio. I was lying of course. I was into watching their reactions as much as I was into watching the show. That’s a fact.
White Out don’t ever really start, there’s just sounds coming from the stage with no beginning. How can I explain that? Probably better off not even trying. If the Christians don’t have to then neither do I. I take my attention off the horrified expressions of my cousin and his bro and gaze floor wards. There’s nothing to see on stage, this my friends is all about the noises. The first 10 minutes of their set sounds like three chronic masturbators reaching collective painful orgasms.
Jesus, I’m getting off track again. Anyways, after about a half hour of chaotic flute and beautiful piano + percussion White Out reach that final barking climax and immediately roll over and go into a deep, deep instant slumber. Just like that. There’s no beginning but a definite end. Get used to it, thems the brakes. We head outside to smoke Parliament Lights.
The following is an interview I conducted with Matt Savins and David Wise (note: David is from Australia and possibly fearing for his Visa has since denied even being at the show let alone participating in this interview.)
“So you hated what exactly?”
Dave Wise: “There was no organization, no… organization”
Dave Wise: “Yeah. There was nothing really. Nothing special really… good for the people that liked it but I didn’t feel any honesty really.”
Me: “I think I’m beginning to agree with you. So uhhh Matt… what’d you think about White Out?”
Matt Savins: “Interesting to see live. I liked the changes. I didn’t know what to expect because you mentioned the Boz Scaggs connection which I didn’t really feel was represented at all but, yeah, it was pretty cool”
Me: “What did you guys expect?”
Matt Savins: “Well my mother used to sing to me when I got in one of my “demeanors” as she puts it. Her pitch soothed me. This had the complete opposite effect!” (Takes his phone out and it’s actually his Mom calling which causes everybody to start giggling like middle school girls).
After a brief intermission in which Matt speaks in stern tones to his mother we all get back down to the interview, now in full view of Thurston Moore who has taken it upon himself to invade our corner and throw mocking glances. I do my best to put him out of my mind. Ignoring my peripheral I finish the interview, sort of.
Me: “Have you guys ever seen a show like this?”
Matt Savins: “Stop fucking bothering me! I’m trying to text my Mom! Seriously, enough is enough! It’s not funny anymore!”
Me: “Whatever dude. I’ll step off. Did you at least have a good time?”
David Wise: “For me it was. I’m not really concerning myself with the music at this point. There’s some fine chicks in the room though. Ha! They’ve got to be some real freaky bitches to be at a show like this man!”
Me: “We’re all freaky bitches, no?”
Dave: … (Just stares ahead, says nothing.)
End of interview
Heading back inside to see Chelsea Light Moving I start to wonder why I’m even trying to write about all this shit. Am I bored? Hungry? Stupid? I ponder these questions a while until they suddenly start. “Don’t shoot, we are yr children. Don’t shoot, we are yr children” Thurston sings over and over. Fuck! This is good, really good! Ever since Sonic Youths “hiatus” Thurston’s been out and about, releasing a pretty good solo record last year and touring behind it with these cats, Samara Lubelski commanding the bass, John Maloney punishing the drums, and Keith Wood “screaming at” the guitar. This is their first NYC show and Jesus God, they’re playing the shit out of it. Having only heard some live stuff on the interweb I wasn’t prepared for such a straight forward “rock band”. “Frank O’ Hara Hits” sounds like a different song when played this loud and this Johnny Ramone like. Every song sounds familiar even though I’ve only heard maybe two of ‘em. I love when that happens, and that never happens. These tunes all remind me of songs that could have fit on Thurston’s amazing record “Psychic Hearts.” I’ve been in a bit of a funk since the rumor of Sonic Youths demise but this show lifted me out it, temporarily. I love this new band, I’m just gonna say it. Chelsea Light Moving played a great show that got down to business and stayed off kilter at the same time. Kinda like a mullet, business in the front and party in the back. You know a band is good if they can be compared to a hairstyle.
As I leave the venue sans Matt or Dave I hear someone shouting something I assume isn’t directed towards me. I ignore it and keep walking, not wanting to allow anything to bring me back down. The shouts turn to yelps. “Hey! Hey you!” I turn around and notice that it’s Thurston Moore and he’s yelling at me. “Yeah” I say. “Hey man, what’s that thing yr drinking?” I notice that I’m still gripping the dollar Bacardi can in my left hand. “How much are those?” “This? Uhhh I think it was like six bucks, yeah, six plus tip, something like that.” “Cool, that’s not bad, not bad at all” he shouts back, then makes a beeline back into 285 Kent through the side door. “Yeah” I think… “It’s not so bad.”
End. Jasen Ribadenera
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