Although indie booking giant Foundation Presents is as defining a force as it gets in this city's music scene, it's not on the local front. But Marshal Rones, one of the group's newer and most enterprising staff members, has been changing that. This summer, he initiated free Monday shows at Olde 64. In the new year, he'll up the local scene events happening at their HQ compound (which includes the Beacham, the Social, Olde 64 and Aero) yet another click.
Beginning Jan. 6, he'll launch Punk on the Patio, a monthly concert series featuring a very attractive combination of setting, value and schedule. Like the name suggests, the shows will happen at the Patio, the great exterior urban space that was Eye Spy. Contrary to the name, however, the music won't just be limited to punk. The debut features the indie-pop effervescence of Out Go the Lights and the technical breezes of Slumberjack alongside the fuzz-punk brilliance of Flashlights.
Cover will be $5, which is standard. But that includes a free drink (any domestic or well), which is generous, and delicious. And with a tight, relatively early show time – doors at 8 p.m., music at 9 p.m., over by midnight – Punk on the Patio is very doable for music heads who also have responsibilities. No school-night excuses needed.
Now local scenesters have new reason to follow the Social's calendar because there hasn't been this much street-level stirrings from this usually national-minded group since the administration of about six years ago that brought cool events there like Garage Days.
Grindcore is a narrow genre whose dense hairs are difficult to split for practically all but heavy-music academics. What's clear about Tampa's Kaya, however, is that they're a furious band that rushes headlong, hits hard and does not fuck around. They came to town (Dec. 9, Uncle Lou's), set up their equipment and then raged full-blast for maybe 10 minutes, tops. Seriously punk.
Of course, just when I say how narrow grindcore is, Canadian headliner Fuck the Facts comes with an expansive and box-shattering vision of it. I've been to many extreme shows, grind and otherwise. But in sound and bearing, it was like suddenly seeing in color. They were total wrath, but a kind that was also somehow dimensional and atmospheric. And they ripped with presence electrifying enough to prove one of the most distinctive grind outfits I've seen in a very long time, possibly ever.
With OW's silver anniversary issue, warm nostalgia was the theme last week. Apparently, it was a big enough deal that the cosmos played along, bringing Latin-alternative band Aterciopelados back to town. Seriously, the timing was supernatural. I dropped their name in my essay on former music editor Jason Ferguson and they played here the next day (Dec. 10, the Social). The Colombian band doesn't come often, Ferguson was the one who introduced me to their music, and my first and last time seeing them was in his company and his employ as OW's new music columnist back in 2006 at a Latin nightclub just off I-Drive.
Fate pays attention, guys. Watch your ass.
I was immediately struck at that first encounter by their art-freak energy. But seeing them now in a pro concert venue that I'm very familiar with, their place in the music galaxy is much more manifest. The turnout was strong and the fever even stronger, with lots of cheering and sing-alongs. In a proper live facility, their performance was even better, showing fully how well they synthesize the edge of progressiveness and the soul of tradition in ways that aren't forced or Frankenstein.
And because the zeitgeist right now is skewed so hard with all the xenophobic and, ironically, un-American rhetoric swirling about, I'm noting exactly how nice it was to be back in touch with a human experience like this. Hardly any English was spoken onstage at this concert and I didn't understand a word, but I felt all the soul. Fuck that other noise.