Saturday, October 2, 2010
Show Review: Shonen Knife, Screaming Females, EULA @ Daniel Street
Wednesday, September 29th at Daniel Street was host to a trifecta of power trios, namely Shonen Knife, Screaming Females, and EULA. The evening's festivities were orchestrated by the indefatigable Manic Mark of Manic Productions. The show was shrewdly booked, because even though each band was of nearly the same basic format (trio of guitar/drum/bass with cute-as-a-button lead vocalists), each band had their own unique twist on that format.
New Haven's own EULA was the first band to hit the stage. Their sound is raw and owes a debt to those bands influenced by the punk movement but not necessarily punk themselves. I guess its just what you call alternative rock. More specifically, they've drawn comparisons to Deerhoof, although their bassist was skeptical about this idea. Their set replaced the nervous energy of their most recent show at Daniel Street with a self assurance that perhaps wasn't as noticeable by sight as it was by ear. The riffs seemed heavier and the band seemed more comfortable and confident. The rave up "Rosie" ended the set on a fine note.
Next onstage was Screaming Females from New Brunswick, New Jersey. Their lead vocalist/guitarist was dressed in a conservative dark navy blue/gray dress with a thick white collar and cuffs, an outfit which belied the amount of raw energy output capable of her and the band. Back of the throat Diamanda Galás-esque vocals, the occasional demon scream, and repeated muted down-stroke guitar- and basslines comprised the distinctive aspects of the band, which could most generally be labeled as punk rock. Even the accent of the vocals was somehow characteristically punk rock (dig those diphthongs!). Truly blistering lead guitar parts were also a large part of their sound, which may not seem strictly necessary for punk rock, but was nonetheless totally awesome. After all, as D. Boon said, "Punk is whatever we make it to be."
Finally the headliners of the night's festivities, Shonen Knife, took to the stage. Coming from Osaka, Japan, this all female Ramones-esque pop punk band has been around for thirty years, and their fans have included big name artists such as Kurt Cobain and members of Sonic Youth. The song "Capybara" from their latest album was one of the catchiest of the night. Between songs they relayed anecdotes, one including their drummer falling asleep on a park bench and waking up to find that their tour van was not in sight and with no idea where the venue was. Their kitschy, infectious sound and look as well as their sunny demeanor made for an enjoyable set.
Some more great photos by Sean Lewis: