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Mind Out Of The Gutter, Mr. Wi-Fi Snipes Triple Hex

January 27th, 2013 · Tags:Arts · Cities · Wi-Fi

 

 

 

For years I have received cool promo pieces from a certain PR group that specializes in promoting rock bands.  I think we first hooked up on some SXSW music event in Austin.  Anywho, for the most part, they send me notes on concerts that are out of my reach.  But, recently, I received a news release about some up-and-coming artist playing in Brooklyn.  I was working in Manhattan, so, “Let’s do this.”

First off … I loved the venue.  Before visiting The Gutter, I was a little apprehensive about the name.   It conjured up one of the first words I learned from a Thesaurus … “guttersnipe” and all I associated with that.  Ha … Pretty sure I could have qualified as a guttersnipe back in college, but now I am above that.  I digress …  I wondered if this venue would have have people rolling around wasted on the floor, pouring out into the street.

 

 

It didn’t.  In this usage, Gutter was as in bowling.  Brooklyn’s Gutter bar is a funky little bowling alley (eight lanes, rustic, subdude … kind of a retro feel compared with loud bright-lit pin emporiums).  Probably a warehouse in an earlier life.  I don’t even like to bowl but the personality of this place made me want to wear a bad personalized smock and roll ’em.  … Hmm there really are people who are good bowlers!?! I saw skills!  What a nice little hang out among friends.

 

 

The Gutter has Wi-Fi too.  I rated the Wi-Fi at 5 pings in the bowling lanes, and knocked over an additional 2 pings in the bar for the spare — 7 pings total.

 

The Gutter

 

(Ironic that Flo from the Progressive auto insurance advertising campaign is now  singing about “strikes being good in bowling” and “bad in baseball” on my Internet reggae station, as I type this blog. I digress …)

 

Back to The Gutter at hand.  On the other side of the windows that line the first lane was a dark, decorative little bar which a “neighborhood feel” to it, and on the other side of that — a small concert room with a back bar and a stage.

It was on this small stage that I witnessed pure genius.

It wasn’t that Triple Hex, the headliners, were all that good.  Their brillance, however, was in the selection of the two opening acts.  Bless they hearts!

First up, a couple of guys called WOW if one can believe the chalkboard at the door.  Hmmm … their most notable feature was some sort of telephone handset retrofit to make a microphone which produced really cool synthesized vocals … Almost like singing into a bullhorn.  That was interesting.  There wasn’t much more that that to report from their show.  I think the front man had more foot pedals than songs. Their music was bass driven, pulsating, perhaps repetitious but at times had hints of a rock/blues lineage.  More often, artsy experimentation … definitely the early years for this band … or let’s hope so.

 

WOW

 

OMG!  It got worse.  The first band did not set the bar high.  The second band lost ground.  They made me think I missed the best opportunity ever.  I should have grabbed a guitar or a microphone and got on stage, joining in the fray with them.  I can’t play or sing a lick … no one would have noticed.  It was that bad.  Bless they hearts!  I think they were called Ballroom.  Is that a joke?

 

More new musicians, I hope.  As a group – somewhat of a identity crisis.  No predominant look or anyone resembling an established stage presence.  Here’s an example.  I won’t say which one, but one bandmember was actually picking his nose on stage between songs. And that wasn’t some punk-seeking-a-reaction thing.  It was mindless and/or nervous harvesting, unaware he was sharing.

 

In a way, the ensemble was like a punk band.  They couldnt really play their instruments … but at least punk bands couldn’t play their instruments at a really fast tempo.  It was interesting to watch Brooklyn hipsters swaying around to the feedback.  Were they just being polite, or did they dig “The Emporer’s New Clothes” so to speak?  Surely, on the inside, they were laughing …

 

Dave Hex

 

 

Finally … the stalling was over at 11 and Triple Hex took over.  As I said … brilliant to follow those first two acts.  I was ready for anything to make a change.  Old T-Hex frontman Dave Hex was a rock god among men … at least compared to the first two acts.

 

Triple Hex actually had some nice gritty guitar work, but I would have to rate the vocals as subpar. If you must emulate someone, Iggy Pop should be off limits.  And the drumming …  One reviewer called it “tribal.”  Ha … I think they meant primitive.  Apologies, but  very fundamental and expressionless rhythm .. Perhaps rudimentary …Waka wak-wak, waka wak-wak waka wak-wak … I would say the music was danceable in an almost Surf Punk, instrumental kinda way. But not much excitement.  I am sure the lyrics must have been very meaningful as the band’s tried-and-true followers nodded along, but for me the words were nearly indecipherable live.

 

Triple Hex Sampler

 

Having done my homework, I sampled songs like “Viking Funeral” and “Winter” online prior to the show and see much potential in the studio … digitized, the guitar  work really shines.  However at this EP release party, I wasn’t as intrigued.  I don’t know if Triple Hex has something to say.  But these lyrics, I understood fully and found them lacking:

“I don’t want any love songs, I just want to (expletive)” …

Shock value just don’t impress me much any more …

 

3 pings for the show — That’s 0 pings for the first band.  Null for the second.  And triple pings for Triple Hex, who carried the load.

 

Know what I sayin?