Live in Cleveland (Last Night)

Last night Drew and I met up at the Happy Dog for the Burger Records showcase. Drew's friend, Tim, was playing his first show as the new drummer for local garage group The Wooly Bullies. The Wooly Bullies play loud & semi-relentless garage rock -- I say semi-relentless because everytime I felt like there was no stopping their forward momentum, they would fall back into an unexpected moment of softer melody. Seeing Tim drum was great & I'm really looking forward to seeing the Wooly Bullies play around town more. (I think they opened for Harlem a little while ago at Now That's Class -- I wanted to go to that show, but didn't end up making it... Just like I didn't make it to the Woven Bones show at Now That's Class last night.) Suggested listening from their MySpace: "Summer Town" and "Drunk Girls."

The Wooly Bullies were followed by The Pizazz, a trio from Detroit and the only other non-California band on the bill aside from The Wooly Bullies. I feel like whenever I talk about contemporary garage music, I'm talking about how I don't like it. I grew up listening to my dad's old Nuggets records & as far as I'm concerned, garage really doesn't get any better than "Moulty" by The Barbarians. Most of what I hear as far as contemporary garage goes doesn't have a tenth of the spirit of the spoken bridge of "Moulty," but The Pizazz were spirited & fun & mixed garage with surf and pop for a perfect short set. They've just released their LP, Get Out of My House (Drew picked up a copy at last night's show, I'm eager to listen to it!) & you can pre-order from Burger Records. According to the band, the first few people to pre-order will get a bonus LP of early material. Suggested listening from their MySpace: "Ocean Liner."

Cosmonauts were the last band we caught (I had to duck out early because of a big work event the next day) & a great way to round out the night. They had big echoing guitars and (on some of the songs) smooth, booming vocals that prompted me to bring up Danzig (much to Drew's chagrin -- but seriously, listen to "Neon Kids" on their MySpace & if you are the kind of person who occasionally likes to sing along to "Skulls" in the car, then you will probably get what I'm talking about.) My favorite song of their set was their closing number, the name of which I sadly didn't catch. It had gorgeous chiming guitars & was much slower than the rest of their set -- normally I'm not a slow song person, but this was paced just right & was a great song to end the night on. Drew picked up the Cosmonauts' cassette, which you can get online from Burger Records (scanning the cassette tracklist, it looks like the song I'm thinking of might have been "Stephanie.") Suggesting listening from their MySpace: "Neon Kids."

We had to duck out before the last two bands played (Cum Stain and Conspiracy of Owls), so I sadly can't comment on their sets. Anyway, for an unplanned night & a $3 cover, I had a great time. The Happy Dog has a couple of other great shows this week -- on Thursday they're hosting Bill Fox (of The Mice) and on Friday Young Mammals, Prisoners, and Cloud Nothings will be playing. I'll maybe be at Thursday's show & will definitely be there on Friday. On a food note: I highly recommend the Happy Dog's tater tots -- their homemade ketchup is awesome & so is the saffron aioli!

The Wooly Bullies on MySpace
The Pizazz on MySpace
The Cosmonauts on MySpace
Burger Records


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