No Age, Moris Tepper @ the Troub 8/23/07

As published in L.A. Record:

Local duo No Age is what the early Velvet Underground would’ve sounded like if Lou Reed were a happy punker (just try and listen to the rhythm of “Everybody’s Down” and not think of VU). Guitarist Randy Randall and singer/drummer Dean Spunt blast LOUD, raw, enthusiastic, experimental punk rockage fused with melodic pop, using fuzzed-out guitars over incessantly pounding drums with layer upon layer of cymbal crashes and feedback loops and angst-ridden lyrical mantras like “Well, I hate you/ I hate you/my life’s alright without you” and “Everybody’s down/every soul in every town/everybody’s got me going oooh-ahhh ooh-ahh ooh-ahh oooh,” and yes, I realize this is a run-on sentence, but it pretty much sums up the intense whirlwind feel of a No Age show. Though the Troubadour crowd is notorious for exploring how motionless it can be at any given time, expect to see manic crowd surfing at any other venue No Age plays. As for the evening’s openers: I completely missed the Mae Shi (sorry guys) and Moris Tepper, whom I try to see at every opportunity, was amazingly kick-ass as expected, though I missed (damnit!) all but the three last songs.

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Clinic at the Troub 3/2/07


Famous for donning surgical masks and scrubs on a stage decorated with old medical equipment, Liverpudlian quartet Clinic makes music that sounds as if it were created in a dank abandoned hospital (think Lars von Trier’s “The Kingdom”).

Courtnay and I arrived at the Troubadour last Friday in time to catch a most boring set by Sea Wolf. With all those people on stage you’d think there’d be a little more action, but they were as dull and lifeless as the Troub’s notoriously lackadaisical audience.

However, all hints of boredom ceased once Clinic took the stage. I was blown away when I saw them a couple of years ago and was again this time ’round. Donning their regular surgical masks, with monk-like scrubs and mysterious top hats, the band’s unique brand of stark garage-tinged rock blended with haunting grooves cured what ailed. Really. I have a wisdom tooth growing in, and during their set the otherwise incessant pain vanished (although, to be fair, the vodka may have helped some.)

Proving that these Brits put on a good show, some in the crowd were even (gasp) dancing! An amazing feat at the Troubadour, to be sure…