Interview: Limbeck

For Limbeck vocalist/guitarist Robb MacLean, the experience of seeing young kids and teens embracing (intentionally or not) the music of their parents’ generation is miles away from his own experiences as a teenage punk. “At sixteen, Screeching Weasel taught me that Led Zeppelin sucks. I found out later that they were wrong.”

The fruits of this newfound knowledge are evident on their 2007 self-titled album. Tracks like “Let’s Get Crazy” have enough honey-sweet harmonies and bouncy rhythms to draw in the young kids, but enough Southern guitar grit to appeal not just to the Casbah crowd, but their parents as well. As guitarist Patrick Carrie notes, it’s a crowd that’s become increasingly responsive to a classic rock-influenced sound that had abandoned the all-ages touring circuit to the makeup-sporting hordes of the emo scene for a generation.

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Tonight’s the Night: Limbeck @ SOMA, Valient Thorr @ The Casbah

Tonight’s appetizer is OC’s Limbeck. Limbeck’s career arc seems to follow that of Murder by Death: first records display emo-ish tendencies the bands’ picked up in high school and college, while their later stuff moves toward country-tinged territory. Whereas MBD wind up somewhere in between Tom Waits and Gogol Bordello, Limbeck winds up closer to Graham Parsons and early Wilco. I’ll be interviewing the band for MusicMatters magazine, which reminds me that I ought to think about what I might ask them. They’re playing with the Format and the Honorary Title.

The main course is Valient Thorr at the Casbah. Rather than try to describe what the scene will be like, I found this visual representation:

If you don’t understand why I can dig stuff like this but not 95% o the “metal” that comes out of LA, find an online dictionary and look up the term “taking the piss.” Valient Thorr must be the most earnest piss-takers of all time. I’ve seen them four or five times now, and I still have no idea to what degree they are a) ZZ Top-esque showmen, b) criticism of punk rock, or c) meta-criticism of rock and roll. The one thing I can tell you is that they are a hell of a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to it. As this is a Volcom Records tour, the support will be Totimoshi and ASG.

Set list from our last San Diego show:

Transparent Life
The Lotus Eater
Drunk under Electrics
Father in the Sky
Heads for Herod
Untitled
Drunkship Man
Lotion Party
Bottom of this Town
Atmosphere vs. the Dogs of Dawn
Ministry of Helicopters

More photos and what not to come. The little sis went home to Knoxville yesterday, meaning that I’ll be back on the horse this week. What am I looking forward to?  Limbeck at SOMA, Valient Thorr at the Casbah, and not looking after an eleven year old in crowded public places.

Logjam on July 31…

OK, San Diego really, really needs to help me out with more awesome shows with the following:

1. Bearded dudes, black t-shirts (both on stage and in the crowd)
2. Punk of the non-So-Cal variety
3. Rock of the non-Sunset-Strip variety

July 31 looks like it’s serving up a double helping of shows that fit that bill. The first is Limbeck playing with a bunch of weenies over at SOMA; I’m going to do my best to get to that show, though I am loathe to pay for it. Later, however, we get a real, real treat in the form of Valient Thorr later that night at the Casbah.

I’ve seen Valient Thorr three times, and they’ve yet to do anything but put a big, big smile on my face. They are to ZZ Top what the Darkness is to Def Leppard: a loving, winking, self-depricating recreation of a sound and spirit of a massively overblown band whose persona eventually overshadowed their obvious tunefulness and fun. Thorr’s got a mythology all their own (I don’t know, they’re from Uranus or some such silliness), but they rock hard and unapologetically. Their shows have been the closest thing to a Les Savy Fav-like experience I’ve seen since, characterized by an active, raucous crowd and a hairy, paunchy frontman whose whole stage shtick puts all the rock and roll pretenders in these parts to shame…part metacriticism, part carnival barker, part great bar band.

It really, really bums me out to no end that I’m having to look all the way to the end of the month to find compelling shows to write about. San Diego dirtbags–get on the ball

Oh yeah, I just found this video of Valient Thorr playing SXSW with Wayne Kramer of the MC5. If they get his seal of approval, they should get yours, too.