So, remember when I said the Surfer Blood show was all sold out? It was. It really was. Luckily, they played at Amoeba for free as a kind of teaser before their "real" show. I know there's an Amoeba in Hollywood, perhaps they have the same teaser-show tradition?
The Haight-Ashbury version of Amoeba is a big uncozy cube with school lunchroom floors and hospital lighting (or vice versa). On top of that, you have to stand amongst the records. I've never seen a band successfully thwart the awkward vibes of the space. Surfer Blood had a nice warm energy; they chatted the audience up and were just so...puppyish. I mean, look at them:
That lead singer still has all of his baby fat.
Stupid commentary on physical appearances aside, the show was solid:
And well-miked, although this clip doesn't exactly showcase the fact. The reverb didn't overwhelm JP Pitts voice like it does sometimes on Astro Coast. In fact, Pitt's voice was better than I initially thought; he's good at that growly rock-scream singing thing...what the hell is the word for that?! Insert recording of David Kantrowitz imitating what I'm talking about here.
In a nutshell: I like Surfer Blood. They're, you know, good. But I don't really understand why they're blowing up so fast. They have the same sixties-nostalgia-reverb heavy-Beach Boys-thing going on that a bunch of other bands also have. What makes them special? Maybe my feelings are just a reaction against all the hype.
Addendum: Now I can't get "Harmonix" out of my head. Maybe that's what the hype is about. Catchy, catchy.