Going back to last Sunday in San Francisco, after a day of drinking at Rogue Ale House and eating at the Ferry Market, my best friend, HopStop, led me to the Independent on Divisadero. Yuck were in the mist of West Coast swing with Coachella appearances bookending the trip.
- Holing Out
- Shook Down
- Suicide Policeman
- Get Away
- Soothe Me
- The Wall
- Base of a Dream
Easily, this is the best that I've seen the band. As headliners, they come alive with stretched out and fuzzed out jams from their self-titled debut album. They were one of my best new bands of 2011, and I still feel they've only just begun making excellent tunes. I anticipate future songs with have a more blissed out qualities like on their B-side "Soothe Me". They live in that mid-90s alternative era where Pavement and Pixies ruled. Songs like "The Wall," "Holing Out" and "Get Away" are straight out of the genre, but I've come to appreciate their dream pop leanings on "Georgia" and "Milkshake".
With over a year of live touring under their belt, they've become more confident as performers. When I first saw them opening up for Tame Impala or playing a short set at Popped!, they were a tad on the stiff side and just going through the motions. Now, they are more at ease with rocking out and being beloved by their fans. They are a still relatively young band even though Daniel Blumberg and Max Bloom had paid their dues in Cajun Dance Party. Blumberg, now looking like a mid-1970s Bob Dylan, still has a tad bit of shyness in his stage presence, but he does speak out between on songs and banters between his band mates. Also, with the back projection, their set becomes more lively.
I loved the Independent, which I would have seen any band there It's been sited in the local papers as the top small rock venue in the city. It's got a nice wide stage with great sight lines. You can lounge to either side of the room on couches and ottomans or take the stairs and peer out over the proceedings. As in the Warfield and the Fillmore, there's photography in the entrances of past bands that have played in the venue. How come New York venues don't do that? Probably because some douche will try to make off with it. We can't have nice things.
Finally got to catch Vivian Girls' Katy Goodman's West Coast side project, La Sera. The music comes from the same place as Vivian Girls -- girl group sounds from the 60s mixed with garage rock. Some of her more adventurous songs have a more bottom heavy, faster, deep quality like "Please Be My Third Eye". She's like the perfect opening act because he tunes are instantly likable and never boring.