Arcata Eye Scene

A-town art, music, theatre. Mostly music. Updated Wednesdays.

Jennifer Savage – A great Pants party

Small town living offers many benefits: close-knit community, proximity to the folks who run the City government, easy access to media, a certain sweetness to annual festivals – and the convenience of venues located in such close quarters that when multiple bands for whom you have a fondness happen to all be playing on the same night, traveling back and forth (in this case from the Jambalaya to the Alibi) is not only possible, but provides a true sense of accomplishment by the end of the night.

So it was last Saturday when Seattle’s Speaker Speaker played with Weezer-tribute band Wepeel at the Alibi, while SF’s Pants Pants Pants graced the Jambalaya along with Universalia Jane and The Rubberneckers.

Pants Pants Pants (and yes, three “Pants” is perfect, despite a heated late night audience debate about whether two “Pants” might work better) describes themselves as “The Pixies playing Bjork” and that’s an accurate enough description for this hard-to-define bass-drums-vocal trio composed of equal parts fun and talent. Add a trombone, keytar and melodia to S’tevé and Sysop’s bouncy rhythms and the powerhouse singing of Lauren Lauren and you have the perfect band to provide a slightly subversive new soundtrack to Sesame Street. (Or, as has actually happened in real life, the perfect band to recreate the entire opening sequences from seasons one and five of Full House.)

Too bad more of the people lining the walls and the back of the room didn’t partake in the opportunity for some happy dance action….

After Pants Pants Pants, a skip down Tavern Row led to the fab Speaker Speaker about 10-minutes into their power-pop-punk set. (Josh wrote all about how fun they were, so please read his column.)

A dash back to the Jambalaya rewarded with the always stellar Universalia Jane (with Jay on drums, Deric on guitar and a woman whose name I do not know providing accompaniment on cello). Seeing Universalia Jane live is an exponential experience akin to standing on top of Trinidad head in a strong south wind, the scent of storm electric in the air, all your senses awakened to the world around you. She and her band compel you to pay attention to the wild and wonderful experience of the moment. On the radio, a thoughtful DJ would place her music in a set with Kate Bush, PJ Harvey and Tom Waits. In the Jambalaya, Jane and her mates were plenty to keep the crowd enraptured.

After Jane and hoping The Rubberneckers would forgive us, we slipped back to the Alibi where Weepel was wowing the crowd with Weezer hits mostly from the Blue album. (Why the Green album hate? Why? “Hash Pipe” is a great song!) Everyone smooshed around the band, reaching out to ruffle Steve’s hair, singing along to “My Name is Jonas” as if it was New Year’s and someone had broken out “Auld Lang Syne.”
Dancing and singing past midnight… June is off to a great start. It’s going to be a beautiful summer.

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