Arcata Eye Scene

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

Daniel Lewis on The Shankers and Mosquito Bandito

Peanut butter and jelly are two completely different things that when put together are not only delicious but absolutely harmonious. Their complimenting flavors are so renown that you can actually buy them both together in the same jar. Who really has the time these days to open two different jars anyways?

Sometimes you need two different things to really pull the flavor from an experience. Peanut butter and jelly. Peas and carrots. Root beer and ice cream. Mmmm….yummy. You wouldn’t ever have the inclination to make a peanut butter and peanut butter sandwich would you? A bit of crunchy and a tad of creamy?  That doesn’t make sense does it? No, that’s just silly. And yet, sometimes two of the same things go great together, as in the case of Mosquito Bandito and The Shankers who played last Saturday at the Alibi.

First up was Mosquito Bandito from Portland. I dig this guy for many reasons. He sat there and played as fast as he could while beating the crap out of a symbol with his guitar and pounding on a bass drum with his foot all the while yelling frantically these lunatic verses about well…I really don’t know. I just know that this guy sits around somewhere in Portland and really lives through this thing. I’m not necessarily sure what’s eating him, it might just be the whole Life thing, but whatever it is, it’s coming out in his music in a way that really negates aesthetics or perhaps just holds them to a different standard.

For anyone who’s ever been inclined to create something, maybe you’ve written a poem or have been painting somewhere in the dregs of night and you were possessed and insane with the act and not the art but the art of the act its self and became enraptured by the doing, well, you would understand this guy. Tip your trucker hat and buy a t-shirt. Or like myself, just be glad you weren’t the only one.
Next up, same basic substance, the creamy to the crunchy as it were; The Shankers are a trio of  musicians from Chico, who also enjoy the rockabilly genre. A stand up bass makes essentially anything more awesome but even more so I learned when being played by a hot girl in white tiger printed pants. I didn’t know that before.
The songs were about all the great things we love about Carneys and our moms and killing boys. It’s the kind of musical inception that provides a much needed light to the nobility of PBR and the trailer park. Most of all, it’s just good.

Being aware of your own vice is what I believe makes rockabilly what it is. But not in an arrogant fashion, like just coming out and saying that you’re a drunken, speed addicted carney, but more along the lines of having the humility to be that and laugh and drive a tractor and be ok with everything. And yet at the same time be completely frantic and insane. Like crunchy peanut butter…it’s really a mystery. How can it be so crunchy and yet buttery? That’s double the peanuts! It doesn’t equate. But then again there’s always jelly to mix up with and calm the savage beasts of crunch.

I must have a point you’re thinking, but no I don’t. Or if I do, it’s this, I dig the rockabilly sound. The people. The attitude. I wish there were more of it. I wish there were more words to describe it. I wish I was a little bit taller and I wish I was a baller. I wish upon a star. I wish that rockabilly was made from antimatter.

Depending on the size and girth of it’s mustache, I’m pretty sure that rockabilly could be Groucho Marx. In a Panama hat, rockabilly is Hunter S. Thompson. In outers pace it is the moon, but on the moon it is most definitely green cheese. Giant rockabilly in Japan is Mothra and Godzilla doesn’t stand a chance. Most of all it has become clear to me that if rockabilly were the chicken it would never make it to the other side. It would probably just hitch a ride to Austin and talk about things with the Reverend Horton Heat. They’d eat hot dogs out of the microwave and maybe toss back a couple of Steel Reserves. And that makews everything better.

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