Before starting his set, Keith Morris explained why OFF! wanted to have its eponymous LP release show at the Whisky. Even though the Sunset Strip landmark is now a cheesy venue that seems more concerned with selling drinks to poseurs and T-shirts to tourists than rad shows, it is a symbol of L.A.’s matchless musical history from psychedelic rock like the Doors and Love to first-generation punks the Germs and X to more recent metal shows that even I saw like Guns ‘n’ Roses and Michael Monroe (not to mention touring bands like SNFU, Scream, Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, NOFX, and Green Day, as well as the first Descendents reunion shows…). Add to that OFF!
Openers Spider Fever seemed to soak up some of the venue’s psychedelic past with the elevated stage and high-end light system actually adding some unintentional-yet-not-inappropriate flair to their tweaked take on garage rock ‘n’ roll. I saw OFF! drummer Mario Rubalcaba front the band with his upside-down guitar and no-nonsense singing before playing with Hot Snakes not long ago, but this show seemed even tighter and actually more fun. After seeing the band a few times, it almost seems like the meeting point of many of Mario’s bands: the balls-out rock of RFTC, psychedelic aspects of Earthless, rawness of Clikatat Ikatowi, and energy of OFF! I was stoked to pick up the band’s amazing full-length LP, and you should get it, too.
Went to a couple of last-minutes shows recently… I had noticed that the Lee Ranaldo Band would be playing the Satellite not much more than a mile from home a couple of Tuesdays ago, but didn’t decide to go until I realized that (1) his songs were some of my favorites on the last two Sonic Youth albums and (2) my friend Gabie’s band was opening. How could I not go?