Show Review: You Say Party! We Say Die!, Fake Your Own Death and Nylon Heart Attack at Bottom of the Hill, 3/12/10

by Joel Edelman on March 13, 2010

In case you didn't know, this isn't Bottom of the Hill.

Rock ‘n’ roll is defined as getting off work at 9, going to Bottom of the Hill at 10, leaving at 1, getting home at 2 and going back to work again at 7. But two things are in my favor: It’s a slow news day, and Sim Dynasty is down, so I have no distractions and can tell you all about the show I saw last night.

This show wasn’t part of a festival or a showcase. It was just a show. Everyone was there on his or her own volition, and those scenarios are the ones in which everybody wins, especially if you’re Nylon Heart Attack.

This act was a real hoot. With no pretense or hint of irony, they rocked out with their cocks out, four in all. The lead singer stripped his way through the set, although we only received a topless revue. He was even whiter than me, and his tattoos were so brightly colored that he was rockin’ out with his peacock out! And I can say with full confidence that he is an innie. He looked like and acted like an albino Mick Jagger. I don’t see how this can be interpreted as anything but a compliment.

The drummer was my favorite part of the set. You know those things you screw on top of the middle of the cymbals so they don’t fall off the stand when you hit them? You know how that little knob sticks up (so you can screw them on and off, duh)? Well, throughout the set, the drummer would put an empty beer bottle upside down on top of that knob. And then he would break it with his stick. That’s rock ‘n’ roll — and ballsy too, because there are two more bands going on afterward. I ain’t cleanin’ that shit up.

If you just want some Contra Costa County rock music, that’s what you got. There was no angle because none was needed.

If you understand the concept of a Venn diagram, you will wonder what overlap there is between this group and the headliner. There really isn’t any, but the closest you’re going to get is Fake Your Own Death. I guess they knew what they were doing after all when they made this bill. Fake Your Own Death is fronted by a guy with gray hair who looks like a math teacher and sounds like Peter Murphy and features a balding dude with a guitar and a MacBook. I thought that, if there had been a lighter-worthy song, I should have run to my car, pulled out my MacBook, and opened it up as a sign of solidarity.
There was also a drummer, but he was very unassuming. Honestly, why even try to follow up the previous drummer’s act? Save your energy for another night. This one had already been decided and was in the books.

The music was fine. I was distracted by a Megatouch and was playing Run 21 for about half of the set. I got a 104 on the third round and beat the high score by 1200 points! It doesn’t get much closer than that in Run 21, believe you me. Fifteen years of going to Bottom of the Hill, and I’d never played the Megatouch machine. Of course I’d have rather played the pinball machine, but alas, there no longer is one.

I would see Fake Your Own Death, if they play somewhere that doesn’t have touch-screen based distractions. Apparently lots of people like the band though, as the closest to full that the venue got was when they were out there. Then again, people would not shut the fuck up during their set, so maybe Friday night is just Bottom of the Hill night for citizens of Potrero Hill. A $10 cover isn’t asking much in this day and age.

This may have had to do with the time, though, because by the time You Say Party! We Say Die! came on stage, about 30% of the people had gone to look for a 22 Fillmore. There were even open seats at the bar. That’s what happens when your set starts after midnight, you know. But those that stayed were the nicest-smelling music fans I’d ever smelled. Not even no body odor but no body spray, either. Everyone smelled like clean. I’d like to hire these goers to stand around me at every show I frequent.

Before the set started, they all did a group hug, although it could have been a huddle or a rugby scrum for all I know. The band definitely has an air about it that the other two did not. Maybe they’re inspired by March Madness, although considering they are from Vancouver, I doubt it. Kudos, by the way, to the band for not making an Olympics reference of any kind. We know the Olympics were just there, and we’re glad we didn’t have to hear about it from you.

So they played a bunch of songs from the new record, which I knew, and a bunch of stuff from before, which I didn’t. Apparently the last time they were here was 2006. Maybe it takes the concept of a World Cup to get them to come here. I don’t know. At any rate, of the songs I knew, they sounded a lot like the record. They are positioned to blow up, if that’s what they want to do. If only there were a huge rock fest coming up that they could play at.

Other random stuff:

  • I wanted to hear “Laura Palmer’s Prom,” and I got it. They seemed to click into a higher gear for that one. It must be the song they play when they are on “Live With Regis and Kelly.”
  • Aunt Sandy from Santa Rosa was there, as well as Dad and friend-of-the-family Harry, who seemed to be traveling with the band, although because they are Canadian perhaps they were “travelling.”
  • The price list at the merch table was amusing. It said “You say merch!”

This band had its own set of fans too. I did not recognize anyone that was there for two of the sets, let alone all three. Nylon Heart Attack had all white fans. The only except was an Asian photographer, who might have been there just to shoot. Fake Your Own Death had a random distribution of people. I wish I had needed to proctor a survey or user study. And the headliner skewed young and attractive. Some call them “funemployed.” Why work when you can live at home? Generation Y will never make sense to me.

Was it a stretch having this lineup play together? Perhaps, but Fake Your Own Death managed to glue the other two groups together, and as long as no one got broken glass in any open-toed sandals, we’re better for it.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

may March 13, 2010 at 2:08 pm

They hadn’t been to the States since 2006 because they were banned from crossing the border. This was lifted recently allowing them to tour your parts.
Great review, btw.

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