Thursday, January 7, 2016

Dead Meadow, and Slow Season, and an evening inside a lava lamp... brilliant!

Lights by Mad Alchemy
Mad Alchemy lighting
You know those cold, rainy, winter evenings when all you want to do is stay home and fall asleep on the sofa, while pretending to watch something mediocre on the TV, and someone insists on dragging you out to a show, and you're thinking about your bed and sleep but pick up a camera and go along anyway, and then spend the evening wishing you were falling asleep in front of the TV? Well that was Tuesday evening, until you get to the bit about wishing you were back home, because... well because this show was absolutely worth leaving home for, anywhere you have the opportunity to catch a show. Keep an eye on their websites for new tour dates.

I came away with two beautifully-produced, brand-new vinyls (green!!!), Dead Meadow from Dead Meadow, and Mountains from Slow Season, and the turntable is spinning...

The Starlite Lounge is a smaller venue in midtown Sacramento, which often has live music in the upstairs room; a small stage and smaller staging area for the bands, atmosphere lighting, bars upstairs and down. It's a gathering-place where people listen to music, rather than a concert hall. Tuesday evening, the upstairs room was packed with people for the three bands on the list: headliners Dead Meadow, now based in Los Angeles: Sacramento's SLA (Sonic Love Affair) mix of punk and rock, and Slow Season from Visalia, California.

Dead Meadow
Dead Meadow, Sacramento
Lighting for the evening was courtesy of Mad Alchemy. Psychedelically cool swirls of coloured water and oil flowing over the backdrop, the performers, the audience. We were inside a late-sixties-early-seventies lava-lamp-bubble-writing time-warp of dreamy light, hypnotized and watching the bubbles form islands and life and black holes and destruction and regeneration and and and... It's quite amazing what you can do with a few now-defunct overhead projectors, glass, and special ingredients. (Wouldn't this be an improvement to your meeting rooms, now that you don't use transparencies for presentations?)

Jason Simon, vocals and guitar, Dead Meadow
Jason Simon, vocals and guitar, Dead Meadow
Dead Meadow have earned a "stoner rock" tag, and the sound very much suited to laying back in a dark, smoky room full of pillows and soft fabrics and Indian motifs and incense and the unnoticed passage of time. The music is intricate and smooth at the same time; fuzz guitar, interwoven bass, dreamy vocals, and some very intense drumming. Drummer Mark Laughlin's style is mesmerising.. vertical all the way. Go see them, you'll understand. These guys have toured the world and have several albums that I must now listen to... don't miss them when they head your way.

Slow Season
Slow Season, Sacramento
Slow Season, reminiscent of early '70s heavy rock; my immediate impression? Led Zeppelin without the screeching, I liked them very much, and they win the award for the first American band I have ever seen who named Welsh legends Budgie as an influence. No kidding... take a listen to Mountains.

A few more photos in the Dead Meadow and Slow Season photo galleries, just click!

(And now I've mentioned Budgie, I won't get Parents out of my head for days...)

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