Review & Photos: Spencey Dude and the Doodles, King Tuff and Times New Viking @ Rickshaw Stop, 6/14/11
June 16, 2011
Written by M B L
Don’t know how I missed SF’s Spencey Dude and the Doodles this long. They’ve been doing their thing since 2005 at least, and even recorded with my hero, Greg Ashley (playing Sunday at Knockout, by the way). Maybe it’s the name. They need a new name. Still it’s my own fucking fault for missing out on this shit.
Despite some problems with the mic early on, the band just plain rocked. The guitarist and drummer handled most of the vocals, but the bass player simply kicked ass. They have great song titles and if they’d just line up some more shows, I’m sure they would catch on quick around these parts.
King Tuff hails from Vermont but seems to be spending some quality time around these parts ever since he played Thee Parkside for the Burger Boogaloo back in March. Sporting a Crass t-shirt and his namesake sun medallion, he certainly looks like a rock star. He has played with J. Mascis in Witch, but has been doing his own thing for some time now with a variety of lineups.
At the Rickshaw he was joined by 2 other guitarists (yes that makes THREE guitars), bass and drums. I’m not sure 3 guitars were needed, but it sure was nice to have ‘em. It brought another layer of flavor to his tasty, gritty stew. Lots of bands are going with 2 or 3 members these days. It must be a whole lot easier, and profitable. But hey, this is rock and roll, ya can’t really do it for the money! Highlights included the instant classic “Freak When I’m Dead” and psychedelic self portrait “Sun Medallion”.
My first Times New Viking experience was at SXSW in 2008 when they played with Psychedelic Horseshit; both bands just blew me away. Noisy but catchy, well-influenced but unique. Plus Beth is from Ohio and I have a thing for Ohio women. I’d been looking forward to this Rickshaw show for quite some time. There was talk of an interview and I was already coming up with questions to ask. Sadly when I found myself in the bathroom pissing next to Jared (the guitarist), all I could come up with was “How’s the tour going?”, and all I got was “Adequate”. Maybe he knew I was a blogger . . . my huge camera and all. Truly these guys have paid their dues talking to so many blogs, blogs, blogs.
Then again, I do hope the tour is more than adequate for him, because the show was super fantastic. Drummer/Singer Adam Elliot was in particularly high spirits. He kept asking the crowd if they had any questions. I was still at a loss. Whatever his blood alcohol level, the guy never missed a beat and drove the group to play the already fast songs yet faster. He proceeded to order up 3 whiskeys from a willing fan.
Jared played anything but adequate guitar. He shredded on that Stratocaster. Beth brought her precisely off-key vocals and dissonant keyboard work to a whole new level. They played a bunch from the amazing new record, Dancer Equired, but dipped into many old tunes as well including a perfect “Teenage Lust!” from 2007′s Present the Paisley Reich.Â TNV live was always a chance to hear their recorded music in a whole new way, namely less drenched in noise. I was a bit worried that the new “cleaner” record would not provide the same thrills. No need for worry.
The only thing adequate about the evening was the crowd. This show deserved a larger audience. It was a Tuesday night and all, but this was too good to pass up. Even NPR called it. Get off your asses people!