Local H – 10/18/2012
The Bell House – Brooklyn, NY
Words/Photos/Videos – Jay Porks
The CMJ Music Festival: Hundreds of bands, tons of venues, and so little time. The “Marathon” as they call it consists of 4 days this year of shows in and around New York City and Brooklyn and is the reason I get to see Local H tonight for the 2nd time this year. A scheduling conflict cost me my shot at seeing the band perform at Webster Hall in the afternoon on Wednesday, but as we turn the page to today, I find myself pumped for several reasons amidst heading to the Bell House tonight in Brooklyn. First off, my friend Pam is finally going to get to see Local H. Truth be told, any other Local H shows I’ve attended that I have confessed to on this site I’ve had a ticket for her every time. She never quite could escape work or traffic, but tonight is locked in (hopefully not my famous last words). Also, my buddy Flo (who I met at the Lemonheads) will be meeting me there too-It’s going to be a freaking party. Do things get better? Well, how bout some Scott Lucas acoustic action at 8PM to open up the evening? Because that was the Facebook post from Local H that I woke up to this morning. Doors are at 7:30PM, I get off work at 4PM. Hopefully we can get ourselves there in time to grab that little elevated spot in the back, which is awesome for taking video, sitting, and charging our cell phones . So let’s have some fun here in the 79th Edition of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series…
We walked in and got to pass a big screen TV to take a glimpse at my baseball team taking it’s final swings of the season. Some good news, the dream spot in back of the room is free. So we settle in as we wait for Scott to come on, which Facebook said was an 8PM set. I noticed that the other opening band already has their stuff set up on stage and just an acoustic guitar in the middle of the stage. There’s four lights set up on stage too. I guess this has something to do with ‘The Life and Times’.
Scott Lucas came on shortly after 8:30 and kicked off his acoustic set with a Misfits cover “Last Caress” before getting into some Married Men tunes like “Steady Gaze”, “Heavy Lidded Love” and “Blood Half Moons”, the latter of which being the title track to the latest Married Men release. It’s amazing because, here I saw this band in April and Scott did this same opening for himself thing-then I went and saw him with the Married Men on their own, so all these songs are familiar to me and I get to sing along and stuff. Suddenly Scott starts explaining that they have the album at the Merch table for sale, and asks if we have any requests. Someone screamed “Nothing Else Matters”. That was probably worse than screaming “Freebird” at this point, Scott just looks at the guy and says “Nothing Else Matters? Yea fuck you asshole”. It was either “fuck you asshole” or something close to that. I drew a blank. Too much pressure for me to have 1 point 5 seconds to shout out a song that not only the crowd but the performer would be on board with. For some reason my whole night is focused on not giving Scott an excuse to throw me out or beat me up(You’ve seen the Cold Manor video!), and with less people here than there were for the Vaselines I could easily be picked out. No chances taken as someone screamed “Eddie Vedder”, which Scott and all of us liked so it got played. Next it was “Hey Rita” followed by the song that goes along with the new Scott Lucas and The Married Men music video, “a Halloween song” as Scott put it, and that’s “Ain’t No Grave”. A string broke on his guitar during “Hey Rita”, but the bad ass just kept it moving finishing off the seven song set with five strings. It was a little after 9 when he departed.
Let’s talk about the band ‘The Life And Times’ for a second, because they were slotted as the main support tonight. They have four lights sitting on the stage surrounding the band. These lights went on when the band started playing, providing light on their instruments as they played. As they broke into their murky-noise tunes and rocked their 45 minute set out. As a band, they were good. Maybe not my cup of tea, but tight musicians non the less. Maybe not the most cheery folk, after their 2nd or 3rd song the lead singer says “Wow, hope you guys make more noise for Local H when they come on”. I know we’re New York scum rockers and all that, but usually we get a “Hello, thanks for having us” before we start getting treated like garbage. With their lights and macho head games. So one of their songs sounded like “My Sharona” by the Knack. I mean the bass line and the drum line is extremely similar. I didn’t even point it out originally, Flo and Pam were screaming at me “MY SHARONA!!” and that’s when I noticed the similarities. So I may or may not have started screaming out the lyrics to My Sharona. After the song they decided to tell us about their new record and the lead singer goes “Yeah, did you hear that ding-dong over there screaming My Sharona? Yeah he’s probably not gonna buy the new record”. Ding-dong? Touche amigo.
Tonight is one of the few times I’m seeing a band headline and I’m praying for them to play a healthy amount of songs off their new record. Usually hate it when bands try to shove new shit down your throat at every opportunity-but the key word there is “shit”, and the new Local H record “Hallelujah, I’m a Bum!” the exact opposite of that. This album is a beast of it’s own species, So at 10:36 when the beginning chimes of “Waves” hit the speakers, I was beyond pumped that we might be getting the same heavy dose of this record that the Troubadour got a few weeks ago. We went “Waves” into “Cold Manor” straight into “Here Come Ol’ Laptop” (all from “Hallelujah I’m a Bum”)
before an early appearance of “Bound For The Floor”. This is the first time I’ve seen that song appear this early in an evening, but it was so right for the moment-so right for the evening to get that out of the way and keep this new stuff rolling. It’s one of my favorite songs of all time don’t get me wrong, but it’s good to have a night where the set isn’t closed with it-let’s roll the dice tonight. Next up, a stand out from the new album “They Saved Reagan’s Brain”. Now, I’m not an incestuously political guy (besides when it comes to Republican lying scum who hate Big Bird), but songs off this record make me want to go out there and make a difference. “There’s no use running with the Chinese coming and I don’t want to see this world burn no more”. Damn right there isn’t.
“Everyone Alive” came next, and that was followed by “The One with Kid” (from 12 Angry Months).The One With Kid is an amazing song, and as this night goes by the question is posed: Is Scott Lucas getting younger? Seriously, the car ride home consisted of a conversation between Pam and I about how old Scott is to be able to jump all over the place like a 12 year old having the time of his life when he’s been putting out music for almost 20 years. The only thing that ages is his guitar playing-which ages like fine wine. It gets better EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Little added parts and alterations to riffs and sounds and the way he can turn feedback into puddy in his hand and mold it whatever he pleases at any given time. It’s not just bass and guitar at the same time, he’s making enough sounds for 4 or 5 people up there. Every time I see this band I mention how Brian St. Clair is “Grohlian” on drums, in attempts to coin my own phrase and it hasn’t worked out. But he’s incredible, it’s like Keith Moon on speed assuming Keith Moon wasn’t already on speed. Were more symbols added to his kit recently? How can these two guys fly under the radar all these years? It boggles my mind. Especially when you hear the crunchy guitar sounds on “Night Flight to Paris”. Then the band kicks it back up to crazy once again with an oldie but goodie “Back In The Day”
before another 3-peat from the latest effort with “Say The Word”, “ Feed A Fever” and “Another February”. Since 2011 at the Mercury Lounge, I’ve seen Another February go from “here’s a new song we’re going to kick around” to a well oiled machine. I was late to hit record, so I got to rock out to this one. And it felt great.
With eight new songs already on display, I wasn’t shocked that the band made the pit happy with “Alright, Oh Yeah”, “All The Kids Are Right”, “Fritz’s Corner” and a haunting “Hands on The Bible” before which, Scott heard someone scream out The Libertines, and he replied with “Play The Libertines? No. We’re American”.. “Waves Again” book ended their set and they ran off at 11:47.
The encore I’d assume would be three songs, so after “California Songs” (with a “Fuck Brooklyn Too!” lyric included) and “Look Who’s walking on Four Legs Again” it finally hit me what they were going to close with: “High Fiving MF”.. They got right into that next, and towards the end of the song were saying what I thought would be their final goodnight of the evening. But they didn’t stop playing for more than a second before I heard a familiar riff. No way. Can it be? Are we getting “Wolf Like Me” right now??
You’re damn right we are! Unreal. This is just insanity. After Midnight Thursday turning into Friday in Brooklyn and Local H has not only burned down the Bell House with this set, but pissed out the fire-closing the show with a TV On The Radio classic. I wouldn’t have believed it was that good if I wasn’t there. Me, Pam, Flo and what couldn’t have been more than 100 other folks just witnessed a shot to be heard round the world.
Here Come Ol’ Laptop
Bound For The Floor
They Saved Reagan’s Brain
The One with Kid
Night Flight To Paris
Back In The Day
Say The Word
Feed A Fever
Alright, Oh Yeah
All The Kids Are Right
Hands On The Bible
Look Who’s Walking On Four Legs Again
High Fiving MF
Wolf Like Me (TV On The Radio)