Until about a month ago, I had no idea who Starfucker (STRFKR) was. I have, however, learned two important lessons when it comes to discovering new music: (1) Never judge a band until you see them play live and (2) Always trust thenaturalstoner for music advice. So, I spent the past month listening to Starfucker’s self-titled debut album and their newest release, Reptilians, to prepare myself for this show.
I met TNS and a couple of other friends over in Pullman. We had some drinks, and then walked down to The BellTower around 8:15 p.m. The BellTower is an old church that has been converted into a live music/event venue. It’s a smaller venue (holds approximately 600 people) and books mostly regional bands (Moscow/Pullman, Seattle, Portland). Most of the main floor is standing room only, with tables along the edges of the floor. There is more seating in the balcony—although it’s hotter up there.
Once we made it inside, we bought some more drinks and waited for the first band to go on. The crowd was divided into two sections, those who were 21+ and those who weren’t. The show was supposed to start at 8:30 p.m., but the first band didn’t take the stage until 9:02 p.m.
Rhythmmemory—an electronic/techno duo—introduced themselves by speaking in cliché Asian accents. I was instantly put off by this because I didn’t understand the point. If it was supposed to be clever, it wasn’t. But what can you expect from guys who have “Instruments, Music, Poop” as a tag-line on their band’s website? Overall, I wasn’t impressed with their set, mostly because it seemed loud just for the sake of being loud. Drum beats drowned out vocals, and they spent most of their time focused on their equipment instead of engaging the audience.
Yarn Owl was up next. They recently released an album titled Montaña Y Caballo, which was recorded in a barn just south of Moscow, Idaho. Their sound has folk-rock elements and is rather mellow. I thought it would work well in this venue. Guitar, bass, and drums complimented each other and, acoustically, they were well balanced. A couple times, the lead singer screamed lyrics into the mic with little or no vocal control. Other than that minor issue, I was impressed by Yarn Owl and would check them out again.
At 10:46 p.m. Starfucker took the stage. Apparently, they have been selling out venues around the Northwest as part of their tour to promote Reptilians. After listening to their two albums for a month, I was pretty pumped to see them live. I wouldn’t consider myself a fan of electronica or synth-pop (or whatever people are calling it), but I find their music catchy so I thought, “this is gonna be good time.”
The sound was good, but there were problems with the audio—specifically high-pitched audio feedback during more than one song. Starfucker has such a rich and complex sound, and I think that they would have fared better in a larger venue. They will be at Bumbershoot, Seattle’s Music and Arts Festival, in September and their sound will probably be more appreciated in that setting.