Natural Child, Ranch Ghost and Electric Dollhouse Groovebuggy at Mt. Swag, 12/17/11



If you haven’t noticed, we at The Spin go to a lot of shows. In fact, doesn’t it seem like we’re basically always at shows, like, every single freaking week? Well, we are — and the usual loop of venues starts weighing on the side of predictable, week in, week out. En route to the Moon Duo show at The End, a last-minute detour ensued, and we found ourselves deep in the industrial district of Berry Hill at a party house, residential venue and home to half the local band Bad Cop — aptly titled Mt. Swag.

Shoulders bumped shoulders from one wall to the other. Hands grabbed hungrily at a bucket of complimentary premium beer while bottles of mystery booze concealed by paper bags were passed about with no concern for hygiene. Compared to the thought of Bruce slingin’ us $2 PBR cans in a half-empty room, we’d clearly made a wise decision.

Surely we’ve Spun Denny and the Jets' recent and seemingly endless stream of gigs enough to spare our readers any serious disappointment by having missed their set that on Saturday. However, learning the next act’s Louisiana origins had us slightly concerned. Seems post-Katrina, The Big Easy and its surrounding communities have turned out hot loads of shitty jam bands which are apparently like cockroaches and will survive the brunt of of even the most epic natural disasters. And the name Electric Dollhouse Groovebuggy didn’t ease our fears much, either.

But if there’s anything The Spin can do well, it’s judge the covers of books and act all surprised when our assumptions prove erroneous. These guys rocked a swampy, garage-flavored breed of rock 'n' roll complete with a tiny lady on saxophone that, in its more intelligible moments (it was goddamn loud in that piece), tickled our fancy just fine.

If you’ve heard us drop the name of Ranch Ghost a couple dozen times lately, it’s with good reason. It's mostly due to the bewilderment that stems from how a crop of dudes barely old enough to buy a beer can churn out authentic, purist, Nuggets-era psychedelic soul that rivals the very legends they’re aping.

By the time headliners and now-veteran living-room staples Natural Child started bumping their own retro-seasoned, fried-green psychedelia, every body in this crib was now packed as close to the makeshift stage as possible. Not only has Natty Child's catalog been simmering among the masses long enough to be instantly recognizable, it’s also well worth the praise and beckons for repeated listening. Hence, sing-alongs and dancetastic reactions were inevitable and all too appropriate.

Unlike your typical venue gig, we weren’t shooed out after the bands stopped rockin. Though the complimentary libations had run dry hours ago, the booze was still flowing like wine — mostly because it was actually wine. Who brings wine to a house show? Mt. Swag does, that’s who.

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