Music » The Spin

Japanther at Little Hamilton, Oblio and Flora Shakespeare at the ChadPad and more


Upper crust

We're gonna be upfront with y'all — we really did enjoy listening to Flora Shakespeare and Oblio Friday night at the ChadPad. Good rock show — Oblio make really good, smart rock 'n' roll and happen to be one of the few sure bets on the rock scene, and while Flora Shakespeare don't have that certain je ne sais quoi that makes us flip our lids, they were decent. We watched them out of the corners of our eyes, but let's be honest — they weren't sending out free samples of pizza from behind the drum set. What's more, they weren't sending out Pizza Buds pizza. The Pizza Buds truck, on the other hand, was sending out little squares of sweet, savory, saucy, crispy, crunchy awesome. Bands: You were good. But you weren't pizza.

We've been waiting years for some serious post-bar food to wander into our lives — or, more accurately, to pull up and park in front of our lives — but we're not the types to let just any stranger on four wheels into our heart. We had some serious, serious research to do before we let these scraggly hipster types with an RV labeled "Leisure Time" obliterate our wallets and our waistlines.

We can think of a few cities that might have a better pie in the janitor's closest of every waste treatment plant, but those are places to visit, not places to live. Seriously, barring the overabundance of tribute shows and the constant onslaught of knucklehead politicians, for the longest time our only real issue with this town was the lack of a serious slice waiting for us outside of shows when we're good and sloppy.

If there's a Venn diagram that represents the best possible combination of sweet, savory, crispy and doughy, then the last, best bites of the Buds' pie are dead-motherfucking-center. At least if you're a li'l drunk. Which we try to be. And now we can finally get a decent slice after they roll the sidewalks in. Oh, and the bands were pretty cool, too.

Japannual event

The warehouse known as Little Hamilton was packed with punks Sunday night, all straining to keep it together after another grueling Hootenanny weekend. Yes, the Rat Patrol Bike Club's fifth annual celebration in honor of Hank Williams' birthday was coming to a much-needed conclusion, but not without a final kick in the pants: an after-party after-show consisting of six righteous rock bands banging out jams on both sides of the floor. We arrived to view the last bits of radioactive attitude from opening act Diarrhea Planet, warming up the still-hungover crowd with growly sing-alongs about subject matter every bit as offensive as their band name.

The dynamic Heavy Cream ladies and their mustached bass player jammed out a solid set of bratty-yet-danceable tunes complete with adorable cat-calling backups and punchy rhythms. Immediately following were PUJOL, four guys who never fail to deliver our favorite garage-flavored fuzzy pop tunes while every single body danced, swayed, tapped or, at the very least, nodded their head in agreement.

Vacation were up next, and having seen them perform once before at a house in East Nashville, we were (almost) mentally prepared for what came out of these three dudes from Cincinnati. The bright blue-haired drummer banged out spastic beats, coming straight from the revivalist neo-pop punk wave, while simultaneously singing mostly unintelligible lyrics alongside the guitarist. The unpredictable breaks kept us on our toes until the end of the set.

The lo-fi drum-and-bass combo from New York known as Japanther was an intense and almost-but-not-quite obnoxious blend of circular hooks over dual singing — and occasionally dual screaming — through what used to be telephone handsets, along with samples of everything from RZA to Donnie Darko. Natural Child served up the leftovers with their typical rundown of raunchy rock 'n' roll.

And then, as swiftly as they came, the last of those who survived the Great Hootenanny of '10 returned to the woodwork to nurse their minor bike injuries and try to ignore their ringing ears.

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