Sunday April 1, 2012
Jake Simmons & the Little Ghosts, Bob on Blonde and The Most Beautiful Losers
Buzzbin Art and Music Shop. Canton, OH
I finally made it to the Buzzbin Store to check out the new renovations. I’ve been meaning to stop in again since I heard they expanded around the New Year but this is the first opportunity I’ve had. It wasn’t quite what I expected, but I can’t say I was disappointed. When I heard they were adding, I had visions of a giant stage with a new light show in some giant warehouse down a secret tunnel through a trapdoor in the back. Really, they just doubled the size of the store. They’re still using the “Buzzbin Super Stage” but now all of the stacks of records are spread out so there’s a much more open atmosphere and room for plenty more people.
I can’t really say anything bad about seeing a show at the Buzzbin Shop. Admission is free, which is always a plus, and it’s BYOB, which saves me quite a lot of money. If you figure that a six pack costs about $7 at the gas station and about $15 bucks at a bar you save at least $8, not counting the tip. The other cool thing about seeing a show there is that it’s A Record Store! Record stores have all of the cool indie credibility of coffee shops without all of the pretension. The thing I hate most about coffeehouses is words like “mocha chino” and “macchiato.” Say that aloud to yourself, “macchiato”, don’t you sound like an asshole? I find it nice to enjoy my Miller Lite and rock ‘n’ roll without being judged. If you’re reading this you can tell that I like to be the one doing the judging.
Not that I have anything bad to say about any of the bands that performed. Jake Simmons and the Little Ghosts put on one helluva good rock show. What surprised me about their sound was that I couldn’t figure out what prefix I should add. I don’t know if they’re alt-, nu-, punk or pseudo-, I was just enjoying some good music that put me in mind of what the Beatles would be doing today if half of them weren’t dead (and they hadn’t broken up 42 years ago). I don’t want to say they were nostalgic, but they were playing classic rock with a contemporary attitude. I’m sure there are plenty of 90s indie bands that JS &TLG could be compared to, but I don’t listen to a lot of that stuff so I was just happy to enjoy the jangly, open guitar chords and driving bass. Plus there were two telecasters being played by the band and as a tele man myself, I can’t help but feel some sort of strange kinship with the guys.
Bob on Bonde picked up where JS &TLG left off, which disappointed me a little. I was really digging the sound coming from the single guitarists spaceship control-like pedal board plugged into two guitar amps and a bass amp, but their take on open chord garage rock didn’t enthuse me as much. I kept finding it strange that I should like everything about the band aside from their songs when they kicked things up a notch. I can’t say that I dig their ballads, but when Bob on Blonde started rocking the feedback laced stoner rock I was right on board. I couldn’t help but cheer when I realize the guitar was being down tuned to Drop D. Heavy riffing is definitely more their style. The fact that the Buzzbin Store only has mics for vocals (just like my hated coffee shops) lends to a more raw feeling when hearing the music. It’s not coming through a processed PA but rather from the instruments straight to my ears. The best part of BoB was the interplay between the guitar and drums at the conclusion. By interplay, I don’t mean that they synced up real nice and had a great jam, but that Bob hopped up on the drum kit and his drummer used a stick across the fret board to silence the guitar or evoke more dirty noise. It was definitely one of the coolest finales I’ve seen.
And what can I say about the Most Beautiful Losers? I’m not really sure, I was drunk. I’m not sure what it says about Canton that they’re our biggest band. Sure, they’re a great band with great tunes. But they’re also a drinking band that inspires drinking in their audience. I was going to take off before their set was through because my six pack ran out, but Buzzbin Mike saved my day by handing me a Genesee (Which I appreciated but still looked at warily). The greatest thing about the Losers is that every time I see them they always sound fresh. This could be because I only ever see them every few months, or because they always have a different lineup. Sunday saw a completely different band than I saw last time, but still had me singing and drinking along to the same great songs. Every city should have a band like the Most Beautiful Losers. But I’m not sure if every city can drink enough to keep up with Canton.
I can’t say that I didn’t get my money worth, the show was free. My only complaint is that the show was on a Sunday night, and Monday mornings are hard enough even without a hangover.