By Sarah Bennett
By Adam Lovinus
By Jena Ardell
By Nate Jackson
By Gustavo Arellano
By Nick Keppler
By Nate Jackson
By Alex Distefano
Why do the kids in Mêlée insist on using such obtuse punctuation in their name, giving our much-cherished copy editors plenty of grief? Damn punctuation showoffs! This nagging factoid would've dragged us down if the band weren't fun, but they are, a four-guy band plus a girl keyboarder, whose tinkly, Fischer-Price-sounding instrument is what made them most interesting on account of her ability to take her sunny tool and occasionally craft dark, ethereal whatzits out of it. They'd still be good without her, musicians who clearly won't cop to skapunkemo, who like to stir their mix by bringing in such elements as a harmonica. Mêlée got silly at the end, with a fun hip-hop medley—"Mama Said Knock You Out!" Word!—and when their deceptively shy, quiet drummer stepped up for an "I'm Too Sexy" hoot, which was hilarious and horrifying, kinda like this kid who once told us about the time he got a compound leg fracture and as he lay there screaming his head off, he just couldn't stop himself from touching the bloody bone jutting out from his shin. Sick! See Mêlée now—before they're not young and fun anymore.
Ozma were better than the last time we caught them more than a year ago, still very Weezer-ish, yet they seem to take themselves too seriously—especially following Mêlée, anyway. Their following has grown immensely in that year, though, so they must be doing something right. Want more elaboration, you say? What part of "Weezer-ish" don't you understand?
And what were punkers One Hit Wonder doing stuffed into this youth-rock sandwich? These guys are really old!At least 30! But they worked, a choice ass-punt in the midst of what others would readily brand wimp rock. The kids seemed confused, though, or at least comatose—"What do they give you over at the snack bar, Ritalin?" chirped their singer. The band eventually got to their "Sloop John B" cover, which made us feel at least as old as One Hit Wonder are (and we are). More disturbing was that we were likely the only ones in the room who knew this was a Beach Boys song. So fuck you, One Hit Wonder, for making us feel so freakingly, creakingly old—and on a weekend when we really needed to feel young again.
Macintosh computer commercial superstars Limbeck are becoming quite famous—no less than five video cameras were pointed at them during their set, which, if these folks were shooting for the band, strikes us as overkill (how many angles could you need, anyway?). They're a decent pop-rock band with a healthy following, though their sound on this night felt rather anonymous and conservative and reminded us a bit of Filmore, who, we're sorry, we just like better. Maybe they're one of those you'll-get-it-after-the-fourth-or-fifth-show bands.
Whatever you think about ska, Jeffries Fan Club will make sure the genre never goes away—hate it if you must, but it has been working for them, since they just returned from a two-week tour of Europe and will soon head back for five more weeks—bastards! How committed are they? Well, there's this song of theirs about flipping an aural finger to the ever-ebbing-and-flowing tide of public taste, keeping it real ("Gotta change your name and play emo instead?/I said I'd rather be shot in the head!"), a highly admirable stance. What else would Jeffries Fan Club do anyway—the kind of doofus dick rock that currently pollutes the KROQ airwaves? Oh—the show? It was a ska show! What part of "ska" don't you understand?
IT CRAWLED FROM THE MAIL BIN
KRISTOFF'S CAKEBOY, TATTOO TIME (NINE-SONG FULL-LENGTH CD) Kristoff's Cakeboy are ultra-ear-friendly, a very Dave Matthews/ Counting Crows/Hootie and the Blowfish thing going on, which we'd ordinarily have a big problem with. But as long as they uphold their indie street cred, who cares? We'll wallow in compromised integrity for a sec, divulging that Kristoff's Cakeboy are swell, with lots of glowing, jingly-jangly guitars, as well as wide, glorious swaths of Hammond B-3 rolling up from unexpected cracks. There's also this slight, gospel-tinged, Southern rock aura to them, even an occasional slide riff that smells like dinosaur rock (the opening lick of "That's It" hints at "Free Bird"), but not overwhelmingly so. Kristoff, assuming he's the singer, also has this rich, bottom-heavy voice, perfect for their songs about women and men and the things they do, and not always the good things, either.
Info: (562) 746-2605.Send CDs, tapes and the all-important contact info to Locals Only,OC Weekly, P.O. Box 10788, Costa Mesa, CA 92627-0247.