SONGWRITER'S SUPPER CLUB AT DIPIAZZA'S, LONG BEACH
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 5
For some bands, it's black eyeliner and matching military getups. For others, it's technicolor balloon drops and dancing bunny rabbits. But why settle for all that—makeup, costumes, onstage re-creations of acid trips—when you can catch a live show that's far cuter—and prehistoric—by a couple of guys from Anaheim? Orange County, meet Slings: they perform singsong-y rollickers á la Yo La Tengo—when Yo La Tengo goes for the toned-down twang, and maybe mixed with a pinch of Neutral Milk Hotel, or even Love—alongside adorable, moveable, fourth-grade-science-fair dinosaurs. And while I'm still not quite certain what a red T. rex and green brontosaurus have to do with songs that drip with xylophone melodies and happy-trails-to-you whistling, I can vouch for this much: it works. Watching their set from a chair at the bar—behind a cluster of various members from the World Record (whose set I unfortunately missed) and Ann Lynn (reviewed in this spot last issue), evidently all fans and friends of the band—I'd find myself getting wrapped up in a drone-y guitar solo or cozy harmonica bit, and then, when the dinosaurs began dancing, bursting into a silent fit of giggles and smiles. It's maybe the best pick-me-up, oh, ever. And just when I thought it all couldn't get any more sweet or lovey-dovey—the show was a CD-release party for The Sounds When We Move, a compilation Slings put together featuring bands that inspire them (aww)—I hear a band member say something about special this-night-only buttons and a table where you could make them. Seriously? Arts and crafts, too? Yet there was still more sugar to be heaped on top of this already to-die-for night: show closers—and the prized object of Chris Ziegler's obsession—Sendaero, who constructed a wall of sometimes light pop, sometimes heavy rock behind lead singer Carole's always heavy, sexy, sad voice. Afterward, I could do nothing but exit in quiet disbelief: dinosaurs, arts and crafts, and guitars? Why can't every show be like Back to School night?