White Trash Disco
The Bredrin Daddys/Kenochamp/Senza Motiva/The Migs/Scotland Yard/Johnny Jones & the Suffering Halos
Beach Fest, Long Beach
Saturday, June 17
Ahhh, the annual Beach Fest! The sun! The cool, calming ocean breezes! The pungent aroma of the chili cook-off wafting through the air! The tats! The tits! The testosterone! The chaos, disorder and general indifference that allowed Johnny Jones & the Suffering Halos to get through half their set before Those Who Would Be in Charge bothered to open the gates! (Don't feel bad about the low turnout, kids—seems you were merely the sound-check band for everybody else, which sucks. Loads!) How about maybe next year opening everything at 10 or so and then have the bands start at 11? We're just asking!
You could also call this the Straight Pride Fest, judging from the event's not-so-subtle emphasis on T&A at what the city would like to believe is a family-friendly environment—there were the Hooter Girls roaming around, sticking their appendages into everybody's face. Well, not literally, though we heard lots of really gross, sexist comments about them, like one from the withered 80-or-so-year-old gent manning one of the chili booths, who slobbered, "Woo! Lookit the tits on that one!" to his younger co-worker.
Now, we don't have a problem with straight people—some of them are our best friends—but do they really have to flaunt their chosen sexual preferences so openly?
Anyway, we caught just half of the Halos (who were superb, as always) before moving on to the unbilled Scotland Yard waaayyy down at the southernmost stage. They were the sound-check band there, too, which blows for them, though we didn't mind as much since their standard bar-band rock teemed with generic-ness—neither demanding nor challenging, just the sort of combo you want blasting in the background when all you care about is getting shit-faced drunk fast. Also, we thought their canned "FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELTS!" intro was just a leetle presumptuous.
Meanwhile, the Migs reminded us of the Flaming Lips with all of their freaky eccentricities, a rock band with a theremin player, who looked cool and strange waving his hands around in the air, seemingly at random, yet controlling the bizarre WOO-OO-WEE-WOO sounds all the while.
Senza Motiva were brilliant, too, all sweet and fun and summery—that "Feel So-Lo" song would make a great track on some local alterna-weekly's compilation CD someday, like maybe one that'll be on the streets July 20—hint, hint!
Kenochamp were dull—too many same-sounding "emo"-esque tunes and lots of high-pitched caterwauling about stuff like how their singer "can't go on like this," blah, blah, blah.
Neither could we, so we tried hanging out at the hip-hop/reggae stage, but every time we did, it seemed like all they were doing was karaoke. While the music of the Bredrin Daddys wasn't bad—lotsa fine, Sublime-y, punky/reggae/hip-hop grooves —the tuff-dood posturing and Look-Ma-I'm-a-Bad-Ass gesturing of their three MCs came off as so much dorky white-guy shtick, the kind that's all over KROQ and MTV like a pox these days (maybe they should've played the Weenie Roast instead). They relish this—two of the MCs are named the Cracka(T) and Whitebread—but their patter was annoyingly banal, loaded with tired B-boy phrasing (they gave "big ups" to various peoples; if they'd asked us to "wave your hands in the air and wave 'em like you just don't care," we would've walked out). And in terms of grand, sociopolitical pronouncements, they didn't get much deeper than rhyming "Bredrin Daddys" with "rollin' fatties." Even the Kottonmouth Kings would've been preferable to this trio, and for us, that's saying something. What else went on during their set was more interesting. All bands that play Beach Fest are made to sign an agreement stating that they won't use profanity onstage. Problem: the Bredrin Daddys are basically nothing more than a "FUCK FUCK FUCK!" choir set to music. So the Long Beach cops became the "fuck" patrol, telling the sound guy to pull the plug on the band as soon as they reached their maximum "fuck" limit. This got back to the band, who—of course—informed the quite-buzzed crowd that the cops were gonna shut 'em down if they weren't careful. This—also of course—riled up the crowd, who had already been told they couldn't mosh (the horror!). Our point: Why were the Bredrin Daddys even booked, if organizers presumably knew what their show was like? And why did the band risk inciting a mini-riot when they themselves knew they wouldn't abide by the agreement they also presumably signed? Either way, the "family" atmosphere Beach Fest tries to promote is a joke. How "family" could it have been when, at the Hooters Fashion Show, the MC asked the ladies such family-oriented questions as "Which would you choose: long and slow, or short, quick and a beer?" But since Hooters was a major Beach Fest sponsor, we guess some people just have more freedom of speech than others, hmmm?
IT CRAWLED FROM THE MAIL BIN will return next week. Meanwhile, send CDs, tapes and the all-important contact info to Locals Only, OC Weekly, P.O. Box 10788, Costa Mesa, CA 92627-0247.
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