Showgazing: Death Hymn Number 9, Head Sounds at Detroit Bar

“You wrote about the Dig, and you missed their set. You're the worst music editor ever!”

Those (good-natured, assuredly!) words from DJ Oldboy–at Detroit Bar last night in his capacity as a percussionist for Death Hymn Number 9–greeted me as I walked through the parking lot.

It was kind of late. Just after 11 p.m. I certainly wanted to catch the Dig, whom I wrote about in last week's Locals Only, and for some reason I thought getting there then would mean getting there in time. It did not. (I missed Love Your Mother, too. Sadface. Ironically, though, part of what distracted me was talking to my own mother on the phone, who left for Hawaii for a week this morning.)

Thankfully, I was there in time to see bluesy, surfy, Orange-based duo Head Sounds.
I got some pictures. They're not very good. The lightning for the whole show was pretty dark (which fits Death Hymn Number 9's zombie theme, I guess), with just sparse blue lights dotting the stage.

And I think that was the best one!

Pictures or no, Head Sounds sounded (awkward phrasing on my part) quite good, and there was a cute moment when singer/guitarist Reed McMillan had to tune his guitar and drummer Megan Clark had to fill time telling jokes and chatting with the audience for a few minutes. For their last song, they brought up Dig lead singer Darla Diggs and DJ Oldboy to add some tambourine and harmonica, respectively, to the offerings. The next Head Sounds show is the 16th at Marlin Bar in HB. Check it out.

Death Hymn Number 9 were next, which I was pretty psyched for, having never seen them and missing them by like two minutes at a show at the Prospector in Long Beach a few months back. So it's sort of a shame that they proclaimed last night to be their “worst show ever” on stage, even though I still thought it was kinda awesome–either I have low standards or their good shows are like, really, really good. Or both. (Probably both?)

Their membership varies from three to five musicians dressed as zombies, and it was just three tonight: Oldboy, drummer “Sleazy P” and guitarist “Rack 'em Frack 'em.” Their songs are pretty much instrumentals, with some off-mic screaming tossed in. Oldboy gets into even moreso than he does at during his weekly Thursday night DJ sets at Avalon; last night pounding on a washboard and tambourine, running into the audience and generally spazzing out. In as cool of a way possible, of course. (“What the fuck was that?” an audience member asked.)

The band members mentioned not feeling well, which is probably the reason they considered it their worst show ever. They still brought a fairly ferocious energy and a set that included the '60s Batman theme song, even if there were only about 20-30 people there to witness it. (It was a free show, too! What's wrong with people!)

Read Nate Jackson's Locals Only on Death Hymn here. And here's one more pic, of the dudes packing up. Even zombies gotta clean up after themselves.

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