SF-Indie List Fall 2004 Box Social
Bermuda Triangle Service / Black Ghost / The Ex-Boyfriends
Audio Out Send / The Slow Poisoners

Thee Parkside
September 4, 2004

Review by Jake Thomas

My god it was like Baby Jesus has a personal vendetta against me, turning the thermostat in the city up like that. I’m not sure what the actual temperature was, but it had to be well over 5000 degrees. The old Jewish man in my said it felt like a never-ending schvitz. Luckily, the folks that came were there to see a show, and the bands were there to play, heat be damned. And thankfully, Thee Parkside has their lovely patio to cool off on when inside of the club was just too unbearable.

Here’s a rundown of the bands that played:

Bermuda Triangle Service kicked off the show with a nice, pleasant set of countrified tunes. This three-piece is led by Cynthia Wiggington, who not only possesses a great voice but an awesome last name. I couldn’t say what they sound like exactly, but fans of Neko Case, Carolyn Marks, The Court & Spark and that ilk would probably really dig their recordings, at least when they get released. An EP is to be issued pretty soon if I’m not mistaken, and I won’t be in the least bit surprised if folks start paying a lot more attention to this band. For lack of song titles, let me just say that the next-to-last-song was great, with this drawn out reggae-dub influence that was just what I wanted to hear (I’ve often that the twangy-ness of country would mesh well with reggae if done correctly, and this just furthered my point). When I mentioned to Cynthia after the show how much I liked that song, and especially the ending, she concurred – the lack of guitar on the dub-ish ending gives her time to drink beer. You’ve just gotta love an answer like that.

Black Ghost may have nearly cleared the room with their loud set, but they filled my heart with joy over how good they sounded (as well as the possibility that I would be able to use this cheesy line when I wrote this up). In some ways similar to the Moggs but much noisier, it’s amazing that a band with only two people can make that much of a racket; many 4 and 5 member bands don’t even come close. Big drums and an aluminum guitar have magical qualities over my ears, and I’ve never been sure why.

Glad to finally get the chance to see The Ex-Boyfriends, as it was worth the wait. They seemed to draw the biggest crowd into the hotbox for their set of Archers of Loaf-inspired indie rock. Very catchy, with all of the members singing/harmonizing (it’s worth noting that the bassist is also a member of a great local band by the name of Charmless who are somewhat similar to the Ex-BFs in sound). Not unlike Eric Bachman of the Archers, Colin Daly of the Ex-BFs has a similar rough-hewn yet instantly likeable voice that brings a grin to my face, making me remember the good old days when North Carolina indie rock reigned supreme. Actually, it still does, but probably just in my house, and that is neither here nor there…

Audio Out Send covered the fourth slot with their keyboard-and-effects heavy mellow pop music. I know there were a number of folks hearing this band for the first time that were won over, and I’m sure even more would have said that if they had braved the heat. I would hate to be forced to pick a favorite of all of these bands, but I do really like these guys; I often wonder what it’s going to take to have the rest of the Bay Area wake up and hear just how great this band is, because I think they deserve it. Of course, the down side of that is it will no longer feel like they are playing shows just for me, but I’m willing to accept that loss for their gain. I know, I know, I’m a regular Mother Theresa.

The Slow Poisoners is a duo of pranksters who finished out the day with their quirky pop music. They’re like a Vaudeville show crossed with the goofiness of They Might Be Giants or Ween and a dash of 60’s pop sensibilities ala the Kinks or (gasp) the Beatles. Andrew Poisoner has one of the most unique voices I’ve heard in some time, and drummer extraordinaire Foxx Trott, in his silly little outfit, kept things in tune and on time (I totally stole that line from a DJ Shadow album, I’m not going to lie). They’re always a good time and very entertaining to watch. The set, and the show, came to a triumphant end as Trott took one of his cymbals, banging on it constantly, circled the club, and then came back in the front door and dove to the ground in a giant heap. It was a perfect ending to a great day.

Read our previous Black Ghost review:
Review: December 5, 2003 @ 40th Street Warehouse
Review: May 24, 2004 @ Bottom of the Hill

Check out our previous Audio Out Send experiences:
Review: August 14, 2004 @
Café DuNord
Review: March 17, 2004 @ Café DuNord
Photos: May 14, 2004 @ Bottom of the Hill

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