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Archive for the ‘The Distillers’ Category

[ATTENDED: October 7, 2019] The Distillers

The Distillers and Starcrawler were supposed to play a show at Union Transfer on June 1.

I bought tickets because I wanted to see Starcrawler–a band whose live show is becoming legendary.  I thought I didn’t even know The Distillers.  This turned out not to be true.  About a year earlier I had watched an NPR Field Recording with Brody Dalle.

Dalle (who is Australisn, which is hard to imagine given her speaking/singing voice which has no accent) has been in a bunch of bands.

First was The Distillers who broke up in 2006.
Then she formed Spinnerette who put out a couple of records until roughly 2011.
Then she did a solo album in 2014.
She has done all kinds of guest appearances, especially with Queens of the Stone Age.

Then she reconvened The Distillers in 2018.

I listened to a couple of their songs and was pretty excited to go to a old good punk show with a legendary singer. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 7, 2019] Death Valley Girls

I had the opportunity to see Death Valley Girls twice in August.  The first time was with The Distillers who had to cancel their second show at Union Transfer due to a different injury.  The second (and it probably happened because of that cancellation) was with Sharkmuffin, a band I really wanted to see but wasn’t free that night.

So I was pleased that they were opening for The Distillers again a few months down the line.

I actually didn’t know much about them before seeing the show.  I had an idea of what they sounded like but, for instance, I had no idea that they were founded by Patty Schemel, the original drummer for Hole.  I also had no idea that there was a man in the band (Larry Schemel–Patty’s brother).  Patty Schemel has since left, replaced by Laura Kelsey.

So what exactly do the Death Valley Girls sound like?

Well, they’re sort of a fuzzy rock band with goth leanings.  The goth leaning come primarily from their look and their lyrics–not their sound. (more…)

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[NOT ATTENDED: June 1, 2019] Death Valley Girls/The Distillers

On June 1, I drove to Union Transfer to see Starcrawler and The Distillers only to learn:

“Brody has a herniated disc and can not stand. She’s at the hospital getting treatment now.”

So I went home with th eknowledge that the show was going to be rescheduled for August 14.

Then on August 3rd, I received this email

Hello Distillers fans,

Unfortunately another member of The Distillers was recently injured and they have to postpone their Philly date again. They are dedicated to make it back to Philly and play for you!!! So all tickets will be honored. Including tickets originally purchased for the original June 1st date.

(more…)

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[NOT ATTENDED: June 1, 2019] Starcrawler/The Distillers

I got a ticket for this show more for Starcrawler than The Distillers.

I have heard that a live Starcrawler show is not to be missed and I was ready to watch them!

I wasn’t even really sure if I knew who The Distiller were, in fact.  Then I remembered I had seen an NPR Field Recording with Brody Dalle.  I didn’t love her solo song, but it got me to listening to a few songs from The Distillers, which I liked a lot more.

So I was pretty excited to go and I made sure that I got there early since I assumed there’d be a lot of Starcrawler fans there, too.

But when I drove past Union Transfer, there was a huge line out front.  Was I earlier than the doors opening time?  I found a parking spot and as I walked to the venue I saw people walking away.

When I got up to the doors, I saw the merch all set up, but the guy at the door politely said that Brody had herniated a disc in her back and the show was postponed.  And not for later in the night–she was in the hospital. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: BRODY DALLE-“Dressed in Dreams” (Field Recordings, July 15, 2014).

For this Field Recording [Brody Dalle: Raging Into the Light], Brody Dalle plays in an Indian Restaurant!  I fancy myself a knowledgable punk fan, but I’ve never heard of Brody or either of her bands.

Throughout her career, punk icon Brody Dalle has embraced her aggressive side. Best known as the lead singer of The Distillers and Spinnerette, Dalle has a sandpaper- and velvet-tinged voice that speaks to rebellious young punks who are curious about the world yet vulnerable to its sharp edges. “I’ve never understood why there was such a fuss about aggressive women in music,” Dalle says. “To me, aggression is a human instinct. … I’ve felt provoked for most of my life, especially as a child. I guess I’ve carried those feelings into my songs.”

So it was a pleasant surprise that Dalle was open to the challenge of crafting a stripped-down version of her song “Dressed in Dreams.” An anthem about getting back up when you’ve been kicked down, the song is personal to Dalle: After overcoming addiction, she almost immediately faced a brutal bout of postpartum depression. “I had a hard time getting myself up and running before I wrote this record,” she says. “I felt worthless. I was embarrassed and lost.”

Luckily, Dalle was able to use her songwriting as a way to fight back. Earlier this year, she released Diploid Love, her first solo album, and she says she happily embraces her day-to-day life as a working rock mom and wife. As Dalle set up her gear at New York City’s Panna II, we noticed the way the chili-pepper strands that covered every surface of the restaurant bathed her in a weirdly fierce yet serene red light. They provide a nice little visual metaphor for the way raging against the darkest points in life can help bring you into the light.

I love the fuzz she gets on an acoustic guitar.

But I have since listened to the recorded version and I like it a ton more.  The extra guitar really helps make what is an otherwise simple and repetitive song far more interesting.  Her voice also sounds a lot better on the record.

But the weirdest thing is how long this song is.  The Distillers songs were proper punk songs, last about 3 minutes or less.  This one, running over 4 doesn’t have enough variety to sustain that length.

[READ: February 5, 2018] “A Failure of Concern”

I wrote this about a Ben Marcus story published in Harper’s in 2011:

It goes on for several pages.

There is some degree of amusing shock value in the way he speaks … but as with much of what I’ve read from Marcus, I feel like I could have read half of this and gotten enough.

No explanation is given for the problem (and, fair enough, it is only an excerpt) and anyway, by the end, I didn’t really want one.

And I feel exactly the same about this story.

The nutshell story is that the narrator’s father and a lodger in their house are both missing, possibly murdered.  There is a detective there looking for clues.

The narrator is a lunatic, a mental case, and idiot, a deviant, a murderer, something, whatever.  The narrator gets common quotes and facts wrong. The narrator seemed to hate both his father and the lodger and seems likely very guilty. (more…)

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