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Recap: The Black Angels and Suuns

The Black Angels played at the Magic Stick on Saturday, April 16th. Opening for them was Suuns and Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor.

Suuns (pronounced soons) are kind of a no-wave band (I like to think I know what no-wave is) that sometimes crosses over into a kind of noise sound. I showed up right when they started with their song Armed for Peace, which has this hook I really dig. As they verged into some of their more unstructured sounds, the audience seemed to disconnect. About two-thirds of the crowd just didn't seem to be into it. I even overheard one impatient dudebro tell his friends "it's a just an onstage circle-jerk". Whoa, tough crowd. Fans for The Black Angels just didn't seem to make the crossover.

The Black Angels are a psych rock band that don't wander off too much with their sound. They're comprised of four guys and one girl. Usually when a band has just one female member, she's playing bass, but here she was playing drums. And just because she's a pretty blond, don't assume she's accustomed to skating by on her looks, because she could really play. Two stereotypes averted; cred justly earned.

The band had a wavy-zebra stripe backdrop set up, and with a strobe light facing the band from the front of the stage, I managed to get a few decent shots with my point-and-shoot camera without using a flash (which in these lighting conditions, would just highlight the back of people's heads).

The place felt like it was packed, and everyone there was excited to see the headliner. The band seemed to draw a crowd from a rather broad spectrum of ages and scenes. No one "type" of person seemed to dominate the showing. Small world, I recognized the Alpha Drunk from the Obits show from a little while back, but she wasn't a contender for the honor that night. The creepy gangley neck-beard guy who often stood unnecessarily close to complete strangers was a high contender, but also couldn't seal the deal. The Alpha Drunk award would definitely have to go to early 20's hoodie guy who kept trying to mosh when no one else was in to moshing. We all have to expect some of that at shows sometimes, but if only one person wants to mosh, the people immediately surrounding him don't respond to it too well. Security dragged him out during the encore. In this scenario, it's to protect him from the people he's pissing off.

What a weird coincidence, I happened to hear The Black Angels' song Telephone when I saw the movie Hall Pass tonight at dollar movie night at Cinemark in Warren. (What a great way to see a movie that's amusing, but also somewhat forgettable)