click on month for monthly picture calendar

Listings are in the opposite order of appearance: headliner is listed at the top, next is the support band(s), and the last band listed is the opener.

Bookmark and Share

>>back to listings calendar
>> back to picture calendar
Monday November 13 2023
  7:30PM doors -- music at 8:00PM
•••  21 AND OVER
$17 in advance / $20 at the door
A Giant Dog
 garage rock
 Art Punk Rock
Milk for the Angry
 psychedelic alt rock, garage pop

A Giant Dog
-from Austin, TX
-The moment the needle drops on Bite, the new A Giant Dog record, one’s conception of what an A Giant Dog record sounds like bends like space and time around a starship running at lightspeed.

The biggest point of departure is that Bite is a concept album, concerning characters who find themselves moving in and out of a virtual reality called Avalonia. You’re thrown into it quickly, as a calm, robotic voice says, “Welcome to Avalonia, happiness awaits inside” over a crushing synth line that segues into an opulent string arrangement.

“Welcome to Avalonia” sounds like the birth of a new world, and sonically, it is. A Giant Dog’s first album of original songs since 2017’s Toy, Bite finds the band—Sabrina Ellis, Andrew Cashen, Danny Blanchard, Graham Low, and Andy Bauer— at their peak as musicians, challenging themselves with more complex arrangements and subject matter that forced them out of their heads and into those of the characters who occupy this supposed paradise.

“Within our previous albums, the subject matter, the lyrics are all very personal, based on our experiences—self-centered, even,” Ellis explains. “In making this conceptual album, we had to find ourselves within, or project ourselves into, the principal characters. We developed them, got to know their minds, emotions, and motivations, and then expressed those in nine songs. The songs aren’t demonstrative as in musical theater. Instead, the songs are heated moments, internal expressions that stand on their own.”

Those heated moments are spurred by subjects that are as thorny in virtual reality as they are in meatspace, as themes of addiction, gender fluidity, living ethically in a capitalist society, physical autonomy, avarice, grief, and consent bubble beneath the promised happiness of Avalonia.

This is evident in songs like “Different Than,” where Ellis sings, “My body can’t explain the things my mind don’t comprehend” as if societal gender pressure is squeezing its protagonist out of their skin. Its chorus of “That’s what makes me different than him” is half-anthem, half-elegy, defiance in the face of oppression. That elegy/anthem energy is prevalent throughout Bite, as sentiment like “I believe in gravity, and drugs, and outer space, I believe that misery is meant to be escaped,” crashes into “Technology, eventually, will have us all replaced” in “I Believe.” Later, in “Watch It Burn,” Ellis echoes that chorus in exploring their obsession with “acne-scarred and shinermarked” humans: “I believe in gravity, and sex, and rock and roll. Humanity is like a law that’s written on your soul.” The songs on Bite are full of bombast, at turns calling to mind the spacefaring operatic rock of Electric Light Orchestra and the high drama of an Ennio Morricone film score. The album’s narrative sweep is epic in scope, its characters facing impossible odds and certain doom, existing as comfortably with the sci-fi grandiosity of Thin Lizzy’s Jailbreak as it does with the high fantasy of Dio and Iron Maiden.

Appropriately, A Giant Dog came to this narrative armed to the teeth with new ideas, unleashing synthesizers and string sections to create what Ellis describes as orchestral, symphonic, futuristic punk. To achieve this, they left their home turf of Austin, Texas, for La Cuve Studio, just outside of Angers, France. Living in the French countryside, A Giant Dog laid down their vision of the future against a decidedly pastoral backdrop. On walks from Angers to La Cuve, Ellis says that they “would see many things, and also nothing at all. Swans on the river. Romani people living in little trailers, with a side hut built for their dog. A juggler on a unicycle—not fucking with you.”

“We thought we wouldn’t be allowed back in France after this trip, to be honest,” they continued. “Five loud, stomping, clapping, rowdy, asking-the-wrong-questions-and-looking-fortrouble Americans who ran through the streets of Angers for three weeks in November 2022.”

The experience capped two years of planning and writing, fleshing out the universe of Avalonia beyond the bounds of most concept albums. The resulting nine songs do not merely occupy this space: They’ve lived in it, and they want out.

-from Tokyo, JP
-TsuShiMaMiRe are a legendary Japanese rock trio formed in 1999 featuring Mari (vocals, guitar), Yayoi (bass, bv), and Maiko (drums, bv). These girls have captivated audiences around the world for over 23 years, spanning thousands of live performances, 15 US tours, and 20 full length releases. Among many other achievements, their music has been featured on TV, film, animation, and video games. TsuShiMaMiRe’s musical style ranges from hardcore noise to introspective indie rock, with traces of heavy funk disco and pop sentimentality. Mari’s quirky lyrics question social conventions and the anxieties of everyday life, rebellion, and love. Her vocals excel in melodic expressivity, ranging from child-like wonder to tragic despair. Yayoi’s groove is like that of a vengeful banshee in the throes of passion, suddenly pivoting from the stoic determination of a samurai in battle to the elegance and light-heartedness of a Japanese house cat. Meanwhile drummer Maiko locks down a constant punk backdrop, rallying the front pair but keeping them from toppling over the edge into insanity. The ferocity of these three warrior princesses culminates in a live show that is simultaneously upliftingly theatrical and brutally honest. TsuShiMaMiRe are certain to delight heavy rock fans and all lovers of Japanese indie subculture!

Milk for the Angry
-from San Francisco, CA
-a psychedelic hieroglyphic

Dana Lindstrom -gtr/ vox
Michael Masters - gtr/ vox
Erinn Wilkerson - Bass/ vox
Michael Pinkham - drums