Sunday, September 21, 2008

Thee Oh Sees! At the Smell. Los Angeles. 9.16.08.

Thee Oh Sees have been reinvented to the nth degree, making appearances as a duo (with John Dwyer and then-percussionist Patrick Mullins, now a baker), then as a folk-rock quartet, and most recently as a garage rock quartet with Dwyer, vocalist Brigid Dawson, guitarist Petey Dammit! and drummer Mike Shoun. Six months ago, the group stole the show as an opener for the Mae Shi – this time around, they played last to a crowd that'd had a chance to memorize lyrics to The Master's Bedroom is Worth Spending a Night In, and tested a crop of new material that – surprise! – immediately pleased.

Beneath his mop of beach bum hair, Dwyer's blue peepers looked ready to burst. The band he leads plays like a rockabilly cartoon, and to watch him twist and maneuver with his guitar held high is exhausting. Between the large drops of sweat he smeared about the floor and the microphone he nearly ate, it's no wonder Dawson had to sit out for a song with apparent nausea after having her eyes locked on him for the full set.

Shoun showed us his "o" (or was it "e?") face and received some percussion assistance from tambourine-wielding audience members. And Petey Dammit! – well, these eyes were glued to the piece of cake tattooed on his neck. Why Petey, why?

One of numerous devlishly danceable performances from the San Francisco group, aided by openers Sic Alps, who Dwyer's named “the greatest band to ever walk the earth,” and 21-year old one man band (think Mark Sultan or Hasil Adkins) Ty Segall, alleged Billy Childish fan and recent addition to Dwyer's Castle Face label.

...and babyfaced opener Ty Segall, whoo-ha!

purchase brand new live CD/DVD set Thee Hounds of Foggy Notion.

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