UMS Night Four Travelogue: Snake Rattle Rattle Snake at 3 Kings, Treeverb at the hi-dive and more
7.24.10 | Baker District/South Broadway
I have never seen so many neon Wayfarer sunglasses in my life. Ever. It was like I walked into 1982 the second I walked onto Broadway -- the hot sun blistered people's skin but their eyes were blocked by their first-rate, second-hand sunglasses. Or maybe they were actually Ray-Bans -- I don't know, I couldn't catch a close enough glimpse to glean any name-brand off of them.
Thankfully for me and my Wayfarer-less eyes, my first stop of the evening, the hi-dive, remained dank as usual in the afternoon light. I caught the tail-end of Astrophagus. By tail-end, I mean literally the last note of their set.
Disgruntled and a little bereaved I held out for the next in line, the Overcasters, which turned out to be a throwback to the earlier days of rock and roll -- or rather, my earlier days -- hello 1992. The swirling guitars and penchant for Slowdive threw me for a bit of loop and while technically solid, I was in the mood for something a little bit more uplifting for my first (albeit rather late) UMS band.
I made my over to Ian Cooke's stage -- which happened to be inside a outdoor square box straight out of a traveling circus. Cooke and company played a few overtly pop tracks, which is what they do best, while a collection of girls awkwardly hula-hooped on the right of the stage.
Admittedly my gaze kept falling over to the hula-hoopers, but not for any reason other than the fact they were making more movement than the band. The whole thing was a bit of a vaudevillian spectacle -- I half-expected Tom Waits to pop out of a manhole with a megaphone at any moment.
Everyone's Wayfarer's put away and the sun down, I made my way over to the Skylark for Oblio's Arrow, but not without incident. Rather, it wasn't an incident involving me in any way, but one involving an actual wayfarer, a woman and a bottle of rum. I passed by a homeless man having a conversation with a woman who seemed strangely willing to talk, when the man asked her "would you like to come to back to my place?" she politely declined before moving on.
Where exactly, I wondered, is your place? He couldn't have meant right there could he? Or maybe he could -- as she walked away he told me, "I'd hit that." I nodded for some reason -- I guess I felt a social obligation to agree with this stranger for some reason.
Oblio's Arrow was solid -- their rumpus mesh of a stoic waltz with a country twinge was solid, and their crowd seemed to agree. Strangely and completely unrelated, the Skylark was home at the time to not one, but three mullets -- serious as they may have been to their owners, they seemed oddly out of place -- at least the two of those mullets that didn't have a pair of Wayfarer's resting on their crown.
Walking between the Skylark and my next destination I passed by Illiterate, which was showing some of Ravi Zupa's excellent music videos. I happened upon it at the moment his video for Genghis Tron popped on -- a weird mesh between shaky cam footage of the band and multi-layered pop-ups. I didn't stick around for the whole running -- but what I saw, was one of the best parts of the evening.