Monday, April 7, 2014

The Vivids, Summer Luvers, & The Abigails @ The Continental Room

Last night, I went to check out the Sunday night residency show by The Abigails, one of my favorite new bands, whose record "Songs of Love and Despair" is one I regularly play when I DJ.  With a band as good as The Abigails, I knew they would bring cool bands to open for them, and I was not disappointed.  The first band I saw was called The Vivids.  They are a post-punk band from LA, with influences ranging from The Minutemen to La Dispute.  I spoke with the lead singer, Sim Jackson, and he talked about being "the only black punk in South Central."  His songs are "direct, visceral, and autobiographical."  I asked him about his favorite band, and he replied "Sonic Youth.  They are my Beatles."

Next up was a band called Summer Luvers, an eclectic rock-n-roll band from Long Beach.  I talked briefly with their lead singer, Mike Vermillion.  He described his band as "influenced by New York pre-punk bands like Richard Hell & The Voidoids and Television."  The band began as a "goof" for a friend's summertime party, but then they kept playing and recording.  They have a single coming out soon on Paper Made Records.

Finally, the Abigails played.  They definitely have country-n-western influences, but with a darker twinge, a la Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.  They sort of remind me of the soundtrack to the movie The Proposition.  Their twangy sound, and deep-voiced vocals are reminiscent of an older and more depressed Hank Williams.  Ironically, their live set was fun and full of energy.

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