April 25, 2010

Quench me

Living in South Georgia, as you can imagine, comes with a lengthy list of disadvantages. It might actually take me a couple of days if I tried to discuss them all, but for the moment, I’ll stick with just one. There is a considerable lack of good local music.

South Georgians tend, for the most part, to live in this predesigned box passed on from generations previous. There are a lot of good old boys and country girls with strong Baptist or Methodist backgrounds who love country music. Have you heard that new song by Rascal Flatts? Um, no. Songs about sexy tractors and fried chicken. For a change of pace, they throw on whatever has gotten popular in the hip-hop/rap genre. I’m not talking about the good stuff…no dre and dee oh double gee. No nwa or ice cube or wu-tang either. No. I mean, the song could be about killing and raping white children in a plot to take over the country and these idiots would still be wildin’ out and dry humping each other in clubs. Ludakris could sing about taking a shit and it would hit platinum in seconds as long as drunk people move to it. Identifying Stairway to Heaven is about as good as their knowledge of the classics runs and saying you listen to metal often gets a reply such as “Thar *insert ridiculously awful growl imitation* suicidal bussshit? I don’t see how you listen to it. It makes me want to kill myself.” You people have songs about your dog in some other guy’s backyard because your wife left you for another man and metal makes you want to kill yourself?? I think perhaps you’ve gotten this all fucked up…but either way, I say go ahead. I’ll spin a Despised Icon album for you and you hang yourself with your bullet shell belts or your northface jackets, whichever.

The nearest city of considerable size that has any sort of rock scene is Tallahassee, Florida which is a little over 30 miles from the area I live in. The problem here though is that Tallahassee is a college town. FSU and FAMU are there as well as a few smaller community and tech schools. So, of the 150,000 approx population, the good majority are students. The bar scene definitely caters to this part of the city’s residents, understandably so, which is just part of the problem really. You get drink party girls in the pit in stilettos and too short dresses making out and pulling their tits out just before they throw up on each other and falling all over everyone in confusion…every other night of the week that same bar plays dance music and gets packed out with more of the same type of drunk asses. A lot of the bands are young guys going to school ususally who form bands just to do it and often for the celebrity associated with doing it. Theyr’re immature and often haven’t explored much in music beyond what plays on the radio so they end up sounding like nickelback or puddle of mud or taking back Sunday or staind or any other generic it-landed-us-on-the-NOW albums bullshit. To top it off, they never intend to really make a go of it because they’re only in tallahassee temporarily. A conundrum of epic proportions especially when you consider that the bands who come in to pay that are serious still cater, mostly, to this crowd.

There are two bars I frequent down there anyway because, inevitably, you do get surprised. Sometimes bands come in from out of town that you really fucking love. Sometimes local musicians really are very talented, and sometimes out of towners you’ve never heard of but risk your $7 on anyway really bring it to the table.

The latter was the case back in August of last year when I had plans to go to Floyd’s Music Store for a locals show. I hadn’t heard of 3 of the 4 bands playing but the headliner was pretty good and had an early grungy 90s feel that I liked. The surprise of the evening though was Quench, a band from Atlanta, that played second between sucks and sucks even more.

When the 3 man band started setting up, I have to admit I was skeptical. One guyy had an almost afro…softer…swingier…jimi-ish all the same though. One looked like the boy next door and one was a total baby face. Very different from one another and collectively quite different from the typical Floyd’s performers. I wouldn’t have been surprised if they were awful but I’d betted on not liking the first 3 acts before I made the decision to come.

To say I was surprised is an understatement. Moved? Awed? Elated? None of those are quite right but they’ll do. There really isn’t a perfect description for the emotions stirred when a song, a band, a type of music really speaks to you, but every fiber of your body feels it, rides it. There is certainly a physical response. I don’t know what it feels like to fly, but I’d bet it’s pretty similar. I guess, even though it’s ridiculously cheesy, you can say Quench took me for a magic carpet ride.

I had the pleasure of chatting them up a bit after they were done playing that night and I have to say they’re a pretty likeable bunch. They’re friendly, pleasant, easy on the eyes, and definitely know how to have a good time. So, when I found out they intended on returning to Tallahassee for a repeat performance, I was ecstatic and cleared that weekend, no question. I brought a few people with me because good music always needs to be shared (and just between you and I, when what I share isn’t appreciated as it should be, I tend to think less of whoever was retarded enough not to be moved by the awesomeness which just caressed their ears..because, let’s face it, if you can’t agree on music in a basic, fundamental way, what have you really got?) For myself and my friends (well, the ones who actually came for the band instead of staying stuck up each other’s asses) , it was, as I figured, another showstopping performance. It’s more than the music. They have a charismatic energy that pulls you in like the beckoning of an unforgettable lover…the one you could never get enough of. Your thirst, then, cannot be quenched.

I like it when a band is hard to label. It shows originality. For all intents and purposes, Quench defies labeling, explosively so. Among their listed influences on their myspace page, you’ll find Queens of the Stone Age and Jimi Hendrix which are very evident in those live performances. Don’t expect myspace or any other recorded material to really give you a clue as to the true potential of this band…as I’ve said before, technology is incapable of preserving good music. If possible, you should catch them at the infamous Clermont Lounge in Atlanta…I hear it’s a killer show. I had the chance to visit the Clermont just last nigh. Beer, old as your grandma strippers, and good tunes are definitely a winning combination, I must say. I’m looking forward to coming back to see Quench there instead of hearing a dj spin.

For Chis, Adam, and Matt…thank you. You play your asses off for little money but at least you’re adored. <3

showing quench love all over the place:

about me. not really.

dear you,

i don't talk about my child or being a mom. i don't talk about my garden. i won't mention my craftiness (often) or how much i save each week with coupons. if you're looking for that sort of thing, you're in the wrong place.

instead, let's abandon the tethers of domestication for a moment and remember what it's like to laugh at vulgarity and the world at large.



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