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Thursday, December 08, 2005

the giant drag/the like - live @ richards on richards 

Album: Live @ Richards on Richards
Artist: The Giant Drag/The Like
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I never thought I’d be going into a place called Dicks on Dicks to find some all girl action. It’s like getting run over by a Dodge car, or finding 10000 forks when all you need is a knife (or whatever semi-ironic thing Alanis sang about).

Watching the Giant Drag set up, I was interested to see how this LA-based two-piece would deliver. Front woman Annie Hardy draws constant comparisons to the Breeders, PJ Harvey and My Bloody Valentine. Along with probably being annoying, it leaves the duo with some mighty big shoes to fill. Perhaps the best description I’ve read is that she’s “like Mazzy Star stumbling home after a pub crawl.” What’s that mean? No idea, but it is a good line.”

Annie strolled to the mic, and in a surprisingly sweet voice, introduced herself. Her librarian-esque sweater completed the whole, “there is no way this is the girl I heard rocking out on the Giant Drag disc” vibe. Then she introduced the first song, “you f&ck; like my dad” and Giant Drag proceeded to rock the small crowd (that was “10 times as big as the one they played for in Toronto” – so apparently they played in someone’s closet).

The sound these guys delivered was amazing. The drums thumped and Annie’s power chords provided more than enough music, static, feedback and octave pedal mishaps to keep heads nodding. Unlike most performers, Annie keeps the crowd entertained between songs. Her cute, slightly awkward style completely clashes with her strong, powerful songs for an enjoyable mix. She enlightened the crowd by letting us know she wrote Wicked Game (Chris Isaaks) for her boyfriend when she was 8, but he stole the song, before leaving her for Margaret Cho. She pulled a Babe Ruth, and called her shot (by saying the next song was called My D*ck Sucks, and this next dance is called the running man - before breaking into the run complete with geetar). All in all, the short set was energy and humor packed, and the band left on a Constanza – with us all wanting more.

Where to start when it comes to the Like? Maybe with the fact they are the daughters of some well connected music people (A & R man Tony Berg, producer Mitchell Froom and Attractions drummer Pete Thomas)? Maybe start with the fact that after their high school graduation in 2004, they toured with Phantom Planet and Maroon 5? Maybe start with the fact these girls are making music much better than people much, much older.

I was relatively in the dark about this band. I knew they were all pretty young and they have been compared to the Pretenders and the Sundays. Needless to say, I was interested to check them out live. As they took the stage, one thing was painstakingly clear. The fact these 18-year olds were scantily clad made me a little uncomfortable. I would assume it’s only a matter of time before one of them is dating that Fez guy (he’s totally pulling a Wooderson – “I get older, they stay the same age”).

Wearing dresses and boots, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but as soon as Tennessee Thomas started in on the drums, I knew this set would be high in rock quota. The girls tore through their set, with little crowd interaction – it seemed like the only thing said was several curse words from trucker mouthed lead singer Z. Berg – but the music seemed to speak for them. Rock solid drumming drove the songs, and the innovative and surprisingly advanced guitar work mixed well with Froom’s bass lines. The girls really enjoyed playing, and even pulled the no encore gimmick. Get on this train (figuratively Fez, so relax) early. It's going places.

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