All that remains
The Remains played at The Basement! And it was awwwesome — one of those shows that makes The Spin love our job and love our city even more than we already do. Seriously, in terms of once-, maybe twice-in-a-lifetime shows, we couldn't have asked for a better one. There was no audible way of differentiating between The Remains circa '66 and The Remains circa '11. Granted, if you had your eyes open it was pretty clear that these dudes were not 22 years old anymore, but it was also evident that there is no retirement age for pure rock 'n' roll radness. Our only complaint was that it was 21+ — there's a lot of little whippersnappers running around town trying to make garage rock even though they can't buy their own liquor, and it would have been nice for them to see how it's really done.
It was an early show, and the word from Grimey was that it was going to fill up quick. So we got there a half-hour early. It's a new record! And we weren't even the first ones there! If you've ever seen a group of garage nerds getting giddy, you know it's a beautiful thing. Especially beautiful was the inherent scraggliness of the garage nerds standing next to, you know, actual grown-ups, who were there en masse as well. The room was pretty much a 50/50 split between friends and family of the band and sweaty-palmed collector types. (In case you were wondering, The Spin falls squarely in the latter category.) Needless to say, there was quite a bit of anticipation among the crowd milling about, lots of high expectations and discussion of late-period demos.
When The Remains hit the stage, it took about, oh, four bars for them to get in the groove and throw down like LBJ was still in office. By the time they got to the wild, trashing rave-up that has always made their version of "Hang on Sloopy" one of our favorites, we knew we were in for a helluva show. The thing that always separated The Remains from the rest of the garage pack was that they could play their asses off and sing all pretty-like. And even though they're not playing together very often these days, they haven't lost one iota of that magic. Whether performing their own cult classics like "Don't Look Back" and "Why Do I Cry" or tackling vintage covers like "Sloopy," "Like a Rolling Stone" or the mind-blowing, set-closing rampage through "I'm a Man," The Remains ripped it up like they had just walked off the set of Hullabaloo. It was amazing and inspiring and just a boatload of pure rock 'n' roll fun.
Christ, that was a great party! Oh, wait ... that sounds a little weird. That statement is actually addressed to Christ Mironescu, the promoter behind Friday night's Unify 002 Block Party on 12th Avenue, not the carpenter dude from that book that people like. (Sorry for the confusion.) But seriously, The Spin spends a lot of time talking about the wealth of talent in this town's electronic scene — we're pretty sure the technical quantity would be "a shit ton" — and it was really great to actually witness it all in one place at one time. Y'know, just to prove to ourselves that we're not full of shit. And we're not! There was seriously so much local talent spread between the three rooms at Mai, the two rooms at 12th & Porter and the outdoor stage that we couldn't decide where we wanted to be at any given moment.
Truth be told, The Spin showed up in the mood for some good, old-fashioned, four-on-the-floor stompin'. We had pounded almost a gallon of iced coffee before we left the house, and we were gonna need to get that out of our system before we could get our dubstep lurch on. Luckily, the techno kids were holding it down in the Mai lounge, and we found ourselves back there repeatedly over the course of the night, diggin' on the sounds of Neuro, Ashley Powers, John Napier, Will Azeda and Grey People. Right next door in the Mai main room there were two hella, hella tight house tag teams — Jane Dupree vs. Geoff Piller and Brandon Wahl vs. Samme — that brought some seriously jackin' beats and satisfied our four-on-the-floor jones.
And with that jones satisfied, we were able to get down on some serious womp, taking in all of the drum 'n' bass and dubstep this city has to offer. Tim Prince spun a nasty set that veered closer to ethereal industrial doom metal, and Sub Shanti's cello-fueled Eastern sounds melted our faces on the main stage of 12th & Porter. Kidsmeal dropped a set of progressive hip-hop that our dance partner described as having "just enough dubstep to trick the kids into listening to something really cool." Wick-It flipped his post-modern pop mash-ups to a crowd of eager fans, and Dorian dropped some serious bass music — like, seriously serious. We're talking about a set that managed to touch on hip-hop, dance hall, dubstep, drum 'n' bass, funk. Plus, we caught tight tunes from the Represent crew on the patio at Mai and the Y2K kids in the lounge at 12th & Porter, and there's probably a bunch of folks that we're leaving out. But that's sorta what happens when you're at a party with over 45 DJs, all of whom can throw down like total champs. Like we said, it was a great party.
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