Monday, July 14, 2014

Andrew W.K. w/The Nightbeast, Music Band and Punani Huntah at Exit/In, 7/11/14

Posted By on Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 9:15 AM

As veteran show-goers, The Spin typically groans at the thought of standing through a bloated four-band bill. However, our curiosity concerning show-opener Punani Huntah — first piqued nearly a year ago with the track “Attraction Kit” — was enough to pull us into Exit/In early Friday night in order to witness Nashville’s potentially only novelty dancehall act. Clad in spray-painted Tyvek coveralls, Diarrhea Planet drummer Casey Weissbuch — the Punani Huntah himself — proved himself an impressively adept MC. The spectacle was complete with a hype girl on background duties and JEFF the Brotherhood’s Jake Orrall queuing beats and liberally dropping airhorn samples what seemed like every two to three seconds.

Exit’s new smoking deck, complete with that fully stocked tiki bar we first enjoyed at Fucked Up's show last week, almost makes this place a cozy enough hang to visit on the reg. It was from here we heard the opening notes of locals Music Band. Though they boast some tight-ass chops, feel-good harmonies and a tried-and-true combo of garage pop and blue-eyed psychedelic soul, Nashville is in no short supply in bands of this psych-rocking ilk. That said, the band's Can I Live cassette managed to rise above the fray and genuinely become one of our favorite local releases of the year thus far, mainly thanks to the real-deal song craft and catchy hooks buried beneath MB's super-familiar straight-from-the-garage aesthetic.

Dropping back in from a smoke break, we caught Ohio’s The Nightbeast mid-set and couldn’t help but wonder if maybe these guys had just fallen off the Warped Tour, or gotten lost on their way to Rocketown. With nearly every member flashing a bare, inked-up chest, sleeveless hoodies and baseball caps, these men were obviously well-traveled showmen and their fusion of pop punk, hardcore and hip-hop seemed to inspire enough Sum 41 nostalgia amid the party-hungry crowd to drum up a fairly hearty response.

The Spin would need both hands to count the number of times we’ve seen Andrew W.K. and his band since his 2001 debut, I Get Wet — but we've never once seen the man as a solo act. Given his multiple other endeavors as a self-help guru, motivational speaker, music producer and avant garde composer — not to mention the fact that we've heard mixed reviews concerning his solo sets — we weren't certain what exactly was about to happen. Were we in for wordy, uplifting, life-affirming pep talks about unity and respect? Atonal solo piano compositions? Maybe a bit of Q&A?

The set opened with a pre-recorded spiel boasting a bevy of the sort of up-worthy, positive affirmations for which W.K. is known, and the “party” diatribe eventually had the crowd chanting in unison, summoning the frontman to the stage. For a dude with so much to say, Andrew W.K. surprisingly let the music do all of the talking. Backed by pre-recorded, mostly electronic backing tracks, the singer and his hype man stomped through a crowd-pleasing, call-and-response-heavy mixtape of his best-known party-core anthems. Interspersed in equal parts were a series of instrumental jams wherein the WK would shred the keys for minutes on end. Admittedly, this got a little old after only just a couple of turns and began to feel a little too much like filler. Our impatience was rewarded when W.K. closed the evening with the title track from I Get Wet, which was climactically counted down to all the way from 97. The crowd stomped, chanted and clapped in an almost perfect encore-beckoning rally, only to be greeted with house music from the P.A. The one thing that’s sure to suck about any party is that at some point, they all end.

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Andrew W.K. w/The Nightbeast, Music Band and Punani Huntah at Exit/In, 7/11/14

Andrew W.K. w/The Nightbeast, Music Band and Punani Huntah at Exit/In, 7/11/14

By Emily Quirk

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