2009 Buzz Halloweenie Roast: Desperation, Angst and Jet

I was miserable for most of last night’s KRBZ’s Buzz Halloweenie Roast at the Beaumont. I felt like an alley cat — friendless, weatherbeaten, a scavenging creature of the night. I had a bad cold coming on (whose intensification today accounts for the lateness of this review) and, what’s worse, I had a rock in my shoe. There’s nothing like a bad cold and a rock in your shoe to remind you that the life of a man is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”

Because the mini-fest started so early, I missed two of the most buzzed-about bands: Missourah-bred indie darlings White Rabbits and the soul-funk-slaying Black Joe Lewis, who had horns, apparently. I missed the horns!

Lots of people were in costume. My costume: Anti-Social Bastard.

Yes, for the better part of three hours, I was feeling like a scornful wretch — and it was no one’s fault, really. I do not blame the Buzz, nor the Beaumont (though admittedly it’s not a good venue to be depressed in) nor any band, woman or beast. My heroes Adam and Johnny of Adam Lee and the Dead Horse Sound Company (pictured above) couldn’t cheer me up after I ran into them, all smiles and fancy suits after their mega-early 5:30 gig. It was just that kind of night.

And then Jet came on.

More on that in a minute.

First: the Raveonettes. This Danish band, comprised at its core of chesspiece-matched duo Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo, plays the kind of music that sounds good if you’ve been smoking cigarettes and fucking all weekend. (I imagine it’s even better if you replace the cigs with ganja, but I’m not much for the herb, so I wouldn’t know.) It’s mellow but distorted, smooth but frazzled, catchy but angsty. And its inner, echoing heart-shaped box contains sweet pop rocks, just like the group’s main sonic influence. Unfortunately, PA problems — which seemed to be connected to the way the half-acoustic/half-digital drumset was rigged, resulting in staticky bass drum sounds — plagued their set. That would become a nightlong theme for the Back Yard stage, where the big bands on the night’s lineup played.

Categories: Music