Went to see Hunx and The Punkettes, Brilliant Colors, and Gun Outfit last night at the Hemlock in San Fran. I usually hate going to see shows by myself, but the bands’ tight (or otherwise inspired) performances and a totally gay, wickedly rowdy crowd made for a really good time.
Olympia, WA’s Gun Outfit started out the night with some grungy mood-pop tunes. They totally owned their mid-90’s vibe and I was grooving on it, even if the crowd was still pretty dead at this point. (They were the opening act, after all.) Though they come across as quiet and shy (and maybe a little boring) when addressing the audience between songs, Gun Outfit was rude and powerful when their instruments were speaking for them. I’d recommend checking them out next time they’re touring near you.
Brilliant Colors played next and it was, well, brilliant. Of all the hyped up, all-girl garage groups that have been getting lots of digital ink lately, SF’s Brilliant Colors is among the best. BC produces records that, in their purest moments, remind me of the joy of riding my bike through Bloomington, Indiana in early spring. (Young love! Bicycle grease! Warm air! Beers! 3 day weekends!) Their performance last night contained that same joie de vivre, and for approximately 30 minutes, I was in a summer fling quadrangle with the Brilliant lezzies, whether they knew it or not.
Of course, it is entirely possible that I am projecting my feelings for the crowd at the Hemlock onto Brilliant Colors’ performance. Because, while BC totally killed it, I doubt I would have felt the same way about their set had Brontez and his newfound homies not been cutting a rug at the front of the stage, inspiring all but the biggest asshole scenesters to dance in their pants.
Imagine!!!!! A rock show where people actually DANCE!! San Francisco, I find a new reason to love you every day.
Everyone was so amped on Brilliant Colors that we called for an encore. (And how!) How often do you see THAT with opening bands?
If you want to check out their sound or buy their records, I would encourage you to do so NOW before they break Top 40 and start getting so overplayed that you hate them without even knowing them. Because that’s the logical next step for BC. They rule.
Sissy bubble-gum punkers Hunx and The Punkettes took the stage next (and last). I had serious doubts that anyone could follow Brilliant Colors’ set, but I knew in my heart that if anyone could bring it home, it was Hunx.
Now, it’s no secret that Hunx is infatuated in a major with the girl group sound, so it’s only natural that he should eventually lead his own girl group, The Punkettes. Hunx and The Punkettes made their debut, having “barely practiced enough” by Hunx’s own admission. All the same, everyone went NUTS over the whole thing, right from the start.
They opened strong with Cruising and, for a band that wasn’t practiced, sounded really good. Hunx’s chemistry with his backing ladies was evident, and the whole band’s “fuck it, let’s party!” attitude was contagious. They got the entire crowd dancing right away, which (d)evolved into crowd surfing and a mosh pit towards the latter half of the show. Hunx, fueled by the trashy femininity behind him, camped it up, sashaying across the stage and sometimes forward into the crowd, whining and humping the stage a la “Like a Virgin” era Madge, and flirting shamelessly with hipster-hesher dudes in the audience. (When I say that The Punkettes were trashy, I do mean literally “trashy.” They all wore matching black, 30-gallon garbage bags, tailored to suit their styles. And it looked AWESOME.) All that style and sass while shaking a couple of light-up toy tambourines; Hunx was a sight to behold, like a John Waters short come to life.
There were some technical and personnel issues here and there–the smoke machine (at least, I hope it was a smoke machine) choked the tiny back room of the Hemlock to the point where I started to get a bit freaked out; Hunx vocals were too far down in the mix to really be heard for the first few songs; and towards the end of the show, the drummer got worked up and almost walked off stage, she was so overheated and thirsty. If there weren’t fuck-ups, though, it wouldn’t be punk, and lord knows that H&TP killed it in every other way possible.
Anyway, the band called it a night rather early. “Thanks for coming out you guys, but that’s it,” Hunx said as they band started to leave the stage. “We don’t have any other songs. Literally. Like, those are all the songs we know. So, thanks! Goodnight!” A cute but abrupt end to a sick night.
Hunx has approximately 38 sold out 7″ singles (or something like that), which have been collected into the Gay Singles LP, available through Matador. You can listen to his singles on your typeybox through HypeMachine. You may or may not being able to find a totally illegal version of Gay Singles on your typeybox, as well; normally, I wouldn’t point you to do so, but the LP isn’t available digitally anywhere else.
In the future, I’ll party with any of these dudes on a school night, for reals. Happy 2010 to ME.
Shitty photos to follow.
(Have more/better photos from last night’s show? Post in the comments! Relevant self-promotion encouraged!)