COLLEEN GREEN + THE BEETS + MORE @ THE SMELL
The local group Corners opened up the night, with Robert Cifuentes and Tracy Bryant playing as a two piece, and swapping instruments midway in the set. Cifuentes started out on guitar and vocals, hammering fuzz-toned riffs, while Bryant thumped the drums with a stick in one hand and a tambourine in the other, calling back classic dance beats from the 1960s.
Ocean View, a roots-driven punk rock group from Copenhagen, Denmark, joined the lineup as last minute guests. “We just came to LA this morning,” Ocean View’s bassist Anton Funk said. “We haven’t slept for 35 hours.” The group’s energetic performance concealed any lack-of-sleep symptoms they may have been suffering. Vocalist and guitarist Julius Ernst paced the ground and jumped in the crowd, spiking the adrenaline of the teeny-boppers in the packed room.
Teen girl dream queens, Cherry Glazerr, then took the stage and doused the crowd with bubble gum pop jams about grilled cheese and wistful lifestyles of teenaged girls. Boppers moshed while Clem Creevy and Sophia Muller softly whispered, and sometimes whistled, to the surf guitar and heavy-bass drums. According to Creevy, the group is working on recording a vinyl record with the Orange County surf-pop-garage-punk label, Burger Records.
After a sweat-soaked set from Cherry Glazerr, Los Angeles pop-punk songstress Colleen Green took the stage, cooling down the room with a laid back set of lo-fi jams. Green just got back from a US tour in support of her new album, Sock It To Me. Because Green often plays by herself, she jumps from the guitar amp to her pedal board, adjusting the drum beats for each song. Once the backing track is set up, Green tunes in her fuzzed guitar and sings soft-spoken vocals in her hit tracks, like “I Wanna be Degraded” and her new single “Taxi Driver.”
After Green put everyone in a blissful daze, The Beets ended the night on an energetic note. The lights, like at most shows, went off. The band stood on stage. And, unlike at most shows, the lights stayed off, covering punk trio The Beets with a cloak of darkness. The Beets didn’t play their whole set in the darkness, however. The Queens-based group played to a light show, spectacular enough to put anyone into a fit of rage or to induce epilepsy. Every time bassist Jose Garcia or guitarist Juan Wauters approached their microphones, a bright white hue from un-filtered light bulbs, which would sometimes flash quickly or linger for a split second, lit up their faces. Drummer Chie Mori’s tom drums also had lights underneath, which would light up on most every beat. Garcia said that the lights are coordinated by the band’s fourth member, Matthew Volz, who creates all the art work and banners for the group. “It looks like a sound board, but it’s a light board,” Garcia said. “We like to mix it up…we wanted to go the extra mile.”
—Angela Ratzlaff (words + photo)