Saturday, June 28, 2008

Show Review - OCPAC: Yacht/Mika Miko

Thank God for Ashley Ackenweiler.

She is singlehandedly saving the alternative music scene in Orange County. Granted, there are venues to see alternative music in the county, but there aren’t that many all ages venues showing good music that starts and ends at a reasonable time, and that you can get up close and personal with big (or at least 900,000 Myspace friends “big”) name talent. Her previous tenure at OCMA and now her current run at OCPA yielded some great shows with bands you’d expect to see at venues with seats in the thousands (Sonic Youth, Money Mark, Cold War Kids, Rocco DeLucca). Having such great shows to see is a blessing, at such a close drive (where you’re not paying $50 in gas to get there and back) with shows ending at a reasonable enough time so you can get home and get a decent rest for work the next day.

Thursday night’s show continued in the tradition of the great bookings at OCPA’s “Third Thursday night” series (shows take place on the third Thursday). I had never heard of either band, Yacht and Mika Miko. A google search revealed some info on Yacht, who seemed to be an electronic group with Power Point presentations and they did a mash up Nirvana samples. Sounds cool. Mika Miko searching showed that they’re a noise/punk band and had an album on Kill Rock Stars. Cool enough.

Opening band Mika Miko was enjoyable enough. Their sound is what would be the result of kids listening to their grandparent’s classic punk rock albums. Yeah…we’re getting old. These kids could play, but it was more like there were making it up as going along..doing what sounded good. The two female singers were just screaming in to the microphones (one had a telephone/microphone). Their between song banter was kind of annoying. The mosh pit was comprised of the kids who go to a “real” punk rock show and see the real punks moshing, and want to try and mimic what they have seen. Word around was that this was the first OCPA pit. Let’s hope it’s the last. I would say the band’s sound was like Red Cross…not the glam, older, more technically skilled Redd Kross , but the snot nosed bratty “Annette’s Got The Hits/I Hate My School” pre-cease and desist Red Cross.

Which brings us to Yacht. They had minimal stage set-up, which involved setting up a laptop computer (which turned out to be a Mac). There are two Yacht members, one from each sex. When the music started, they started dancing around and singing in to their mics. It was almost like a brother and sister home alone singing and dancing along to MTV (when they played music). Meanwhile, on the screen there were accompanying Power Point presentations for each song. There were occasional errors, which may or may not have been staged. A mosh pit started, but it seemed out of place to music that was a cou8ple branches away from Men Without Hats, on the Rock family tree. Vocals were kind of muddy, so if they were saying something they wanted us to understand, it was lost.

As I said, it was a Mac, but they were running Windows in Parallels at first. It seems they are Mac geeks. They had a problem with the windows side so switched to Mac. They had ichat going and did a teleperformance with a friend. They also showed a video for a DFA song of theirs. Their whole gig reminds me of Har Mar Superstar’s shtick.
In case you haven’t seen him, he brings out a cassette boombox that plays soul instrumentals while he prances about on stage and sings along with it, proclaiming he’s a sex god.
They had a Q & A afterwards, but that’s always a bad move, because people in crowds think they’re funny and ask the most inane things. The group wasn’t the most polished, but that wasn’t their point. They were doing what they wanted, and thriving on the attention for their antics. It was technology karaoke. Anybody can be a star if they have the technology to help them. I’ve even written “songs” in Garageband.
It ended with everyone on stage dancing around with the band. Sadly, some moron got a hold of the mic and had to yell “ faggot!” Give people an inch…
All in all, it was yet again another enjoyable evening in OC.

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