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Detroit, Michigan, United States
I'm a punk rock guru from Detroit. Part skinhead, part crusty, part metalhead, part hardcore kid, part party kid, 100% punk rocker.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Shark Week/ Ailat/ Take a Hint/ Clear Blue Ska/ The Toasters, February 21, 2011 at Mac’s Bar

Shark Week/ Ailat/ Take a Hint/ Clear Blue Ska/ The Toasters, February 21, 2011 at Mac’s Bar

Lansing is a sort of home away from home for me; I know lots of natives and MSU students here, there’s lots to do, places to explore, and importantly, shows to see. Although limited on the venues, Lansing rarely disappoints. DRI, the Resignators, Left Alone, D.O.A., Agnostic Front, numbers of local-area bands, and more all passed through the city, either at Basement 414 or at Mac’s Bar. Despite the utterly shitty weather the former bassist from Treehouse Rivals and I had to go through to get there, we arrived early, record-shopped, and made our way to the show. Somewhere in the between, I lost my mp3 player and was a bit livid, but the Toasters would make it all better. Right?

Right: The show kicked off with Lincoln Park High School band Shark Week, who spent no less than one entire song talking shit about Total. The band was mediocre, about what I anticipated for a high school third wave ska band; only one band has overcame and trumped the hype for high school bands, and unfortunately this band, as of yet, is not the second. Including a few originals and a few covers (including an unnecessarily poppy cover of Mustard Plug’s Beer Song) the band at least succeeds at funny names for a band, and could click in the future for me. An okay way to start.

Queerly named group Ailat followed. The question-raising name was met with an equally odd sound. The band, it turned out, was completely without a vocalist for the show, due to a premature release. An unfortunate occurrence for the band, no doubt, but they rebounded and simply went instrumental, qualifying as a decent modern version of some instrumental-era Black Flag. The band turned out to be rather enjoyable, the best of the openers. I intend to keep my wits about me for…Ailat.

Next was Take a Hint. I very much applaud tromboner/ singer Kenny Plont for his proactivity, but I cannot fathom understanding or liking this band. It seems like ska that tries too hard to encompass multiple genres and retain a solid, primary sound; it comes out as poorly played third wave ska. Given this understanding (and the dim talent present in the band’s underling members), Take a Hint is okay, nothing worth going out of your way to find or avoid, the ultimate in “Meh”.

Next on the stage was Clear Blue Ska. This band, while enjoyable at times, apes the stereotypical third wave sound so much that one may as well rewind thirteen or fourteen years ago, back to the “Let’s Face It” and “Keasbey Nights” days and view, over and over and over again. Some deviation from 4:4 timing, coupled with offbeat kind of necessary for the band to be a step off the ground from unconditional support from family members and friends.

Finally, the legendary Toasters climbed atop the stage. They showed where third wave fucking started and displayed that they still do it the best. “2-Tone Army” and “Don’t Let the Bastards Grind You Down” just did it for me; they ripped another hour and fifteen minutes of tracks other than those two, and they really proved that old school usually trumps new school. No snowstorm could’ve kept me from this, and none did; it was well worth the danger.

-Aunty Social

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