If you haven’t been to a local music show in Isla Vista recently, you really need to plan an escape from your grandmother’s dirty laundry hamper. There’s the Empty Garage, which is block-rockin’ the newest testament in indie rock street cred along with Menehune’s, dishing up raucous doses of Hairbrain Scheme. What more could you ask for?
But wait. You probably want some proof of this musical revolution, right? Well, well, snooty pants. It just so happens that last Friday, local sex rockers the Kissing Tigers blew the doors off of the Biko House, a long-time favorite DIY venue that is currently experiencing a new wave of artsy combustion from soft white underbellies everywhere.
Never ones to disappoint, the Tigers gnashed the crowd with their slithery offspring of dance-punk and rowdy, anthem-esque synth-pop. After an impressive bout at the recent CMJ Music Marathon in New York City, these ex-Isla Vista chaps were grateful for such an enthusiastic and riotous Biko welcome.
Returning from Los Angeles to uproarious applause was none other than Vagenius, a female-fronted, electro-Clash outfit sporting ’80s new-wave haircuts and plenty of keytars to boot. Pumping Blondie-inspired brilliance through foot-moog adrenaline boxes, this power trio stopped the show dead in its tracks with the exciting unveiling of a mysterious new bass player. Of course, who else could it be but the long-lost brother of lead singer Juliette Commagere herself, holding rapturous communion with an audience hopelessly lustful for such drop-dead talent.
Special guests Dirty Little Secret melted the icy hearts of femme fatales with a raw and honest pummeling of art rock. Displaying adept musicianship and songwriting abilities well beyond their years, this Echo Park quartet has recently been making waves in the underground circuit. Dodging mainstream label offers as if they were freight trains, these lads recently commanded respect for their stubborn do-it-yourself work ethic, self-producing their most recent full-length album and garnering much critical acclaim for it.
Last but not least, the up-and-coming San Francisco sweethearts Astral opened up the show with a shimmering wall of ambient noise-pop. Inspired by the early ’90s ephemeral feedback sound of British bands like My Bloody Valentine, Astral eschewed the traditional pop melody in search of new tonal territory, expanding outward to the brink of controlled sonic mayhem.
What’s in store for the future of the Biko House? Well, first we need to figure out how not to piss off the old folks next door with huge doses of