Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Raveonettes and Midnight Movies @ Detroit Bar, Costa Mesa, CA 6-7-07

My long overdue review of the Raveonettes, Midnight Movies show at Detroit Bar, Costa Mesa, CA on 6-7-07:

The Raveonettes: http://www.flickr.com/photos/porcupiny/sets/72157600329517884/
Midnight Movies: http://www.flickr.com/photos/porcupiny/sets/72157600329460532/
Photos by Jacob Chan

Setlist:

Everyday (Buddy Holly)
Chain Gang Of Love
Twilight
Love in a Trashcan
Lust
Black Satin
Death By Deceit
Attack Of The Ghost Riders
My Tornado
100% (Sonic Youth)
I Know That You Want The Candy
Sex Beat (Gun Club)
Love Can Destroy
The Beat Dies
Hallucinations
Aly, Walk With Me

The Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa is a small club in a South Orange County strip mall. Oddly enough, Los Angeles-based Midnight Movies and bi-costal Danish duo The Raveonettes are making a rare electric duo appearance at this unusual place for a venue. Midnight Movies are an excellent modern psychedelic rock band with 2 female drummers (who alternate) and switch off between songs. The singer (and occasional drummer) Gena Olivier has a deep hypnotic voice and alternates between drums and keyboards. The current regular drummer, Sandra Vu, drummed with The Raveonettes for a few songs on this recent tour and also alternates between playing flute and bass. The guys in the band (Larry Schemel and Ryan Wood) are also very talented with their impressive guitar and bass playing skills. The new album "Lion the Girl" is a gorgeous and hypnotic work, possibly one of my top albums of this year already. The song "Should've Known" even inspired some tribal dancing near the front of the stage.

The Raveonettes have a large international following, so I was surprised by how intimate their recent US shows have been. Sune Rose Wagner (guitarist/singer) and Sharin Foo (bassist/singer) were setting up their instruments on the red-curtained stage before starting to play. No fanfare or introduction music as they just started playing after they finished setting up. They opened the show with a lovely feedback-laden version of "Everyday" originally by Buddy Holly. Wagner's and Foo's voices blend seamlessly in that and most of their other songs. "Chain Gang of Love" was next from the 2003 album of the same name, with it's vintage girl-group sound that never grows old.

"Twilight" from the 2005 album Pretty In Black was an interesting stripped down version of the song without the original drum machine. The single from the last album "Love in A Trashcan" sets lyrics about groupies to a fun rockabilly beat. The new tracks "Lust" and "Death By Deceit" show a slower more dramatic turn for the Raveonettes next album, which we will hopefully expect in September of this year. The other new song "Black Satin" is an upbeat romantic song with a familar '60's pop sound. "Attack of the Ghost Riders" and "My Tornado" from the Whip It On EP was a familiar return to their B flat minor days. On that song, Sharin puts down her bass for a tambourine. Wagner tried his hand at drumming while Foo played bass on their excellent cover of Sonic Youth's "100%," which really sounds like it was meant to be played by the duo.

Next, was another new song, which Sharin announced was about candy called "I Know That You Want The Candy," a fast romp through more poppy hook-filled territory. This track screams to be the next big single for the Raveonettes. Their version of "Sex Beat" by the Gun Club was next, a fun punk cover that really got the audience moving. "Love Can Destroy" is a country-tinged tune which sounds like they're covering Johnny Cash. "The Beat Dies" is a gorgeous new slow song with Sharin Foo singing lead vocals. "Hallucinations" is another new son "Aly, Walk With Me" is a slower sinister sounding song ending with a lot of feedback on both guitar and bass. After the show, both bands were selling merchandise near the front of the club. It was both surprising and exciting to see Sharin Foo selling Raveonettes shirts, tank tops, and patches to the audience members who remained after the show.