Agony Shorthand

Friday, February 10, 2006
TIME FLYS / SODA POP KIDS / VATICANS, live Thursday 2/9, Thee Parkside, San Francisco.....


Don’t break up! The evening’s festivities ended in a most auspicious and thudding manner, as the band’s drummer stormed off the stage to pout at the back of the club, while the rest of the TIME FLYS, fresh from pounding out a hot set of dynamic, long-haired blasto-punk, tuned up in preparation for their next number. They stood around with jaws open waiting for her to return, but her return wasn’t to be, & the band gave up and gingerly put down their instruments and called it a night. Wouldn’t you know it, I found out that the guitarist & drummer are a couple – and Sonic Youth notwithstanding, that usually means a band has a pretty short shelf-life. So hey, if they do implode, which I hope they don’t, at least I got to see them live and in person a small handful of times. They also put out one of the best, no-nonsense punk rock records of the 21st Century so far, and if you haven’t heard it, it’s fantastic. But before their eventful night, they were preceded by THE VATICANS, who contain among their members a guy named Shane White, whom I’d assumed had shuffled off the San Francisco scene over a decade ago. This guy put out the original snotty garage/trash fanzine “Pure Filth” around 1990-91, and cultivated a rakish, Stiv Bators-ish persona in local early 90s bands THE FINGERS, SPOILED BRATS, RIP-OFFS etc. I figured he was a banker or something now. Anyway, I’ll admit that after watching a couple of bouncy numbers that resembled nothing so much as a 2006 “Thee Headcoatees”, I retreated to good conversation and cold beer on the back patio. No knock on them, I just needed to plot my next move. THE SODA POP KIDS, up next, were a trip – poodle haircuts, eyeliner, bullet belts, tight rockstar clothes – the total 1987 Chatterbox look, full stop. You see guys like that flounce up onto the stage, and you just wanna laugh & stick around for irony’s sake, but the Soda Pop Kids were all right! Fast glam punk, loud riffs, lots of epileptic jumping around – something I’d never buy on LP, CD nor 8-track in a million years, yet it was a hoot live. TIME FLYS played a bunch of newer, non-record material to close out the evening, and it’s pretty obvious they’ve at least got an EP’s worth of KBD corkers that’ll easily compliment the LP. Now if we can just get those squawking squabblers to make up, maybe we can keep them in business for at least another year and actually HEAR that EP. Please - let love bloom!