Back to Music

CRITICS' PICKS: The Mothership, Charlie Drown, Girl Trouble Countdown To Christmas Show, Baby Gramps, Eliot Lipp

Live music in the South Sound: Dec. 8-15

ELIOT LIPP: He inspires Rev. Adam to use the phrase "club-bumping jams." Photo credit: Facebook

Recommend Article
Total Recommendations (0)
Clip Article Email Article Print Article Share Article



Featuring members of Future Fossils, Radio-Flyer and Omni, the Mothership has some seriously gloomy cred. True to form, on the band's terminally grunge-leaning new LP, Ten Miles Wide, there is rarely a moment not dominated by huskily shouted vocals or an onslaught of guitars and drums having a shoving match with your eardrums. Not so many celebratory moments to be found in the music of the Mothership - just pure, brutal, pointedly hard rock. Naming the band "the Mothership" and utilizing an album cover of an alien playing golf comes off as some kind of cosmic, winking reference to long-lost bands and their long-lost side-projects from the '70s and '80s. But any notion of kidding around is erased from the word go with the Mothership, and what's left is the perpetual rock machine. - Rev. AM

[Hell's Kitchen, with Keeping the Gates, Vera Solaris, Halcion Halo, 9 p.m., $3, 928 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.759.6003]


>>> FRIDAY, DEC. 9           

The goth is strong in this one. Charlie Drown is the kind of group/artist/performer/whatever that's totally comfortable throwing around lyrics about beds made of skin and "48 dead in my head," all while drum machines and synths pulse in the background. Lead vocals are not so much singing as they are various vacillations between sultry coos and snarls. The name Charlie Drown is hilarious on its surface, but thinking more about what exactly the band might be getting at by naming itself this is kind of like a cat chasing its tail (is it still funny if maybe they take the name seriously?). Best, I think, to approach Charlie Drown as something that'll get you to dance madly and get all dark and stuff. Nothing wrong with that. - Rev. Adam McKinney

[Hell's Kitchen, with Serous, Day's Armor, Haunting the Disconnect, 9 p.m., $5, 928 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.759.6003]


>>> FRIDAY, DEC. 9

Christmas in Tacoma is synonymous with a number of things. Half-racks of Pabst adorned with bows. Eternal darkness. Mediocre gift exchanges. Heavy drinking. Loneliness. Depression. They all have their place on the Tacoma holiday mantel. Luckily, T-Town also has the annual (or somewhat annual) Girl Trouble Countdown to Christmas show, which this year will again be held at The New Frontier Lounge, and - along with its garage rocking namesake - will bring Grit City staples the Fucking Eagles and the Dignitaries to the stage. It will be a Tacoma-centric celebration of the holidays that's easy to get behind, and won't leave you a sobbing mess of tears all alone in front of the TV watching Holiday claymation. Or does that just happen to me? - Matt Driscoll

[The New Frontier Lounge, with the Fucking Eagles, the Dignitaries, 8:30 p.m., 301 E. 25th St., Tacoma, 253.572.4020]



Baby Gramps looks just like he sounds. His appearance is a more or less spot-on indication of the noises that soon follow when he picks up an old gee-tar and starts a-singing. A long, scraggly white beard, some spectacles, a low-brimmed hat, and when he opens his mouth, the strangest sounds fall out. Throat-singing, it's called, this kind of guttural croak - and it's Baby Gramps' most effective tool in transforming these old folk songs, labor songs and sea shanties into something that feels real. Twee anachronism fades, and all that remains is the pungent punch of that voice. Knowing about how long Baby Gramps has been busking on Seattle streets - somewhere close to 50 years - it's hard to really question the sights that beard has seen. - Volcano Staff

[Traditions Cafe and World Folk Art, 8 p.m., all ages, $8-$12, 300 Fifth Ave. SW, Olympia, 360.705.2819]



It's always a bit of an event when local boy Eliot Lipp returns to Tacoma, an occurrence that now seems to be setting nicely into a roughly six-month cycle. Six months ago, I wrote of the delightful dustiness that seems to adorn Lipp's electronic music - referring to how he embraces an old-school approach to arranging beats and synths and samples to create the kind of mélange that would find itself perfectly comfortable in a DJ's box of go-to vinyl. Whether tackling ambient soundscapes or club-bumping jams, Lipp manages to leave his own identifiable imprint on whatever he creates. That he knows how to get a room going kind of goes without saying, so you would do well to hit that dance floor when he swings through Tacoma and doesn't return for another six months. - Rev. AM

[The New Frontier Lounge, with EvergreenOne, Todd Sykes, Killas Wit Kindness, 9 p.m., $10, 301 E. 25th St., Tacoma, 253.572.4020]

Read next close


The road from perdition

comments powered by Disqus

Site Search