Wednesday, June 19, 2013

THE BABIES - "West Coast Tour" - Tape - 2010

   THE BABIES came out to San Francisco back in 2010 and played the basement of a seedy, beautiful bar in Chinatown. I went to see them simply because I loved the song "Somebody Else" and my friend, Naters was playing bass for them at the time. The opening bands were largely popular SF indie rock acts and the basement was packed to the gills with the kinds of people I don't usually find myself hanging out with (take that however you want), so I spent most of my time kicking it on the street out front with Naters. When THE BABIES set up to play, the basement (unfortunately for them//cool for me) had cleared out a little bit and there was room to dance. I didn't know anyone at the show, so I just stood up front and danced the whole time. It was fun. They were great, because they're good at writing simple, yet infectious pop melodies. Plus, they have a steady drummer who hits the drums like he's pounding a cop's face, even though that's probably not how he thinks about it.
   I bought this tape expecting 20-something minutes of pop excellence, but that's not really how it turned out. Once I got over the disappointment, I found out that this tape is still pretty good. It's compiled mostly of warbly acoustic home recordings and some full band compositions as well. Everything on here sounds like it was recorded on half-inch tape that has been stored underwater since 1966 and then played over an AM radio broadcast from South Korea, which gives it a little bit of a VELVET UNDERGROUND "White Light/White Heat" kind of vibe. When I was digitizing this tape, I texted Naters and asked "Is this supposed to sound warbly and distant or did I just get a bad tape?" Nate simply answered "yes", which is a perfect answer. The longer story is that even though someone might be in a legitimately famous band, they still sometimes use their friends shitty ass tape duplicator that turns a perfectly good recording into something that sounds like a 4th generation dub from the bottom of your shoe box of cassettes from 2nd grade. Still, most of these songs are gems below the surface. Have fun digging into it.


Hopefully, the band won't take me to the People's Court for posting this. 


Slice Harvester said...

FUN FACT: "Somebody Else" was technically a Nasty Intentions song before it was a Babies song, during the 5 minutes that Kevin was NI's second guitar player.

What I'm saying basically, is where do I sign up for my royalties check?

Harvester said...

This makes so much sense in my head.