Dávila 666, Cheap Time and Wax Idols : At the Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco, September 8, 2011 By Federico

This morning I have a Dávila 666 hangover. It doesn’t entail a pounding headache, thank goodness, but a much milder version where I am stuck to “Hanging on the Telephone” and longing for just a little bit more raucous fun. But let me start from the beginning.

I went to Bottom of the Hill (http://bottomofthehill.com/) in San Francisco last night for the show. Being currently a resident of the East Bay, and subject to the whims of the BART or the transbay bus, I would like to give massive thanks to Bottom of the Hill for starting the show early. Thank you! I actually quite appreciate this.

Unfortunately, it was probably a little too early for some people, so the Touch-Me-Nots (http://www.myspace.com/thetouchmenots) played to a mostly empty room. I didn’t see / hear all of their set, but from what I could tell, they still played well. I found the vocals to be really clear and appealing, although overall I think they are not exactly my cup of tea (a little too poppy for me, maybe). They do, however, have a song called “Hey Television” that is pretty rock-n-roll/garage-y, and I like that one a lot.

Wax Idols (http://www.facebook.com/waxidols?v=info) was up next, and by that time a fair amount of people were milling about. Unfortunately, I got a negative impression of them almost as soon as they began—they started, then stopped, then the singer / guitarist told the crowd that the (other) guitarist wasn’t ready—“we’re ready, but she isn’t ready”—in a very displeased way. Thereafter it was hard to avoid the daggers the singer / guitarist was shooting the other guitarist, and /or the heated words she appeared to be directing at her after one of the songs.

Of course, bands argue. They bicker. Bands are totally aggravated with each other sometimes. We all know it! And I have absolutely zero idea, no clue whatsoever, about the personalities in the band, or how they get along, or what might have happened earlier in the day to fuel what seemed to me like a pissed-off singer—maybe the guitarist de-flowered the singer’s twelve-year-old brother. Maybe she ran over her pet. Maybe she skipped practice and was fucking up. Maybe it was just a one-time thing. Maybe the singer was just in a bad mood. Or maybe she just doesn’t give a fuck. I really don’t know, but I do know that, out in the crowd, from my perspective (and the perspective of the people I was with), it was uncool to watch a singer dress down a guitarist in front of everyone. Save it for later.

All that said, it was clear that the singer / guitarist was in charge (and if you check their facebook page, you can see that the band is her, with other people as support), and she did have a confidence that I appreciated—it seemed like she’s been playing for awhile and is really comfortable playing and being the lead in the band. The guitar sound to me recalled…it’s right there on the tip of my tongue…..well I can’t really put my finger on it, but it was a long-lost, dreamy, death rock / new wave kind of sound, added to a more garage-y background. So I think I might actually dig it, and maybe I’ll get another opportunity to check them out and see how I feel then.

Cheap Time (http://www.myspace.com/cheaptime) from Nashville was up next. I have seen them before and I like them pretty well. This time around I heard a little Ramones in their garage-y sound, and, in one song, vocals that unexpectedly reminded me a lot of Kurt Cobain. Curious! Their set didn’t blow me out of the water, but it was good.

Dávila 666 (http://www.davila666.com/) headlined, and let me tell you, they were totally worth the wait. From Puerto Rico, I had actually never heard them before but a friend of mine is a fan and (correctly) predicted it would be a good show. There are six dudes in the band—two main singers, two guitarists, a bassist, and a drummer. Everyone sang, they all appeared to have loads of energy, and it seemed like they were having a great time. The crowd was feeling it and giving it right back. There was hand clapping. There was a tambourine. There were maracas. It was rocking. It was fucking lively!

I guess they could be lumped into the garage category, but at times they came across to me like some kind of dance punk band. Whatever you want to call them, they were superfun. Mostly they sang in Spanish—including during a cover of “Hanging on the Telephone”—but they may have thrown a few English ones in there, too. I can’t actually recall, and it certainly didn’t matter. It was just a rollicking good time! I’d love to see them again and would definitely recommend that everyone check them out if the chance arises. Gracias!