Pigs, Killer Dreamer, and Almighty Do Me A Favor: July 8th, 2009 at Harold's Place, San Pedro, CA By Daryl Gussin

Aug 02, 2009

            When one of my favorite couples in the world asked me if I wanted a ride down to San Pedro on a Wednesday night to see some weird music be performed in what some people would call a "dive bar," how could I say no? These bands aren't even that weird, they just have a style of their own. Eclectic yet not pretentious. Experimental without being intellectually exclusive. They're good weird, fun weird, a kind of weird that embraces the listener to question why they like what they're hearing. Or even, do they like what they're hearing. Or just, what the fuck is going on?

            Well, I might not always know what's going on, but I know I like it. And on a night like the one being discussed, I was not alone.

            First up was Almighty Do Me A Favor. A one man band with a little more than two centuries of southern culture to back him up. Like any good musician who performs alone with just their guitar and voice, ADMF plays his brains out. Whether it's considered folky, bluesy, country, or just plain punk, it's a sound that's raw and vibrant, and unmistakably his.

            Playing middle this night were a local band that go by Killer Dreamer. I guess this was the first time they'd played a show in a while due to Rawl, the drummer, being on tour with another band he's in, but you never would have been able to tell. Killer Dreamer are like an ace fighter jet squad – or a undefeated beach volley ball team. Kevin and Jacob are constantly on the offensive with their dual guitaring that they deceptively both play left-handed, and while some of the glare coming off of the guitars might blind you to what else is going on, Tony and Rawl are contorting their instruments in ways that would humiliate any opponent. I'm glad there's not really any mental or physical competition in punk rock, because this band would fucking destroy your band. It could be that demon they’re always talking about, or it could just be the fact that they're solid as hell.

            The last band of the night was Oakland's swinest trio: Pigs. I thought I knew what I was going to be getting into with this band. Featuring members of Fleshies and Civil Dysentery, I figured it was going melt the place down. What ended up happening went to levels unthought – and unspoken of. You've heard of magic carpet rides? Well imagine a magic bulldozer ride for you and your friends through the post-apocalyptic Bay Area while the sky glows red and there's pieces of miscellaneous bridges floating around everywhere. It tingled corners of my mind that are very rarely reached.

            Now Pigs is definitely heavy. And the metal was in full effect for their entire set. But before I throw out some heavy metal references, I want to make clear that this band has been put through the purest, most high-grade DIY punk rock filter imaginable. East Bay warehouse livin', beer vending machine drinkin', duct tape for everything, generator shows under freeway overpasses, listening to the Germs like nothing else, all that good stuff. So once you understand the vast history of punk livin' and rockin' that lies in the shadows and glory, past and present of this band, imagine them playing some of the most riff-turbulent, manic music inspired by the likes of Maiden, Slayer, and Boston I've ever heard. Guitar player Jack Doff looks like a deranged David Crosby who had gotten cool and decided to play music so intense and maniacal that it would lead his former fans to suicide. And it was so loud that when they finished my ears didn't even ring. I'm no doctor, but I'm pretty sure that meant it was good.

Almighty Do Me A Favor: www.myspace.com/almightydomeafavor
Killer Dreamer: www.myspace.com/killerdreamer 
Pigs: www.myspace.com/oaklandsswinest