STARVATIONS, THE: Live 2-21-2004: CD

I used to love seeing the Starvations play around L.A.. The first few times, I think the happiness was a mixed bag of their actual performance as much as it was to see a large portion of the audience a little surprised at what they had just walked into. More swamp dirge than the typical L.A. showgoer had bargained for, but soon enough, people were showing up for the same reason I was: they were just a great band to see live. I can’t remember which guitar player was my favorite (I know it wasn’t the most recent, but I’m not sure how many lineup changes there were.). It wasn’t what he was playing, but how he played. He seemed to be the least interested in what they were playing on the first song of any set. Then, little by little through each song, he was psyching himself up to the point that he would be dancing and singing to the ceiling by the end of the set. Watching him get that genuinely excited as he passed through the set is what really hooked me on them live. I think, in part that’s because it’s similar to how I respond to a band, or a show. I pace myself (unless I’ve been drinking a lot, then all bets are off); I warm up to the band. As for The Starvations, they’ve finally broken up (I think? It’s been going on for years now) and mostly reemerged as Fortune’s Flesh, who I’ve yet to see. This is a pretty damn good live recording, which I’m not typically a big fan of. I still prefer their recorded stuff over this, but it’s a solid release nonetheless.

 –megan (www.sycophanticide.tk)