by Cory Ferber.
Kimo's, San Francisco, Ca, USA. April 11, 2002.
Kimo's is a bar located in the tenderloin, only a few blocks from the GAMH. I had never heard of this place until a few days ago, so I was a little excited to check out a new venue. Located at the corner of Pine and Polk, the downstairs is a normal neighborhood bar. The show was took place upstairs in a space that had the look and feel of your parent's basement. It felt like I was back in high school seeing my friend's band play at the neighbor's house.
I got there just in time to see Kill The Messenger. There were about 20 people there, many of them who appeared to be friends with the band. This 3-piece power trio punk-like band was comprised of 20 somethings who demonstrated a wide variety of influences including King Crimson. The bassist actually reminded me of Brownie from Disco Biscuits. He was at full tilt the entire show. While I really enjoyed the music, the vocals were typical screaming style and I couldn't understand as single thing they sang about all night. :-)
I really got a good laugh when the bassists asked everyone to stick around for Porch, and I was the only person who even cheered. Was anyone even there to see Todd Huth? I was a little puzzled.
Porch has been Todd's band in some form or another for 10 years. This is new version of Porch that Todd started post Frog Brigade. He is no longer working with them, and had only signed on for the Animals tour. Todd got talked into a few more shows with Frog Brigade including the historic Greek Theater performance with Herb Alexander on drums. (Which means that's the original Primus playing Berkeley again, one of their early historic performances released on CD.)
When Porch finally hit the stage, the crowd was down to about 15 people, half of which were the first band and their friends. Ok. :-) This was Todd Huth, a founding member of Primus, the driving force behind Sausage, and the man who played David Gilmour on Animals with Frog Brigade! I expected just a few more people to be in the audience.
Porch is now Todd Huth, Curtis Nishimura (bass) and Mike Jacobs (drums). Porch is noise pop, without much pop. Todd sings and has a nice voice. The music is reminiscent of bands like Pale Saints, Lush, Sebadoh, and even Pavement. It's nothing like Sausage or Primus.
Todd Huth is brilliant. It really was ecstasy to stand 5 feet away and hear him play for an hour straight. He is so original and so his own that its hard for me to even compare to anyone, especially anyone in the jam scene. He plays both rhythm and lead, always mixing and blurring the two into a three-dimensional web of sound. He didnít take a real solo on every song, but the band was always moving as a single unit. There was a lot of great interplay between him and the bass and drums.
Curtis and Mike are both 20 something's who are very talented. There is no doubt these two will be life long musicians regardless of what happens to Porch. Mike reminded me a lot of Steve Perkins from Jane's Addiction, and plays with a very tribal sound. He often used drumsticks with the furry balls at the end. Curtis plays a very subdued bass, almost the antithesis of the bassist from Kill The Messenger and even Les Claypool. For most of the show, he had his eyes closed and was surely in the zone. I had a lot of fun watching both of them.
The last 2 songs were the highlight for me, and were the most extended songs of the night. They were heavy and almost trance like after a while, as this ever-growing pulsating noise slowly moved along, without any real destination. They were in the zone to say the least. It was easy to imagine this band playing the Fillmore and having a bunch of screaming kids going nuts. Porch is really talented and could be the next big thing. However, it seems that the music is more important to them then fame. I'm not sure what their looking for but I'll see them again.