Beta Male, Andy D, Slothpop, Pop Lolita
Radio Radio, Feb. 25
As Beta Male premiered their new record before an
absolutely packed house at Radio Radio last Friday, one thing became clear:
Even given the band's recent laid-back demeanor, they still demand to be
The whole evening was an exercise in entertaining
diversity. Things started out with the recently reunited Pop Lolita, whose blend of
rollicking pop and energetic alt-rock could have been played on college radio in 1991, just before grunge went mainstream and it all went to hell.
Then Slothpop, with their smooth instrumentals and haunting vocals. Not to
mention whatever the hell it is Andy D does. Imagine Andy Kaufman's Tony
Clifton lounge singer was caught in a horrific teleporter accident with peopleofwalmart.com. What to call it? Hillbilly-core? Redneck rap?
Whatever it is, it's insane and weirdly compelling.
Back to Beta Male. Jess Hack
performed in evening wear and Allison Hazel performed without pants, because
that's just the way Beta Male rolls. The performance ran into some trouble with
the sound mix in the first few songs (a rare thing at Radio Radio, in my
experience), but it was all creative mayhem from there on out.
The live show puts aside the
careful polish of the album for a raw-as-hell approach. I didn't quite
appreciate how intricate the guitar bits are on the album until T.J. Briggs had
to whip them out live. P. David Hazel's vocals came off even more intensely
personal as he crooned while pounding away at the drums. Jess Hack and Allizon
Hazel's backing vocals became manic howls, every note shaking the floor. It was
an example what a good live show should be, and an excellent introduction to
the latest volume of Beta Male, whatever that may turn out to be.