March 2, 2007

Noise Pop: “Crank it to eleven, blow another speaker”

Any trip or musical stay in San Francisco would be sorely incomplete without seeing at least one show at The Fillmore, which has always been one of my favorite music venues. We have a modern ripoff in Denver that just ain’t the same, so there is nothing better than both seeing a show in this historic venue, and also wandering the halls looking at the framed portraits of all those who have played there over the last 40+ years:

Plus I love the artwork in all the framed show posters (although I noticed that the best ones are higher up, I guess to prevent the kleptos from making off with the booty):

Last night at the Fillmore (again, PACKED) I found a dose of something that I’ve been missing all these years. The show with The Coup was amazingly good; absolutely infectious thumping beats, sick soulful samples, lyrical flow, oh my gosh. The indie-rock part of my brain that I usually use for writing lacks the words.

I felt overwhelmed in a good way; my synapses were overloaded. The music is hip hop with a political/revolutionary bent, but the band has a rock-band configuration on stage: guitarist who looked like he should be in Rage Against The Machine, insane bassist who really lays down his lines with style, and dude wailing on the drums. An integral part of The Coup is their DJ (female!) and for the shows they also have a singer/strutter/emoter gal named Silk-E who seemed to be having a very good time (and sang this solo song called “BabyLet’sHaveABabyBeforeBushDoSomethingCrazy”).

Frontman Boots Riley danced with some fancy footwork and let his lyrics smoothly flow while he rocked the afro, the huge sideburns, and the velvet blazer. It was like Marvin Gaye fronting Rage with a little Parliament thrown in, and I was in love.

VIDEO: “5 Million Ways To Kill A CEO” – The Coup
This was up in the balcony when we first got there, and it’s an awesome bird’s-eye view of the crowd and the fabulousness of the evening. The guitar riff in this song has a distinct Led Zeppelin/Aerosmith vibe, yes?

VIDEO: “Laugh/Love/F*ck” – The Coup
According to The Coup, by doing the above (and also “drink liquor,” as you’ll hear in the song), we’ll help the damn revolution come quicker. And when it comes, we’ll all be too drunk, relaxed, and well-sexed to do anything to support it.

One of the best parts of their set was the female DJ Pam The Funkstress, who was getting soooo into her craft and thoroughly enjoying every single moment there on the stage and the reactions she garnered from the crowd. She also showed off her multi-talented self by scratching the records with her substantial breasts. Now that’s some kind of female empowerment . . .

Lyrics Born truthfully paled in comparison for me, and I just couldn’t get as into them after the marvelousness of The Coup. They were, however, FUN. I think in this video you can actually see the way the old Fillmore floor actually bounces up and down during really emphatic shows:

VIDEO: Lyrics Born workin’ the crowd

And I do believe that if the world outside were collapsing, a wise place to head would be the Fillmore, where we could subsist happily for a long time on free, ice-cold, crunchy apples from the big vat up front. I’ve missed those.

Listen to more Coup/download:

Listen to more Lyrics Born:


  • Nice. The Coup is hot! And as a Wisconsin guy, I appreciate the nod to Citizen King in the title of this post. (AND you’re looking mighty cute in the apple photo!)

    Love your blog. Always something worthwhile here.

    John — March 3, 2007 @ 11:11 am

  • i never actualy got to go to the original Fillmore in SF but i have frequented the one in denver on many ocashions and i have to say, the original looks pretty sick compared to what im use to.

    great post

    JJ — March 4, 2007 @ 7:00 pm

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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