Armchair Martian, Fluf, and Local

Buckfast Superbee, Armchair Martian, Fluf @ Casbah Sat. Sept. 2nd

It was a weekend of reunions of bands from the 90’s that I used to listen to or watch every chance I got. While my good friends from the North Atlantic were playing their swan song(s), closing the 3rd annual Denverfest (why the fuck wasn’t there one of these when I lived in Denver?) drinking and cavorting with mutual friends and my brother in law, I was not landlocked but instead walking distance from the Harbor at San Diego’s premier 21+ club, The Casbah. I met Borracho Bob there, another old Denverite and we said our hellos to Jon Snodgrass, Bob proceeded to tell Jon the story behind Chris Sharry’s album art for “Good Guys…Bad Band.” Which translated well to the image of the album cover to the right. Another example of barehanded drunks wielding instruments instead of weapons, playing for 10 people, two of which were Bobrob and Chris. So. Yeah.

We were patient with the mid-90’s bro-rock of Buckfast Superbee and became intrigued when their drummer had a hissy fit and threw his high hat over his head in a fit of frustration. I wish more bands would do that. It was the highlight of their set. Though TJ has a pretty awesome voice their songs sort of blended into one another, however a lot of people seemed to be into them and it was nice to see our rehearsal space mates draw some attention from the sometimes skeptical Casbah crowd.

Armchair was up next. Watching Jon run through songs I heard over 10 years ago was pretty remarkable. Especially since the last time I saw them was when they played with Samiam at the Aztlan Theater on Kalamath when that one dude Dan Steinberg used to price gouge all the Denver scene kids. That show was consistent with my memory of the band – inconsistent. Some shows they ruled the stage without fucking up any songs and other times they were fall down drunk. The art on the inside of “Good Guys…” is telling with Dracula, The Wolfman and the Mummy as the band members trying to decide if they should go set up for the show. This time around they played incredibly well. Jon has honed his country sneer from moonlighting in Drag The River for the past decade or so and sounded amazing. While it was nice to see some familiar Denver (via Ft Collins) band it wasn’t quite like seeing Crestfallen and Christie Front Drive play with Planes Mistaken for Stars. Essentially my three favorite Denver bands minus Acrobat Down (what you guys couldn’t get your shit together for a one off show?). They went through the hits and even tossed in a Gary Nuwman cover expertly sung/mimicked by bassplayer Paul.

I like the idea of seeing Armchair Martian as drunk as Drag the River but with more Jawbreaker and less Lucero ya know? It was a good show. Fluf played all their hits and all the bros sung along happily while chicks pretended to sing along but just sort of mouthed ‘watermelon/c a n d y b a r/ ooh’ while expertly sipping their gin and tonics or whatever the fuck they were drinking. I left early. Better to have the memory of a decent show than a show that I stayed too long at and might’ve been mildly impressed with.

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