Friday, July 15, 2011

Martian Dance Band of the Week! - The Blind Shake

Image via the band's website

Holy sweet tastes like mutton Baby Jesus do i love The Blind Shake. This Minneapolis "garage-stomp" threesome is rapidly gaining a reputation among those who've seen them as one of the best live bands in the world, if not THE best (and really, the last time i saw Melt-Banana they had maybe slowed down a microstep, which is all the room The Blind Shake needs to pass them by), and luckily for Milwaukee, we get a chance to see them live up to that hype this Tuesday, July 19 at the Sugar Maple.

The Shake have been hitting the road like maniacs lately, spending the first half of 2011 traversing the states behind their new album Seriousness, of which i've only heard a couple tracks, enough to let me know it's definitely a worthy follow-up to their last proper full-length, 2007's Carmel (they've also tossed a few recordings in collaboration with noise artist Michael Yonkers between LPs). Anyway, blah blah recordings blah--it's all about The Blind Shake's live show, which will kick you in the teeth, punch you in the crotch, and scrape your brain clean of rational thought.

The typical burst of sonic fury from this surf-flavored, psych-tinged, garage-punk whirlwind goes something like this:

"Hi, we're the Blind Shake from Minneapolis."





***yeah, i guess if you really wanna show the floor tom who's boss, you SHOULD stand up over it, that makes sense***


(repeat for approximately 23 minutes)

"Thanks, good night!"

Somehow, The Blind Shake's amp volume, effects, and local draw achieve the perfect balance between thrilling and overpowering when combined with the reflective concrete cube that is the Sugar Maple's back room, providing the sensation of taking a bath in sound waves and getting the dirt vibrated off your body. That being said, i wouldn't complain if so many people started showing up to their Milwaukee gigs that a move to larger confines would be necessary. They deserve the attention, after all.

Milwaukee's own instrumental post-punk combo Wereworm opens, featuring local artist and flier producer extraordinaire Tom Stack on drums. A droney, minimalist, trance-inducing warmup for a band that will then shock you out of your comfort zone like a bracing snow drift after an hour in sauna.

ANYWAY, enough flowery prose. Check out this video of The Blind Shake playing the Hemlock Tavern in San Francisco (a killer place to play, i can say from experience) earlier this year, kicking off with the vibranium-alloy twelve-bar-blues of "Hurracan" from the new record.

JULY 19. SUGAR MAPLE. Do this, Milwaukee. Do this thrilling thing.


  1. Amazing band. bCox recorded one of their records.

  2. saw this fucking band in appleton, wi, in a basement, a long-ass time ago. like...fucking 6 years?

    i say this, not for indie cred, but because you all lived over there.

    indie cred +1