Zorch Radio Review: Thee Cormans at The Funhouse
Friday, January 13th, about 200 people packed into the The Funhouse, all for their own reasons. Some were there just cuz its their regular watering hole, others were followers of some of the bands, and a fair number came to support the Letha Melchior benefit fund. Letha is the wife of musician Dan Melchior, and she has recently been fighting cancer. You can read more information on their story as well as make contributions by checking out their Blogspot or this forum thread.
While initially unaware of the benefit, I had heard that Thee Cormans, a killer surf/trash/fuzz band, would be headlining the event. If there is one thing I have picked up on over the years, it’s that too many surf bands only tour once. Some of the best gigs I’ve been to have been reverb-soaked, splash-tastic, instro-fests. But, for some reason, the general public can’t listen to rock music without lyrics. This can be difficult for underground instrumental bands, as poor attendance for this vein of music is too common. Knowing this may be my only chance to catch the killer SoCal act, I made sure to block this weekend out for the band and jump in promotion with Episode 79 of Zorch Radio. Also on the bill for the night was a dynamic line-up featuring Telemesser, Le Sang Song and Broomsticks.
The Funhouse is THEE best bar/venue in the Seattle area. They have almost nightly shows, daily specials, strong drinks, and some very well kept pinball machines. The Funhouse always has a comfortable atmosphere, which is a nice break from some of the snootier bars that plague the Pacific Northwest. Plus they’ve got a partially covered outdoor area for people who want to step out for some air without losing their drinks.
Telemesser, the first band, had a heavy synth focus. I have no idea what kind of music this was, but the closest I can think of is something along the lines of The Faint. My friend said it reminded him of a loud and dark Joy Division, but we were probably both pretty wrong. An acoustic set from Le Sang Song and a loud rock/punk set from Broomsticks came next, but I had my head buried in Steve Ritchie’s Spiderman. I was really looking forward to playing that machine.
Thee Cormans closed the night with some goofy masks, fuzzed out surf rock, and a male go-go dancer. While the band does have a large amount of novelty, they still deliver an awesomely wild set equipped with buckets of reverb and perfect basslines. One of the gimmicks to the band is to insult the crowd, so in the true style of Thee Cormans, these are the ‘highlights” of their set:
1) Great music for doing gay homo sex shit
2) I found a free game on the pinball machine
3) They had their music for sale on the vinyls for, like, the old skool record players, ya know
4) The music makes for some epic poops in the bar’s bathroom
5) I saw a woman cry during their set
6) Except for the last few covers in their encore, they don’t sing.
7) They are fat.
Despite the gay homo sex shit, it was a great time and exactly what I was looking for in a Friday night gig. I had seen them the previous night in Tacoma, and, while they were without the go-go dancing tadpole-man, they did manage to coerce a man in a wheelchair to dance around the crowd with his pants off, ding-a-ling-a’janglin’. I have to say I prefer the PG version with the tadpole.
Don’t miss these guys if they stop by your town, because it might be hard to find their LP “Halloween Songs with Sound Effects,” or their preceding 7 inch records. Locally, I got the LP at Radar Hair and Records and Records in SoDo and their “Emergency” 7” at Singles Going Steady in Belltown, but you can also find some releases online at In The Red.com or check out their site at theecormans.blogspot.com.
-NOTE- This review was written by Jacob, host/producer of the live weekly radio show Zorch Radio. Check out more of our reviews, subscribe to the podcast, or check out the Archive Page. Follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook. Contact us here. Below is the promo Zorch Radio ran for the gig and here’s a link for some better pictures.