Tag Archives: Club Pow

Unplugged – Dusty Brown w/ DJ Whores

Dusty Brown w/ DJ Whores
Sunday, Jan. 25, 2009
The Press Club, Sacramento

Do you ever wonder if the musicians you love really understand how talented they are? Music is a powerful thing that has the ability to move and change us; it can conjure the good or the evil that resides deep within our souls. If these musicians that we wonder about really knew the power they possessed, I’d like to think that they would always choose to use it for good.

Call me naïve, but when I witness a performance like that of Dusty Brown, Sacramento’s shining gene pool of electronica soundscapes, it fills me with feelings of hope and unrestricted love. Their latest Club Pow performance at The Press Club is a testament to their musical abilities.

Dusty Brown are veterans of the Sacramento music scene with a half-dozen Sammies under their belt as well as a Hall of Fame induction after winning the award too many times. I’ve been there for a good portion of that ride, so I’ve seen all the tricks and heard all the songs and own all the CDs. Normally, Jessica Brown’s vocals break my heart into a million tiny pieces that are then reassembled by Dusty’s intricate drum programming and ethereal Moog keyboard lines. I am swooned; and when I think I can sink no deeper into the melody that engulfs me, along comes Zac Brown, who patiently places his affected guitar riffs in all the right cracks and crevices that the song might allow. They have a power over the audience—hypnotizing each and every one of us with our bobbing heads and glazed eyes.

However, tonight will be a little different. Tonight, Jess Gowrie, the drummer from the now-defunct rock group Red Host, will be playing for a few songs and Dusty informs me that he will even hop on the bass for a track. Dusty Brown unplugged? Er”¦kinda.


Across the dance floor, DJ Whores is perched above the crowd, which he is sizing up methodically, waiting to drop the needle and send us all into motion. The Press Club’s stage sucks you in and makes you part of the performance whether you have the courage or not. It’s an intimate setting that feels comfortably snug rather than claustrophobic. DJ Whores’ distinct style of dance floor bangers is the product of hard work—the work of digging for just the right song. His electro selection introduces everyone’s ears to abrasive bass lines that move back and forth along the kick and snare. He prepares us.

Dusty Brown’s set begins with a few crowd favorites that have the girls feeling giddy; the hoodies that have assembled in the front are moving back and forth like Apache rain dancers. I see Jess appear to my left. She gazes at the stage that will soon be hers. Jessica Brown rewards my patience with a fuzzy comment into the microphone, saying something to the effect of, “I think it’s time for Jess.” The song begins without Gowrie as she approaches her low-seated Rocket Shell drum set—readying herself—then yields to her quickly climaxing drum build. She explodes into the chorus of the song and turns an electronica track into a heavy, Moog-flavored rock song. She can’t be denied now. Gowrie powers through two songs with the rest of the band that are crash- and snare-heavy. She finishes the songs and returns to the bar where she paces back and forth, breathing heavily and making no eye contact. I take a deep breath too, exhausted by the powers of good music.

Love Like Fire!, Red Host & Bright Light Fever

Love Like Fire!, Red Host, Bright Light Fever

Monday, Feburary 11, 2008
The Press Club

Very few things in life put me in a better mood than cheap beer and quality live rock’n’roll. Monday night at Club Pow! (inside The Press Club) provided a plethora of both with Bright Light Fever, Red Host, and Love Like Fire set to rock the surprisingly large and lively crowd.

After a couple very tall PBRs I was delighted to see that the local rock quartet Bright Light Fever was up first. I have been fortunate enough to catch these guys a couple times in the past, but this was their most superior performance (that I have seen at least) to date. Those in attendance were surprised and excited to witness Bright Light Fever debut a couple tracks off their new record entitled Red Hands in Holy Water. Lead singer Evan Ferro proclaimed to the audience that they are entering the studio next week but he did not hint at any sort of time frame for the release of the record. My personal favorites were “Food for the Rats,” a groovy little number that got people shakin’ their stuff, and “Locust,” which rounded off their set very well indeed. These guys are talented musicians who have developed a sound that is their own and they deserve more attention. Keep an eye out for the new record; it surely will gain them some well-deserved praise.

After a swift set change Red Host was ready to perform. This local trio, consisting of Chelsea Wolfe, Ian Bone, and Jess Gowrie has an immense sound. The best way I can describe it is this: If PJ Harvey got knocked up by Joshua Homme of Queens of the Stone Age, and PJ left Josh to raise the child with Dave Grohl of Nirvana/Foo Fighters, that child would most definitely be Red Host. They are extremely solid and all very good-looking. If that doesn’t make you want to go see them, then I don’t know what will. Red Host will be heading out on tour in the very near future, so check out their dates and tell everyone you know in those towns that they are no longer your friends if they do not attend.

Clear drum kits seriously kick ass. I don’t know what it is about them, but every time I see a drummer playing a see-thru set, I just want to dance. Dave Farrell, drummer of San Francisco’s Love Like Fire plays one of these sets, and he definitely did his part in getting people moving around. Love Like Fire’s infectious sound sits somewhere between Arcade Fire and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but has enough originality to keep it from getting old. They filled the room with incredible vibes and suddenly everyone had a huge smile on their face. I for one could not help but shake my ass and bob my head every time they dove into a new song. Lead singer Ann Yu’s voice is both emotive and enchanting. It has the tendency to make you forget your everyday worries and become lost in a sea of beautiful sounds. Love Like Fire stole the show, plain and simple. Their energy permeated throughout the crowd and left us wanting more.

You should get off your butt next Monday and go to a show at Club Pow! I promise you’ll have a blast. Bring your earplugs though; it’s fucking loud in that room.