Don’t tell me there’s no music scene in this town, unless you enjoy being dragged over hot coals and being pressed down on a beds of nails. I find that it is easy to find something tolerable on any given night if you have an adventurous spirit and a City Beat mag handy. So after reviewing the ads for a Tuesday night, we settled on a band from Vancouver, Canada, playing at Bar Pink. I briefly tooled around their myspace page, I figured it was worth a whirl. Boy, was I wrong.
I listened to No Kids on line and thought they were quite quirky and poppy. Checking out their song, “For Halloween”, I enjoyed the layers of vocals and fun percussion. Upon walking into the famed North Park establishment, I was surprised to see that they were only a three piece as there are several other names on their page. Nick Krgovich was very unsupposing in a sweater vest and glasses behind his Nord Electro. The other two members of the band were dressed like they were hanging out in their living room at home, not a whole lot of stage presence to go around.
Julia Chirka holds down a double stack of Yamaha keyboards and even played the cabasa on one song while Nick was diligently aggravating his egg shaker. When listened to online, Nick seems confident and tonally adequate. Live, there was something serious missing here. The backing vocals would have done something to lift his voice above the murk, but they were non existent. His vocals were mushy and insubstantial and primarily an eerie falsetto. At one moment mirroring an unhealthy Stuart Murdoch, and another, David Byrne on heroine. I think his resonations bespoke of a rare chinese torture device.
There were alot of rhythmic influences that would compliment there obvious inspiration of Talking Heads, and that may have been the one gleaming moment of attribute. The lyrics were gentle and subtly coercive, “Do I love you? Yes I love you” or “Bean bag, bean bag, whatchya doin’ sittin’ on that bean bag, crack pipe, crack pipe, whatchya doin’ smokin’ on that crackpipe?” It all seems like cotton candy and popsicles even though they are referring to one of the most addictive substances known to man.
Nick says, “It’s always weird to play a place where you’ve never been and people know your songs”. Indeed, there was a smattering of skiiny-pants-alternative folk in front of the stage grooving along with the latin movements. I felt akwardly sorry for drummer, Justin Kellam, who had marked talent and might be wasting away behind this kit. My girlfriend even offered, “I almost feel uncomfortable”. I think her remark must have been based on the fact that there were actually people cheering and dancing to these tunes. Did I miss a particular bus? Maybe a short and yellow one?
For all my naysaying, these guys do have some reasonable accomplishments in their collectiveness. They did just play a Beauty Bar showcase at SXSW in Austin, Texas,which is not always easy to come by. They have several CDs to their credit, including the recent Come Into My House which is available on Tomlab Records. Nick Krgovich also has composed a prison musical, “In The Yard, Havin’ Fun” which will be featured at the annual indie PUSH performing arts festival in Vancouver.
As the songs came on at a semi-nauseating pace, the band proceeded to do a cover of Scottish pop-rock outfit, The Blue Nile. I couldn’t see where the similarities began and ended as they were completely unknown to me at the time. Just as I thought we were saved from any further audial barrage, No Kids was somehow limply applauded to encore with soft gratitude. Now things started to get a bit discoish and there was a solitary soldierette dancing in a hippy-like fashion in front of the stage who seemed oblivious to any reality present. After 3 songs, they had exhausted their catalogue as well as the remaining audience. I wondered if we had missed out on not seeing the opening band, Parenthetical Girls, but was quickly dissuaded of that possibility after checking out to their mp3s online.
Oh well, it just goes to show, as a character from a Stephen King's "Gunslinger" novel once sagely stated, “There are other worlds than this”. Perhaps I shouldn’t always turn the key to the door of the unknown, but as long as there is still uncharted territory, I will persevere to the ends of this earth and tread lightly where I may not be welcome. Good luck, No Kids.
- City: San Diego
- Phone: 619-564-7194
- Name: Bar Pink
- Address: 3829 30th Street