Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Vancouver, WA - Home of the Teen Sensations

Last week's Vancouver Voice featured three local teen bands who are astute followers of the blues, psychedelia and garage rock, respectively. I've noticed that the teen-agers around Vancouver have quite a lot of personal style, even panache, in how they dress and present themselves. A blend of 70s skateboard park with the added ingredients of 80s Goth and 90s hipster thrown in. Yet they seem very down-to-earth and not trendy at all. This look is very natural for the cloudy damp Northwest. Long hair and dark thrift-store layers wear well during unpredictable weather fronts. And Portland is ten minutes away, for that friendly, urban, indie-rock Renaissance vibe. I'm impressed.

Gunnar Roads is a 13-year-old blues prodigy who fronts his own band. I'm sure he'd hate me for saying this but he's adorable. They'll be playing a ridiculous amount of gigs in March and April. On March 21st, I'll check them out at Real Deal Records (our local record store). Here's a Gunnar Roads guitar solo with a 14-year-old on bass.

The Shivas are psychedelic in a rough, early Velvet Underground way (as practised in a Nuggets-era garage). I'd definitely lighten up on the congas, but I like their dedication to the gnarly sounds of yesteryear--which for them is way, way "yester" indeed. They'll also be playing at Real Deal on March 21st.

Here they cover the 13th Floor Elevators "You're Gonna Miss Me." Tom Guido, former proprietor of San Francisco's Purple Onion would LOVE these guys. I miss Tom but I don't miss miss him, if you know what I mean.

Love Trucker (not to be confused with Mother Trucker) has a tighter garage sound. I couldn't find any video, but they've got stuff on MySpace to listen to. Not touching my soul in any particular way but for sure destined for larger things on the horizon. One of their lyrics concludes, "When you sing I forget about the rain." Heh--if only! They're playing a benefit for Africa with a ton of other bands and some on-stage body painting at the 15th St. Pub on March 14th.
Love Trucker Love Trucker sports that Vancouver teen look.

source: Garage Bands Gone Wild by Paige Thomas

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