Monday, October 07, 2013

The Pluralses, The Maxies, Paul Collins' Beat, Thee Mapes - the Dive Bar, Oct 5, 2013

This truly wacky night at the Dive Bar began with a new band from Kurt of Thee Mapes, the Pluralses (dig the name!). Stylistically, this trio is basically the Mapes without the costumes and the mayhem. Short, fast, catchy punk-pop with incredibly juvenile, potty-mouth lyrics. Fun and amusing, but maybe they shouldn't play on the same bills as the Mapes since musically they are so similar.

Up next was the Maxies, who hail from Orange County and claim to be from Greenland and apparently have a rotating membership led by singer "Maximum Maxie". They dress up in (more or less) matching outfits and sing punk-pop ditties about clubbing seals to death. Silly, visual and fun.

Following the Maxies was the star of the night, the legendary Paul Collins of the Beat and the Nerves. Paul is definitely starting to look his age (though he's still in pretty good shape) and his voice was hoarse - either from his current tour or from too many shows over the years - but he still blasted through his great power-pop anthems with a hot band of young hipsters behind him. Sharing the bassist of the Maxies, his guitarist (on an old Univox Mosrite copy) and drummer helped with the vocals and harmonies while they duplicated the sound and style of the tunes with a rockin' good energy. I hope that Paul's voice isn't permanently shot, but he still put on a great show with all of this hits and more! He currently has a new single that he shares with the Maxies (who he is touring with), but they packed up the merch before I could check it out.

Of course, the reason that everything was packed up so quickly was Thee Mapes. After apologizing for the mess the last time they played the Dive Bar they were told that it wasn't any problem and they could "make a bigger mess next time", so they took them up on the challenge. The stage was covered with bags, coolers, pinatas, toilet-paper and who-knows-what-else before the band started and the audience members helped themselves immediately to the goodies. The air was filled with flour, powdered sugar and assorted other delicacies before the first song was over. Oddly, the band sounded better than ever with this madness surrounding them - as if they need the insanity in order to function on all fuses. Their sound is, again, kinda poppy-punk, and with grade-school humor lyrics, but well done and highly entertaining live - even without the trash! Soundman Kirby got his own protective screen and by the end of the night the entire club's floor was covered with inches of debris.

Thanks to the Dive Bar for bringing in cool touring bands and pairing them with fun, local acts! I hope that the club can recover from this night before the next show!