November 9, 2011

Hammered Satin

On a cold December night in Manhattan, “the band from LA” was all the talk as everyone was flocking to another Kelle Calco night at the Bowery Electric. A bunch of cool bands played on the bill then finally, Hammered Satin hit the stage. A California tanned front man, Noah Wallace, blinded our eyes with the flare of his glitter attire. The way he acted and talked was like a movie star diva strutting in front of photographers on a red carpet.

A lot of people were into it, but the New York in me kept stirring with anti-LA sentiments. “Who the fuck is this LA mannequin monkey clown?” I raged. After a few numbers, my instinct was to just haul ass and ditch the party. Just as my foot was at the exit, Noah speaks. “This is called Glitter Goddess”, he announced.

Oh Gimme a break. What is this? A female empowerment anthem by a bunch of dudes?. I wanted to leave but the outrage that was about to happen was too compelling to miss.

The opening foot stomping riffs halted me in my tracks. My body faced the exit although my eye can’t help but peek at the show. “Girl you rock like a boulder, through the windshield of a car”. That’s a cool fucking line. Then the chorus. He squealed like a siren of an alien cosmo spaceship. And the back up vocals sounded like a larger than life army marching to get you. I see Noah spider crawling on the ground then springing back up all over the club. He’s almost like a villain in a Marvel world comic book. And his vocal delivery sounds like Dick Dastardly of that Hannah Barbara cartoon. With that voice, you keep expecting him to say “Mutleeeeeeeeey!! Dooooooooo somethiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing!!!”. Before I knew it, I was in this awkward standing position next to the exit for the whole number.

I was in denial that I stuck around for that whole song. “Fuck this”, I told my self. So I fucked off to Hudson, where Kelle had his after party. Noah shows up. Shit. While everyone else is mingling and conversing, I see him doing a weird hip shaking boogie movement next to all the go go dancers. Then he started DJing after Kelle. Alright, let me have a conversation with the guy. Maybe I’ll learn a thing or two about LA since I’m moving there. We both stare at each other with blank faces. Completely uninterested in each other. We had this weird awkward small talk. My anti-LA sentiments grew bigger. “Ok thanks”. I guess that’s the last time I’ll ever see them again.

After I moved to Los Angeles, I find them at another party. Shit. This time I meet the guitar player, Conor Behrle. The people at the party kept telling me that they wrote new songs and the testimonials say that they’re very tight. Since I’m “that guy from New York” who met “that band from LA” when they were in New York and .. well .. now I’m in LA, I figured he’d remember me. I really hate the band, but my professionalism told me that I can’t let my personal grudges interfere in my evaluation of talent. (The same token goes about my personal friendship with a band won’t affect my evaluation if I think they suck).

I wanted to talk shop with Conor for a bit. He had a half numb face. He had an eye lid that was about to close and another eye lid half open.“Hey man, get the fuck outta here” he slurs to someone. I talk to him for a while and we actually had a cool conversation. Turns out there’s more to these guys than I thought.

One day, I catch one of their shows at Crazy Girls. They played the set. “Fuck .. They’re good …”. It sucked to admit it. Noah is a force of nature. All the other bands have singers that make you snore. Noah, on the other hand, does this..

He runs down on stage, grabs a random girl, jumps her down on the floor and DRY HUMPS her in front of everyone! … WHOA!! The songs had this deep bass tone, you can’t help but get down to it. It’s the kind of bass work that feels like a soundtrack of fucking a fat chick. Then they play “glitter goddess”. Heeeeeeeeeeey. That’s the shit they played in New York.

As I walk around in Hollywood with my ipod, Glitter Goddess is stuck in my head. I was playing some Slade at the time and I was scrolling up and down to find Glitter Goddess, then I come to my senses and go “Shit. That’s not a Slade song. It’s that Hammered Satin band that wrote it”. I go to iTunes. Defeated. Then I cave in. I buy the song. I stopped resisting Hammered Satin’s whacky appeal. It’s official, I am now a Hammered Satin fan.

Their other songs aren’t posted online yet. One that I really love is “Rock n Roll Discotek”. Just when you think it has the average pop arrangement, the drums, bass and guitar does this loud heavy sexual chaos that happens in the middle. Kind of like the chaos in the middle of Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love”. I love it when songs catch you off guard like that! I wish there was a complete live YouTube clip of it but all I could find was a clip where you can only catch the end of that chaotic trance. You can catch a glimpse of what I mean here.

I got to know Noah and Conor overtime. They’re pretty funny people. And Noah is one of the wackiest personalities I ever met in my life. I’ve been hearing stories about the bass player, Dan Sandvick. There’s one where, in a drunken whim in their Sweden tour, Dan randomly decides to grab a canoe at 6:00 AM in the morning and just sails far away into the sunrise. Then he was mad at the band for not finding him in the middle of the ocean when “he was lost”. I’ll leave that story for later.

Noah is a brat inside an adult’s body. And I mean that in awesome way. Especially when the rascal inside him shines on stage. Arthur Rimbaud said: “Genius is the recovery of childhood at will”. Noah didn’t lose touch with that. And Jack Kerouac said: “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes "Awww!”.

People like David Lee Roth, Ozzy Osbourne and Alice Cooper are examples of who Kerouac was talking about. And to see someone who isn’t afraid to be mad like Noah Wallace makes me a little proud that I’m a part of the early supporters of Hammered Satin. It’s good to see madness again.

Hammered Satin is the kind of band that polarizes their audiences. You will either extremely hate them, or you will extremely hate them but can’t help but dig them later. Noah brings “the brat” not only out of himself, but out of his crowd too. Once the show is done, you’re gonna start nagging until they play again.

Get yer dose of wacky here before the show.

Hammered Satin hit the stage on 11/11/11 at The Roxy Theater at 10:30 PM alongside The Nasty Souls and Them Howling Bones. Start nagging and get that ticket!

1 comment:

  1. Just so you know. It was not a canoe it was a rowboat. ;)
    / Emme