Thursday, August 11
If it weren't for all the unholy noise and distortion at the Funhouse, I'd probably be able to stand through a set near the stage without a pair of earplugs and a grimace. But just getting the tweaker-chic bartender to pay a little attention to the female patronage is an exacerbating chore, and things being what they are there--slow, inattentive, and immaculately loud--for the first two bands (10 Suns and Lamprey) I was completely blasted away from the stage to the outside smoking area/courtyard, where the sound was muffled enough to carry on a conversation.Full disclosure: I was catching up with an old friend, Argonaut guitarist Trina Lee Walker, who rails a shrieking axe for the band among her many other projects. Last night was my first time hearing her play with Argonaut--an established T-Town sludge-metal band led by Matt Sader, above left--and the band's set fell somewhere between the gritty rock of early Sabbath to the dark, meditative wanderings of Mogwai. It was heavy, but not so earsplittingly loud as to drive me back outside, and despite some effects hiccups (before the set Trina shared that "This place has a curse on me; the last time I played here, my amp blew up"), the four-piece carried on with the stalwart, thrashing drive of a band that doesn't give too much of a shit.
Thing is, you can walk into any dive bar in Tacoma and be greeted with a smile--it may be crooked, or strange, but it'll be there. It's been a while since I've lived in T-Town (Spanaway, if you must know), but last time I was at Puget Sound Pizza, I was belting out karaoke and rubbing shoulders with complete strangers. And yes, Trina was there. For all the Funhouse could be and should be, it was nice to have some Tacoma peeps warming up the place.
Funhouse Pros: Cheap, stiff drinks.
Funhouse Cons: Tweakers behind the bar. Disproportionate ratio of amps to crowd.
Overheard at the show: Matt Sader, of a friend: "He called me a geek for wearing a Spiderman T-shirt, but he hunts Bigfoot."