No, it's not the new California Raisins album cover, silly.
words: Thomas Matich
I love Deastro. I've seen him in concert in various forms countless times over the past couple years but I have to say that his Spritle 7" release show (Diet Spritle - The Radio Remix - I'm calling it right now) this past Saturday was his finest performance to date. For a few reasons. The sound in The Pike is superb and ideal for a non-Bruce Springsteen type of artist (err, more intimate, not arena, not Death Cab playing the Fox). The first time I saw Deastro was at the Lager house in 2007. I was probably the only person there aside from the other bands and their few pals. It was just Randy and his drums. Oh, how times have changed...
During the band's set on Saturday night I caught a glimpse of Deastro's former drummer Aaron Quillen taking in the performance and I thought to myself "he's either like 'damn, I should've kept drumming for Randy' or that he was incredibly proud." I'd like to think it was the pride part. Probably was. Those Suburban Quack guys are very supportive of each other. But Saturday did, at least to me, represent a watershed in not only Deastro's musical history, but in the current Detroit scene.
It was a damn good line-up, for one. Lightning Love, F#KE Bl()()d, Terrible 2Pacs and Randy Chabot. I walked in during F'Ke Bl^^d, still high on the MSU victory and kinda wished that it was Silverghost on stage instead. I missed Lightning Love. I like their music but I haven't seen them live yet. Dang. The Terrible Twos sounded like, if I was a person from UConn, that I would be scared of these punk rock guys screaming and shredding and synthing. They did some new songs which sounded more blues-y to me. Then did some LP material like "Fat Cats" and it sounded swell. Craig Brown is like Cactus Jack on stage. Just a big wtf. But great.
I was walking around the Pike, well actually I was PUSHING my way through because this bitch was more crowded than a mugg. I went to purchase a 7" from the newly crowned Five Three Dial Tone Records. I wanted one of the hand-drawn ones that Deastro himself designed (he's like the synth-pop's Ryan Adams folks). They were sold out. I was disappointed in myself that I didn't make more of an effort to pick up something that could be worth more than a Mookie Blaylock Rookie card in 15 years. I bought the regular pressing and the special (but not super special hand-drawn) editions, which are probably the coolest vinyls I've bought. The artwork is sweet, they come with Monopoly money, a cd with the two songs and fortune cookie Bible quotes. Needless to say, Jaysper and Randy went all out on this one.
The turnout was pretty awesome for this show. There was famous people like Josh Epstein from the Silent Years and retards wearing bright yellow Jay Reatard shirts and spazzing out next to me, dancing like a jerk and making me want to Claude Lemieux his ass. So yeah, there was a little bit of everyone. I think I might've even spotted a Villanova fan or two. Even stranger, there was some sort of Playa's Ball/Black People Family Reunion going on downstairs with old school macks dressed in pimp hats and head-bobbing to a thick-boneded sista belting out some Mary J. Blige which provided folly when I went to the merch booth or to take a wiz.
Jay and Jasper were so happy that the place was crowded that Jasper was actually sociable and Jay was his usual two-fistin' beers, bouncing his hand in the air to his favorite joints self. So I guess FTDT Records is like if Jay was Suge Knight and Jasper was Puff Daddy and they joined forces to put out a Jay-Z single or some such.
Back to Randy, the real star of the night. His vocals were crisp. He did a fair share of new material that is presumably off of Moondagger and it sounded fantastic. The drums were banging and the band seems to have finally clicked. It's something else seeing Deastro evolve from a one piece to a two piece to a full band and to witness the transgressions take place before your eyes since he plays shows at such a prolific pace.
The 7" contains a bonafide jam in "Spritle" and the b-side - "Treefrog" is just as nice. Saturday marked the arrival of a cool new label started by two bloggers (is that a first?) and the solidification of Randy being a star (the place was packed and hype - free show or not - those vinyls are almost gone!). I'll be anxiously awaiting the next release party for FTDT Records, as it appears that for how many shows these guys attend, how many MP3s they steal and how much they complain, they are all around good dudes that are all about putting out great music and throwing a party.
As for Deastro, there was a moment towards the end where he went "rock star" and hurled his puffy, rainbow-colored cloak into the audience. Some girl picked it up and put it on and continued to dance.
Randy Chabot connects with people. If Saturday night was any indication, than the sky is the limit for the Moondagger release.
Special Stream - Deastro "Kurgan Wave Number One" (off the upcoming Moondagger - set for release on Ghostly International in June).
Purchase one of the few 7" copies of "Spritle" still available from the boys at Five Three Dial Tone.