Thursday, June 12, 2008

Costa Mesa Rock City?

"So, this is Costa Mesa." These were the words of Detroit Cobras lead singer, Rachel Nagy, as she took the stage of the Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa. Exactly my thoughts. Was I really seeing the Detroit Cobras in Costa fucking Mesa? She continued, "Is the stage moving, or is it just me?" Yup. It really was the Detroit Cobras. She swayed to the left, staggered to the right, grabbed the mic stand, centered herself on the stage, cleared the sweaty hair from her face, and then belted out song after soulful rock'n roll song. It's not uncommon for Nagy to be a drunken train-wreck when she goes on stage, but it makes for a fun show. Loud, drunk and angry is a winning combination for the Detroit Cobras.

But the real treat here was not just seeing the band. I've been hating on Orange County during my interim residence here and going to this show tonight really made up for the deficiency of character of this entire county. The Detroit Bar is a gem of a venue and whoever is booking this venue knows what is up, and that is a good thing. The Helio Sequence plays on Saturday June 14th and the rest of the calendar is impressive (Stereolab in Sept?). The Detroit Bar is laid out very well, with a capacity around 175 (I'm guessing). It's reminiscent of Cafe du Nord or The Elbo Room (in SF) with the booths and a small stage, but with the decor of a swank retro lounge.

Opening the evening of entertainment was , who was my favorite band of the night to watch. Lead singer, Lisa Rieffel, has an amazing stage presence and a killer voice. During the set, she shed her boots and her belt, swung her microphone around her neck, and laid down on the ground in front of the bass drum during a short drum solo. She is definitely hot. I heard she was the love child of Billy Idol and . That's not true, I made it up. Though the band is based out of LA, Rieffel is a New Jersey native which makes her awesome by default. I think I want to make babies with her. In any case, supporting her were 3 other band mates quite adept at shredding face. If you don't catch them on June 12th at the Troubadour, they'll be back on July 19th at the Knitting Factory with Girl in a Coma.

The second band of the night, , is french-language-rock-and-roll band. Though they sing almost entirely in French, AND act the part on stage, they're really from Brooklyn and speak perfect English. Was that a secret? Um, anyway, this was the first I had seen them, and they were very fun to watch. They will be touring with the Detroit Cobras for the next two weeks through Chicago and then on their own from there. After the show, I was lucky enough to strike up some conversation with a couple of the band members. Jokingly, I asked if they were mortal enemies with the other sing-in-French-but-really-Americans band, . While the question was somewhat of a joke, it seemed that there WAS some history of some tom-foolery and douche-baggery, but I won't report further... because I didn't record the details. Who can do such things with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other?

In any case, that's my log for the evening. is an awesome place to see a show, and if you are lucky enough not to live in Costa Mesa and can afford the $4.79 per gallon to get down here, i would suggest you do so on Saturday night when will be taking the stage.

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