Ok folks, I've have a crap week. Jury duty and food poisoning in a three day span. I sort of wanted to shoot myself in the face. So I was need of some serious musical cleansing when I hightailed it to the Silverlake Lounge last night. Better than a bottle of Pepto Bismol was Restavrant. These guys served up a big helping of Southern gator rock mixed with a healthy dose of... electronica? Whaaa?
I knew something was up when I scanned the crowd. Sure there were the usual dark-rimmed glasses and skinny pants (I mean, we were in Silverlake). But there were also some really big, beer-guzzling trucker dudes there. Like, the sort of guys you wouldn't want to share a prison cell with. It all made sense as soon as Restavrant started playing their bluesy swamp music. Singer/guitarist Troy Murrah had a gritty growl that could have been from any of my Grandmother's old blues vinyls. In true blues fashion, he worked a bottleneck guitar, a harmonica, and had a strong tendency to say, "Thanks Y'all."
The second guy in the band, J State, had the most (amazing) white trash drum kit EVER. I'm not even exaggerating. Sure, he had a kick drum and a snare. But for cymbals, he just had two license plates melted together. A gasoline can was thumped on, too. When he wasn't banging the hell out of his dumpster-dived-drum set, however, he was working a synth and a drum machine. With Murrah's Boomhauer vocals, the two made some pretty fantastic dance songs. In the song "Joe D" Murrah would chant, "I've got no sunglasses, I've got no tennis shoes" making a super fun, Hillbilly-techno romp. "Homeless Architect" was so fast I wondered if this is what they play at raves in Alabama. Damn.
By the end of their set, J State's wife beater was soaked and Murrah was off the stage playing in the audience. Their gritty eletro-blues may have been a weird combo, but it was a thoroughly kick ass one too. I don't care what you're doing next Wednesday night (you can TiVo Lost, goddamnit), just get out there and see some live music. You might just see a band as cool as Restavrant.
-Rachel K. www.loudvine.com
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