Soundcheck cuts my chat with Gauntlet Hair short and it’s probably just as well: only moments into the band’s warm-up take, the cops arrive to give us a 30-minute curfew, launching the shoot into “get shit done” mode, posthaste.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Our original location fell through, we scrambled to find a new one, and here we are, under a bridge.
A clover-leafing transit ritual called rush hour traffic happens in every direction: the freeway easing into view on our left, cars/trucks/busses converging in five different ways to our right, and the on-ramp continuously rumbling above us.
Somewhere in there, someone saw us under the bridge and called the police.
Earlier the band talked about themes of masochism and living in the same clothes, opening for Deerhoof and seeing friends in faraway places– highlights from their past month on tour. A story about playing a show with McLovin from Superbad provoked buttrock poses and Creed Shreds references. That stuff feels like a moot point now that the cops have us on a stopwatch.
The band starts in on “Lights Out” like so many jumps from a diving board: 808-style hand claps, overblown chunks of bass, and bouncy, flanged guitar riffs.
Gauntlet Hair’s superdome reverb is attenuated by the acoustics of the on-ramp, and the sharper teeth of live drums pull the song from the dreamier digital percussion of the band’s self-entitled debut record. It’s music that works as the soundtrack to our standoff.
When the final take starts, we have roughly ten minutes left, at which point the cops will make good on their promise to return and help us load out. It feels like somewhere a rubber band is tightening to its maximum elasticity. Like a celebrity freakout is getting too close to a mirror and a brake pad is thinning at a high pitch and whatever comes next will come with an immediacy like big games ending in long passes– moments best described as adaptation meeting preparation. Leaps.
The band doesn’t fuck around. Camera speeds.
Once more off the diving board.
4/22/12 New York, NY – Santos Party House
4/23/12 Boston, MA – Great Scott
4/24/12 Brooklyn, NY – Glasslands
4/26/12 Cleveland, OH – Grog Shop
4/27/12 Detroit, MI – Magic Stick Jr.
4/28/12 Bloomington, IN – Russian Recording
4/29/12 Chicago, IL – Schubas
4/30/12 Madison, WI – High Noon Saloon
5/3/12 Portland, OR – Rotture
5/4/12 Bellingham, WA – Shakedown
5/5/12 Vancouver, BC – Waldorf
5/6/12 Seattle, WA – Barboza
5/8/12 Sacramento, CA – Blue Lamp
5/9/12 San Francisco, CA – Bottom Of The Hill
5/11/12 Los Angeles, CA – Satellite
5/13/12 San Diego, CA – Soda Bar