Total Trash tape release at 7th St. Entry, 3/14/13

Categories: Last Night
Photo by Erik Hess
Total Trash Tape Release/Tour Kickoff
with Brain Tumors, the Miami Dolphins, and Ugly Motors
7th St. Entry, Minneapolis
Thursday, March 14, 2013

A sign was created somewhere in the midst of the promotional blitz for Total Trash's tape release. It included the slogan "TAKE BACK THE ENTRY FOR THE PUNX." Graying mohawks may scoff at the idea, but as First Avenue slowly made the transition from "local music bar" to "national destination venue," its darkened sideroom has mostly followed suit. Gone are the days of cheap and dirty MDC/Dillinger 4 matinee shows on 7th Street, and the punks themselves seem to prefer the lack of oversight that comes with the house-show circuit. So Total Trash's decision to have their tape release in this particular room, with all its history, was actually something of a statement: "We Belong Here." Damn right they do!

See Also:
Total Trash: Getting pushed around is a sensory experience
Local Frames: New videos from Prince, Total Trash, Fury Things, and more

Photo by Erik Hess
Openers Ugly Motors had a lot going for them. There was a fresh-from-the-basement gawkiness about them -- as if they hadn't played a bar with a stage before and were unsure what to make of the newfound leg room and exposure. But, their bass player had a T-shirt with puppies all over it, which automatically puts you at an advantage for this kind of thing. Also, he's awesome. Somewhere in between Steve Harris and your classic punk-bass archetype, the guy was all over the stage and easily the most fun member to watch. The singer-guitarist's shirt was a Butthole Surfers number, which would make a decent comparison for his group, whose sound mixed lurching noise bits with chugging garage and trash-surf elements. In a weird twist that often happens at these kind of shows, they actually played the longest set. Not necessarily a good thing, but the band still managed to be thoroughly endearing thanks to a shambolic charisma and friendly chemistry.
Photo by Erik Hess
The Miami Dolphins kicked off what would become a reccurring trend for the night and jumped into the crowd directly in front of the stage before their soundcheck had even finished. The three-piece band of dudes specializes in caustic and thrashy surfcore with a pronounced technical streak, and their diminutive banshee of a lead singer, Beth, rounds out the weirdness nicely. Dressed more like extras in a Wes Anderson film than punks, the Dolphins' squalls of noise and jagged, rapid songs still managed to get a pit started. My favorite song of theirs is still something of an oddity in their set, the midtempo and uncharacteristically melodic "étoile," which was still thoroughly unique and winning.

While I'm not sure it's their style, I could have used a bit more physicality from Miami Dolphins during their set. Beth's constant journeys into the crowd started to feel a bit ho-hum after it became clear she wasn't going to hurt anyone. It's the kind of trick that works great in a basement but requires a bit of a different approach in a venue like this. Diving headfirst through the fourth wall has to contain an element of danger or it quickly loses its shock value.

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