The night was off to a great start as the five of us embarked on a journey in a deluxe Lyft all the way to Slim’s to see The Frights. I made a few notes along the ride that I feel obligated to include — “Lyft driver has beard,” “Lyft driver is laughing at my jokes,” “Natalie is reciting band name ideas and Lyft driver seems to be having fun,” “Lyft driver laughs the hardest at band names ‘Getting Drunk Helps’ and ‘Panic and Obey,’ — these are clearly winners. We should start a band with the Lyft driver.” I then receive a text from Natalie saying something along the lines of “I think i am going to vomit in the uber but i do not want to get banned for life,”2 (but far more misspelled and grammatically incorrect). It is then that I know we are going to have a great night.
After we get inside Slim’s, it turns out to be exactly what I expect — full of teens. I have a love/hate relationship with teens. It may be inappropriate for me to critique “The Teen” when I myself am only 20, but this is a music website which means I occupy a throne of pretension3 that I must protect at all costs. Sometimes teens can add to the concert going experience — they tend to have a lot of energy and pent up anger which play out very well in a mosh-prone environment. These specific teens, on the other hand, brought out the old nostalgic-for-the-time-before-social-media and technology despising, resentful 65 year old man that lives deep inside my soul. His name is Theodore4 and he doesn’t take any shit. Throughout the night I made it my personal mission to expose these teens to life without their phones. Theodore stomped around the pit as a renegade of the real human experience, yelling at anyone who appeared to be on Snapchat. “Put your FUCKing phones away!” was a recurring line, at one point actively snatching a phone out of this girl’s hands. Obviously it was returned shortly after, and in hindsight it wasn’t a very polite thing to do. But you know what’s not polite? Holding up your phone to take a front-facing video of yourself singing along to a song to put it on your Snapchat story WHEN YOU HAVE THE ACTUAL BAND RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR FUCKING FACE YOU CONCEITED PIECE OF SH — I digress.
But then, something special happens. My friend reaches over and digs her nails deep into my arm to show her excitement as she exclaims: “ROSIE! YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS” and points to the guy standing next to her (specifically, his upper arm region). There it is. In all its glory. A fucking FIDLAR tattoo.5 I know instantly that it is my civic duty to approach this guy and let him know about the spiritual experiences FIDLAR has provoked for me personally; I want to hug him and tell him that I too am an alka, alka alka holic that’s made some Stupid Decisions; I want to tell him that I understand him, and that he is not alone (obviously this was not a sober thought). As I start to tell this guy about the piece, I hear someone call out, “Hey! I’ve got one too!” I am stunned as this other guy comes over, and flashes his ankle — you already know what’s tattooed on it. Suddenly, I feel at home. The Frights might as well be sponsored by FIDLAR. I saw a total of five FIDLAR tattoos on The Night Of The Frights, and that’s a personal record.
To conclude, I’d like to make a statement that in my opinion, the best shows are the ones where you can have a good time even without being familiar with the artist. I can proudly say that I knew nothing about The Frights before going to Slim’s (aside from “Makeout Point” and a hint of “Crust Bucket”), but that I had the time of my life.
My editor told me that if I do not write a paragraph about the actual quality and music of the band that I will be in big trouble with the Press Representative (a little ironic seeing as I had a very hard time even getting into the show — turns out my name never made it on the list…).6 To accommodate the extremely professional7 nature of The B-Side (UC Berkeley’s premier – with an “E-R” music magazine),8 here is what I have to say about The Frights, the band we came to see:
The Frights are more than a “band,” they are a work of modern art that takes the physical form of a collective of human beings who go by the names of Mikey, Richard, and Marc. The sounds that the three produce together, also described colloquially as “music,” appear to embody jubilant compositions of angst and artistic strokes of lyricism9 and dedication. According to Wikipedia (a frequently used source for information that your middle school teachers have warned you to never trust), The Frights formed in the year of 2012, which also so happens to be the year people thought the world was going to end. From this coincidence, one may conclude that The Frights’ existence is in itself the reason that the world didn’t end. For that, I owe my life to The Frights, and so do you. A mere simpleton with average listening capabilities may use the following word combinations to describe The Frights — “garage punk,” “surf punk,” “punk rock,” but these reductive terms can never embody the true spirit of their creations. It should also be noted that Zac Carper of the philosophical endeavor so-titled “FIDLAR” [pronounced as “fid-lauhr” and “the Beatles of our generation”] produced The Frights’ sophomore studio album, titled You Are Going To Hate This (2015). We here at The B-Side think that the choice of title has a humorous touch, because we love the release. It is very nice to see a band with a sense of humor, because we obviously love humor.
Overall I would give my experience watching The Frights a B+.
AFTER THE GLOW, THE SCENE, THE STAGE, THE SET
By Natalie Silver
It’s the moment of silence after the bridge and before the final crescendo….the final pump before completion… the first night of Hanukkah… the whistle before the winning penalty kick…whatever.
You’re in a moment of suspended disbelief. Your consciousness is prey to the energy of the room; when they move you move, and when they stop you stop. You’re hypnotized, and this is your final chance to breathe before the madness seizes you.
It’s a beautiful, pure, and RARE thing at a punk show. It’s almost perfect…until that one FUCKING asshole ruins the moment.
She has brown curly hair, broken glasses, and a plastic fifth of Smirnoff tucked beneath her belt. She begins singing “Hava Negila”10….she appears to be Jewish…she’s wearing a dirty white Tivo shirt covered in cotton pills from days of prior moshing…and she’s throwing small white squares of paper on stage.
Wait… you RECOGNIZE that shirt! You saw that shirt at The Fillmore in August…and then at The Catalyst 5 days later….and then you pick up a flyer and it clicks.
It’s ROSIE DAVIDOWITZ 11— notorious music journalist, band name visionary, FIDLAR disciple, call her what you will…out in public doing her job and embarrassing the PREMIER music publication of the NUMBER ONE public university in the world — The B-Side.
At this moment you look down at your hand and see that you’re holding the same flyers littering the stage. You feel your pockets and there are more in there too. You read the writing on these flyers littering the ground and then you instantaneously realize that you’re the biggest fucking hypocrite in the nation.
OKAY SO YEAH… we had a great time at The Frights… obviously. I moshed a lot… baptized a lot of 13-year-olds in my blood and sweat… and used the coming-of-age theme to validate my ongoing identity crisis and current addictions to hanging out with immature boys, binge drinking, prank calling, and avoiding all adult responsibility.
But when it comes down to it, the real reason we went to that show was to promote our larger project and life mission. My buddy God called me up and she was like “Hey…time for some grassroots marketing.” So that’s what we did, because we are slaves to the larger ideology that is FIDLAR, which, as it turns out, is actually a denomination of Buddhism that other music icons and cultural messiahs have turned to in times of creative fertility as well.
We are completely and eternally committed to this ideology and lifestyle and mission to convert the world to the “fuck it dawg” attitude, and we went to that show as part of a pilgrimage to FIDLAR.12
DO NOT listen to anything else Rosie may have told you.
Dreamin’ dream dream dream…..
- Does this seem DUMB and OVER THE TOP? Well…we wouldn’t do it if we didn’t have to. Reader: we are so sorry to doubt your chillness and ability to take a fucking joke, but after a CERTAIN DRAMA orbiting a CERTAIN PIECE (that took 10 years to pass through 8 levels of editing and barely made it in B-Side Issue 3)…we decided to play it safe. -Natalie
- To clarify, I did NOT end up vomiting….holla! -Natalie
- Good band name. -Natalie
- This is also my dog’s name. -Natalie
- Are you going to write about the actual band that we saw lol??? -Natalie
- In fairness, Rosie usually has a difficult time getting in ANYWHERE…not because she’s not on the list, but because she’s usually calling anyone who possesses any authority an “ass twitch,” “white boy,” or “piece of shit” … if she is coherent at all… -Natalie
- Hey @NathanFielder…sorry about that press request for a Side of Smooth interview with all the misspellings…..we were excited… and heavily feeling ourselves…and stoned -Natalie
- Shut UP. You WRITE for that? Damn… -Natalie
- #mscal #joshjackson #mediastudiesisarealmajor -Natalie
- For reference for those of you who are not Jewish and/or never had the pleasure of attending a bar mitzvah -Rosie
- To answer the question you’re definitely not thinking: yes, I am very thrilled for this to pop up when potential employers Google my name. -Rosie
- Yes, we know we are taking the FIDLAR thing to far. Honestly we’re not sure what else to do with our time -Rosie