Eddie Arana, Rick Thibodeau, & Chris Bakunas San Diego, Ca. March 2012

Eddie Arana, Rick Thibodeau, & Chris Bakunas San Diego, Ca. March 2012
Eddie Arana, Rick Thibodeau, & Chris Bakunas at Luche Libre Taco Shop in San Diego, March 2012

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Bash & Pop Can Help You Make It Through The Night

Thursday night Rickster & I went on down to the Casbah to see a good old fashioned Rock & Roll show.

The headliner was the latest (and greatest, IMHO) incarnation of Bash & Pop, Tommy Stinson's initial post-'mats band, and the opener was The Yawpers, a band out of Denver that I'm fairly sure I saw play their first live show as the third act on a bill that featured the Hollyfelds and the Hickman-Dalton Gang at the Soiled Dove in Denver some five or so years ago.

                                                  The Yawpers going full out

The Yawpers have matured into a solid power trio. Frontman Nate Cook, seen on the far right, has cut his hair since I first saw them perform, and is a whole lot more active on the stage.

Joined by Noah Shomberg sitting behind the kit and Jesse Parmet on the far left strumming away at an acoustic guitar, they belt out a wide variety of tunes with the energy and confidence of a band that has spent a few years on the road honing their skills.

They released an album in 2015 which I picked up at the show - American Man. I've had it in the CD player of the rental since, and it is one fine slice of American rock pie.

Bash & Pop took the stage around 10:30, geting things started with a defcon level 4 rendition of Fast & Hard, a tune from the 1993 release, Friday Night Is Killing Me.

Tommy Stinson, Bash & Pop's lead vocalist, songwriter, guitarist, chief mechanic, etc., has been immersed in the music scene since his pre-adolescent years, and was the cock and balls of the greatest American band of the '80's, the Replacements...and oh, yeah, also played bass for Guns & Roses from 1998 until 2015.

That's Tommy right there. The first time I ever saw him perform he wasn't old enough to drink and I just barely was, though both of us had been drinkin' for years.

   Former Lucero/Hold Steady guitarist Steve Selvidge on the far left of the stage, Tommy Stinson front and center, former Mighty, Mighty Bosstones drummer John Sirois in the back holding the sticks, and sound & mix master/bassist Justin Perkins bashing & popping the night away at the Casbah

Bash & Pop are one of those fun, high-energy bands that can get you out of the deepest of funks. Not only do they bang out songs of their own, but Thursday they performed hip-shaking & head rattling covers that ranged from Marshall Crenshaw's b-side classic You're My Favorite Waste Of Time, to the Who's The Kids Are Alright (as well as a little taste of the Stones classic, Midnight Rambler).

The band played one helluva long set for a very appreciative crowd, giving much more than anyone in the Casbah payed for. Tommy's voice was a bit strained at times, which may have been due to this being the end of a long tour (I think they have a couple more stops before a end-of tour perfomance at SXSW in Austin this week).

There were a few missteps, of course, and a couple of restarts, but for the most part this was a great, high-octane show. This edition of Bash & Pop is a non stop post-punk monster seemingly hell bent on devouring the unborn young of it's audience.

The performance featured a number of tunes off the new realease, Anything Could Happen, including Unf*uck You, a personal fav of mine - side note: the new release is great.

Tommy jumped up on the bar at one point and belted out a tune solo and seemed to be having more fun than a poor kid on a creaky swingset. 

Bash & Pop's crunchy-twangy-punk-country-blues-infused rock was just what this man needed to hear. Combined with the good company of the Rickster, it made for a great night out, and I learned an interesting factoid about Tommy tonight - he was born in San Diego.

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