The Growlers

Wet Dreams Summer Tour 2016 (Night 2)

Sold Out: The Growlers

DJ Johnny Basil

Thu, June 16, 2016

8:00 pm

The Crocodile

Seattle, WA

$20 Adv.

This event is all ages

The Growlers
The Growlers
excerpt from The Growlers Give OC A Love Test….
By Kim Conlan (2.15.16)

Years ago when I first started watching The Growlers perform, The Couples recordings had just transitioned into their Are You In Or Out? LP. The first time I interviewed singer Brooks Nielsen, the boys were just experiencing their first of many national tours. Every time they returned home from their latest musical excursion, their local fans seemed to be exponentially multiplying.

Then came the birth of The Observatory concert venue rehabilitated from the remains of the fading Galaxy Theatre. From that modest first Beach Goth festival of only 15 local bands on the bill blossomed many more sold-out shows and three more Beach Goth festivals, each much bigger than the last. By 2013, the Growlers substantiated their musical collection with their release, Hung At Heart, which was followed by Gilded Pleasures late in the same year. By the time Chinese Fountain hit shelves in 2014, The Growlers had become ambassadors of the Orange County music scene with a fan-base so big that their back-to-back Valentine’s weekend shows of their 2016 tour quickly sold out in their local county.

Upon entering The Observatory grounds, the attendees were greeted by souped-up classic Impalas parked near the box office meant to set the classic mood. Romantic 60s soul music crooned from a PA set up just outside the entrance. An electric current saturated the air at The Growlers second show of their dubbed California Winter tour. Since the event happened to fall on Valentine’s Day, lovebirds attended in droves. Dudes pulled out their cleanest laundry and nicest pair of Vans, and chicks slipped into short skirts and their cutest crop tops. Swirling around in excitement, the attendees were immersed in a scene set for grungypsychedelic romance. And in their view, could there be anything more saccharine than Brooks Nielsen serenading a venue full of young ladies and gentlemen? In the city of Santa Ana, I think not.

To start the lovefest, the legendary Jonathan Richman with drummer Tommy Larkins opened the evening. Although just two musicians, they were able to invigorate the crowd via Richman’s sweet singing in dual languages. He was almost unable to contain his enthusiasm while energetically strumming the acoustic guitar, shaking his sleigh bells, and speaking intensely to all there to listen. The new generation of Growler fans were introduced to this long-standing singer-songwriter who has been playing Orange County for longer than most of his audience has been alive, and they accepted with fervor.

For the main event, both levels of the house were packed to capacity. As expected, The Growlers were fashionably late to start their set. Pandemonium struck once the blacked-out stage started billowing fog, and one by one the band members, consisting of Matt Taylor on lead guitar, Kyle Straka on second guitar, Anthony Perry on bass, Scott Montoya on drums filed onto the stage. Once Nielsen entered, there was an uproar from the audience, and the beat surged and revealed “Graveyard’s Full” off of their Hot Tropics album. Stimulants wafted into the air and the vibe was laid-back, with the band members on stage falling into a wellpracticed routine that had the entire Observatory grooving and cuddling close to their date.

With every move he made, Nielsen inspired a response from spectators, like a melodic ringleader backed by an artillery of best friends whom have now been around the world together in the name of music. Most times, a song would start and the entire room of bodies would become lost in the music, chanting along word for word while twisting in rhythmic motions. Every song, like “Dull Boy,” carries a story of some sort, and people were stirred by the emotion that wafted from the speakers and out onto them, causing an equivalent reaction in audience members.

After almost a two-hour set encompassing tracks from all their recent releases, the band took a quick exit, only to enter again for their encore fanatically welcomed by attendees. Smart phones emerged to catch the final moments left with this audience’s favorite Orange County band. Despite the feeling of romance, Nielsen reminds during “Love Test” that, “Love isn’t as easy as it seems.” It was obvious The Growlers were grateful, as depicted by Nielsen's wide grin as he bid his admirers goodnight with admiration. As we exited the venue, it seemed like the warm Santa Ana winds had started to swirl, as if the band had somehow incited a warm climate change during their set
DJ Johnny Basil
DJ Johnny Basil
"Costa Mesa's turntable sensation DJ Johnny Basil kicked off the night and played a wholly rump shakin' set featuring a bunch of his favorite 45's. Looking like Iggy Pop, Basil wore no shirt, sunglasses, tight pants, and had his belt buckle fastened to nearly its last link; complete and utter absurdity coupled with a wicked sense of humor." – SF Weekly

Star Sign: Pisces

Born March 7. The 66th day of the solar year. The 67th day of the leap year.

Music: Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, John & Alice Coltrane, Keith Jarrett, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Fela Kuti, Funkadelic, Pat Martino, Lenny Breau, Grant Green, Melvin Sparks, Ivan Boogaloo Joe Jones, George Benson, Gary Bartz, Wayne Shorter, Tony Williams, Jack DeJonette, John Mclaughlin, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Joseph Schillinger, Chopin, Ravel, Terry Riley, Arnold Schoenberg, Ash RaKlaus Schulze, Kraftwerk, Dzyan, Volker Kriegel, Wolfgang Dauner, Ennio Morricone, Piero Umiliani, Franco Micalizi….

Excerpt from OC Weekly feature….

Everyone who knows Johnny Basil pretty much says the same thing: "One of the heaviest cats I know. You should see his record collection. Awesome." Color me intrigued (and jealous; I've seen it).

I first encountered Basil by chance at the Costa Mesa Memphis Café in April. He was spinning one of his too-infrequent DJ sets during the Abstract Workshop. But his set was unlike any I'd ever heard there, or anywhere. Basil was laying down strange, beautiful, rarefied prog rock; spacey, alien electronic pieces from the '70s; groovy, quirky library music; and the odd Herbie Mann cut, just to keep things a bit … grounded. I soon started trainspotting and asking questions. I discovered in Johnny Basil a real-deal, underground-culture guru.

The tall, longhaired, Italian-American 40-year-old strikes a heroic figure in person. But Basil is humble almost to a fault and not prone to self-promotion. Living in relative anonymity, he works part-time at Costa Mesa's excellent Ubiquity Records, filling orders in the warehouse and curating the label owners' huge vinyl stash. He's also been taking courses in 3-D computer design and serves as a consultant for Los Angeles vintage boutique Tabloid and the L.A. Record free weekly. He creates music that's as intricately detailed and surreal as the finest Dalí paintings. And, as noted, Basil occasionally DJs.

While Basil claims his influences largely lie outside music, as a youth he loved Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page and Frank Zappa. "Miles Davis showed me the way as far as attitude and exploring with a menacing quality," he says. "I love the tension, darkness and the grooviness of Funkadelic." Other factors that shaped Basil's aesthetics include such avant-garde composers as Karlheinz Stockhausen, Morton Subotnick and Tod Dockstader; guitarist Lenny Breau; and soundtracks to "groovy films" and giallos (bizarre Italian horror flicks).
Venue Information:
The Crocodile
2200 2nd Ave
Seattle, WA, 98121