Thursday, February 24, 2011
Tobin Peregrina has been booking shows in Monterey for almost four years now, most prominently at Jose’s Underground Lounge and then the Blue Fin, but it’s his latest partnership with Carbone’s that has been drawing the most consistent crowds. The reason is simple: a majority of the shows are free and the quality of the bands remains consistently above par.
“Sal [Carbone] pays the bands out of pocket because if the show is free, he knows people are going to spend more money at the bar,” Peregrina says. “You have to spend money to make money and [Sal] realizes that.”
As word about the free shows spreads, Peregrina says the crowds continue to grow. Past no-cover shows at Carbone’s have included Oakland jam band Sun Hop Fat, the bluegrass Americana of Songs Hotbox Harry Taught Us, and the indie Bay Area outfit The Goldenhearts. On Friday, the madness continues with Bare Wires and openers Hooray For Everything.
The glitter-punk trio Bare Wires comes with a trove of crazy stories that have definitely earned them some rock band cred. One of the standouts involves frontman, Matthew Melton, drinking vodka in a hot tub with the late punk rocker Jay Reatard (who mastered the band’s 2009 album Artificial Clouds). When Melton, wet and fairly intoxicated, got out of the hot tub, he slipped down some stairs and knocked a “cheap crown” off one of his teeth.
“That was a darker time period in my life,” he says. “And a wild night, for sure.”
Last year, Bare Wires played its first SXSW and made more interesting memories.
“We cruised down there and didn’t really know what to expect,” Melton says. “This girl we met at a house party in Oakland said we could stay at her house when we were down there.”
The band took her up on her offer; it turned out the house didn’t belong to her.
“We were hanging out at this house, playing records, taking showers and then these people come home and it was brought into the light that she didn’t live there,” Melton says.
Bare Wires’ catchy, glam fuzz can be likened to the ’70s glitter pop of Slade, Gary Glitter and Flamin’ Groovies.
“I defiantly don’t over think [songwriting],” Melton says. “Songs have to be able to pass through you and they have to be sincere.”
The trio’s latest release, Seeking Love, is probably the best of its three albums, and the most genuine. “I Love You Tonite,” the album’s best seller on iTunes and one of three tracks with “love” in the title, fuses garage attitude with a doo-wop popiness, resembling the gritty and infectious hooks of The Black Lips. Melton’s reverb vocals and fast-stabbing guitar riffs drive the LP’s final track, “The Last Thing on My Mind,” straight back into the thick of the glam-rock era.
The Oakland outfit just finished recording a new album, Cheap Perfume. Melton doesn’t know yet when it will be released but says songs continue to pour out of him like an overflowing toilet.
“I don’t know what I could do besides play rock and roll music,” he smiles. “It’s kind of a natural occurrence.”
BARE WIRES play 9pm Friday, Feb. 25, at Carbone’s, 214 Lighthouse Ave., Monterey. Free. 643-9169.