Screaming Females at Thee Parkside 9.3.10

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marissa paternoster

What better way for me to kick off Labor Day Weekend than to get whatever latent angst I’m harboring out with a Screaming Females show at San Francisco’s Thee Parkside.

It was cool hearing Kreamy ‘Lectric Santa open. Originally heralding from Miami in the similar light of legends like Trash Monkeys, The Eat, Morbid Opera and so forth; the quartet combo of violin, guitar, bass and drums created a buzzy sound storm of warm familiarities. This began the night’s theme of wild guitar business that seemed to stem from a big collective sesh at the all Holy Church of J. Mascis. Does that then mean we all should be singing our own Song for Mata Amritanandamayi and being more into that whole hugging deal? Either that or figure out how to play some mean guitar. With my coordination I’ll stick with the hugging thing.

“My amp is fucked,” guitarist Robert Price fretted while plugging and unplugging chords from pedals and various amp jacks. I could dig their hippied out moments with refrains like, “Don't be afraid of the world, it is round” that trailed off to a practice space somewhere. Keep hearing good things about their recent album Operation Spacetime Cynderblock, seems like these dudes are more of the Austin outsider steez than Miami but whatever, they can rock while still being all awkward for a minute before they pull it back together again. They got the five minute warning from the house before they went into a thrashed out dirge fit even equipped with one of those cute psychedelic head shop multicolored light balls. Far out man.

Then the Catholic school uniformed Marissa Paternoster took to the stage accompanied by bassist, drummer, her guitar and a whole lotta attitude. No laptops in sight as with her days as Noun. There was a brief tuning interlude in the beginning when someone from the back shouted, “Tell us a story!” Without a beat of hesitation or glance, Marissa continued her tuning and bellowed a firm and assertive “no.” Then it was game on.

Her shredding ripped through the set with a rage that made the new Screaming Females album Castle Talk sound tame by comparison. Paternoster might stand somewhere above 4 feet but makes a sound 10 feet tall. Perhaps the joy and “dependable support” of those heavy wool uniforms really do give her brutish force to makes some pretty heavy rock n’ roll. Loved how she steam rolled through every song, “I Don’t Mind It” never sounded so good than blaring through Thee Parkside’s P.A. in such a confined dive space. It almost made me recant my “Cherub Rock” criticisms with regards to “Laura and Marty” featured on the Castle Talk album. Kinda made me wish I attended her “private parochial” alma mater of Roselle Catholic. The constraints of uniform could have turned me into rock icon too. The new Screaming Females album Castle Talk hits the shops September 14 on Don Giovanni Records.