The Pub Gets Down & Dirty

The PubPasadena has a lot of great restaurants and fancy clubs. It’s a nice neighborhood with beautiful homes and well-kept gardens. Lurking in a dark, small alley is one of the best places in that city. It’s called The Old Towne Pub. It’s small yet intimate, laid back, but filled with life. it’s one of the very few places that caters to the “rougher” crowd in Pasadena and this night was no exception. The event: Let’s Get Fucked Up at the Pub. The players: The Theadora Kelly Project, Golden Culture, The Dharma Bums and Courage, You Bastards!

I got to the venue, did the check in process, went inside and settled in with a drink. I talked a bit with Theadora Kelly, lead singer of her band, about how I write reviews. She told me to be completely honest, but I don’t believe in giving a scathing review no matter how much I dislike the musi

About 10 minutes go by and The Theadora Kelly Project took the stage. They started off their set with a cutesy little punk rock song and I wasn’t very impressed. Then they cut it off and played for real. The rest of the set was loud, fast and energetic. One thing I didn’t really care for was the “schtickey” dialoThe Pubgue between her and bassist Justine K., but it was tolerable. I’m not a fan of rehearsed dialogue during a concert. They sounded like something out of a garage in the 90’s. I would consider them like a more aggressive version of the 5, 6, 7, 8’s. some of their songs included “Craigslist Reject” and “Indie Hipster Kid”. The vocals might have been all over the place and the lyrics really simple, but they were having fun and doing their own thing. If you’re a fan of any riot grrl bands like Bikini Kill, L7, or Hole, you might dig this band. They’ve got energy coming out of everywhere. One more thing about them…they’ve got a great guitar player in R.E. King because after his solo, I needed another drink.

Next up was Golden Culture. I like these guys, I really like them. They are a solid punk rock band! If Rancid and T.S.O.L. had a kid, this band would be their pride and joy. I didn’t catch the names of their songs, but trust me, they’re good. The drummer is the lead vocalist and he has enough energy to power China for the next decade. After their set, I asked them about their influences and got an eclectic answer from each of them. They are really influenced by classic rock bands such as The Doors and Led Zepplin, but also by Rancid and the Ramones. Towards the end of their set, they played a really great version of the Ramones’ “I Just Wanna Have Something To Do”. It was one of the best cover songs I’ve heard in a long while. Golden Culture was definitely the pleasant surprise of the evening.

The Pub

The Dharma Bums’ time came up and I think they are an awesome band with great music and very talented musicians, but I do wish they would work on their timing. They arrived at the Pub the just a few minutes before they were scheduled to play. Jesse, who is usually on drums, didn’t make the show tonight. They had someone new playing in for him, but I didn’t get his name. Rounding out the band were Bryan P. on guitar, Bryan M. on bass, Gabriel on guitar and Joe on vocals and guitar. Their first song was just a jam to get them going and went into “Going Up the Country”. They only had a few more songs in them and one of them was their cumbia. For those who don’t know what a cumbia is, look it up and I guarantee you will be dancing through the night.

Last, but definitely not least, Courage, You Bastards! stormed the stage. Now, I say that because they were ready to go the second they went up there. As soon as their first song started up they got right into the meat of things. I don’t want to say they are a nu-metal band so I won’t, but some songs do resemble Slipknot. I don’t usually like to categorize music because I think if it’s good enough for your ears, it shouldn’t matter what type of music it is, so, I’m going to say they sound like a mix between Bouncing Souls and early 90’s Pantera. They threw in some punk elements like the Descendents and the crowd was right there with them.

The man of the night though belonged to Dr. Graves himself, Fabian Graves. He put this whole shindig together by himself and he’s a great guy to know. I asked him a few questions about how this came to fruition and how long it’s been around, “Since September 2011. It was a surprise show for my girlfriend which went so well they told me to do more shows monthly”. Sometimes these things happen, people. You just have to want it bad enough. His reason why he continue- “My state of mind is I book bans I want to see play. As a promoter you get that choice; to pick the bands you want to book. It’s like my own little private show that I share with my friends and those who attend my shows”. What a guy, right? And asked about coming up with his dream line-up, he came up with, “Noise of Rumors, The Bossbeats, Go Betty Go and they would open up for No Doubt, Bush or Social distortion, even though Noise of Rumors opened up for No Doubt in December in Los Angeles [laughs]”. Now that is one interesting line-up!

You can catch more shows from Dr. Graves Productions on Facebook as well as information on the bands. Thanks to the Old Towne Pub for giving local bands the lime-light.