Like a box full of caffeinated puppiesWent to the Book 'Em benefit last night at the Mr. Roboto Project in Wilkinsburg. Book 'Em sends books to prisoners, and four alt punk bands performed for the cause. A bit of scene-setting is necessary:
The heat: It was sixth-circle-of-hell hot in the tiny room, sweltering with the bodies of a hundred hipsters. Everyone fled from the sweaty womb between bands to the refreshing Pittsburgh July chill.
T-shirts: Every t-shirt was chosen with care. From the military block print of the word "Cursive" to the sleeveless Chinese take-out restaurant in Portland to the record labels to the gambling rehab clinic.
The bands: By far the best was Endless Mike and the Beagle Club, a seven-person unit, three of whom seemed to be devoted solely to playing various percussive toys and falling down a lot. Infectious, shouty pop that's impossible to resist a la The Long Winters, or maybe The Polyphonic Spree sans choir robes. The band members are smiley and exuberant, and the songwriting was surprisingly high quality and coordinated. Somewhat less interesting were the headliners, This Bike is a Pipe Bomb, (a fan of whom had an unfortunate incident with security at an Ohio University), with pretty incoherent punk rock. The bass player had broken her hand, so she substituted the obvious replacement for her bass: the glockenspiel.
BTW, Book 'Em needs dictionaries and help with shipping costs.