On a dark, orange day, where someone got shot a few miles down the road outside a Milo Yiannopoulos speech, when stomachs were turned by the sight of fascism coming for breakfast while others served it cheerily, what, really, is one supposed to do? Cry? Scream? Curl up in a ball? Dig a bomb bunker and hoard clean water? Strip naked and run down the street with fiery torches in both hands? If you are me, you don your "Dump Trump" tshirt and make the trek over to Ballard to do yourself a DAMN FAVOR by seeing one of your all-time-favorite bands, The Intelligence. This was my small act of rebellion on Inauguration Day: that we come together, still, to be with friends and hear music, and not give in to despair and worry of what is to come. We go out, get our freak on, and get re-fueled.

Because of the general Seattle chaos, traffic delayed me and I arrived at the Tractor Tavern just in time for Maszer, who I had never seen before. The entire crowd was utterly entranced by their triple-drummer tribal beat groove, heavy, rumbling, and propulsive, like a thunderstorm rolling across a desert. Katie Blackstock's vocals floated high above the tumult, and served to free the sound from the ground. Maszer offered a tantalizing mix of punk, prog, and world music that is all their own.

(Click on the photos to enlarge and click on the Flickr set links for more!)

I am greedy-hungry for any show by The Intelligence. I would see them all if I could, and maybe someday I will say EFF IT ALL and get a gas-powered skateboard and go do just that. Every record Lars Finberg puts out ends up being my new favorite because of the way he combines snappy riffs and dark, clever lyrics to make me hop up and down and go "doot doot DOOT DOOT doot doot DOO" along with each song. I always feel better after I see The Intelligence, and so, I'M IN.

Ol' Fren' Lars and Shred Master guitarist/vocalist Dave Hernandez, Bassist of Distinction Drew Church, and Thumper Buddy Kaanan Tupper rewarded a nicely-sized crowd with a fine performance, and in return the crowd provided generous claps, whoops, and staccato dance moves. When I mock-complained to Lars post-show that the only thing I didn't like about the show was that it was too short, he replied with a grin, "But we played 19 songs!" Yes, OK, true, BUT SOME ARE A MINUTE LONG, like "Bong Life" below. There's no pleasing me until they play all the songs in a row, maybe with snack and bathroom breaks. I can dream.

Thank you, Maszer and The Intelligence and Tractor made a Very Bad Day end up to be Pretty Swell After All.