On this Memorial Day weekend, many of my fellow local concert photog friends and music pals made the journey out to the beautiful Gorge Amphitheater in George, Washington to experience all that is the mighty Sasquatch music festival. But this little black duck made the trek into Ballard on Saturday night to the Sunset to see the first Seattle gig from BRONCHO, an Oklahoma-based band that made my last year's favorites list with their fast n' fun 20-minute-long debut recording, Can't Get Past The Lips. My devotion to great garage punk is deep, and there was nowhere else I was gonna be!

Armed with my camera and enough cash to buy two Manny's, I knew that I wouldn't be able to stay for the entire 4-band evening (The Shrine and Big Wheel Stunt Show also played), but I did get there in time to see Sailor Mouth, a local band that likes its sound loud and epic -- kind of a decades-spanning mix of Black Sabbath, Black Flag, "Black Hole Sun," and the Black Lips.  A few seconds into their first song, an equally-epic move by the lead vocalist went a bit wrong, as he took a fall and fouled up the guitarist's effects bay but good on the way. Fixing this took a few minutes, but no matter -- everyone was patient and dug their set once it got going. Sailor Mouth's first record, "Fair Winds," will be released imminently.

Next up...BRONCHO! There's lots of reasons I'm so enthusiastic about this band, because they get so many things just right with their songs, and of course if you don't have songs, you ain't in bizness, son. Punk with just the right amount of pop means music that is tight, quick, and memorable, aggressive without ugly, funny without being jokey, and somehow sloppy and completely pulled together at the same time. Ryan Lindsay (who I last saw playing keyboards with Starlight Mints) this time acts as frontman on vocals and jitters, shakes, bobbles, and froths over a very dodgy/charming Silvertone guitar. 

A quick intro and they were off, playing nearly all of Can't Get Past The Lips with some yet-to-be-released newies, full of crunchberries and spazzy fuzz. "Try Me Out Sometime" deserves to be a hit. My three mild complaints at the Sunset were: 1. That I wish I would have seen more band/fan interaction -- BRONCHO was not addressing the crowd at all other than in song, and I think the crowd would have enjoyed that; and ,2. that a friggin' candle in the wind has better lighting than the Sunset; and, 3. that I wish BRONCHO's set would have gone even longer! "Psychiatrist" ended the set bang-up style, I finished Manny #2, and was peace-out to the Sunset for another night.

Thanks to the Sunset, BRONCHO, Sailor Mouth, and Kenny Schnurstein!