Aloha / Q and Not U / The Ghost

Aloha/Q and Not U/The Ghost: live in Iowa Citylive in Iowa City (2002)
Polyvinyl Records

Reviewer Rating: 3

Contributed by: maverickScott
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Ah, the Tuesday night show. These are always risks - do you really want to go to a show on a weeknight an hour away when only half the bands playing interest you? Will it really start on time? Will you be able to wake up the next morning in time for class? All these questions and more haunted my.

Ah, the Tuesday night show. These are always risks - do you really want to go to a show on a weeknight an hour away when only half the bands playing interest you? Will it really start on time? Will you be able to wake up the next morning in time for class? All these questions and more haunted myself and Punknews.org buddy Moldy as we sped down I-80 to Gabe's Oasis, located in the center of Iowa City.

Spirits were high for the show, but quickly diminished as we got inside - Gabe's is notorious for not actually starting the show until way after door time, and this was one of those nights. We arrived there at 8:30, but found ourselves trying to kill time until 9:15, when the first band finally went on. Who were they? You Drive This Thing, Kid, We'll Worry About The Gown.

Now, this is a great name for a band. They also have free stickers, so that was a plus. Too bad the band is absolutely horrible. If that sounds harsh, it's because I mean it to be. This band had no cohesion at all. The singer was a great screamer, and could do well in a hardcore band. A hardcore band this was not. The bassist and drummer had rudimentary skills at best, while thier guitarist seemed more suited in Hum - I thought he was talented, but completely out of place in this group.

So with one band down, we both had a bad taste in our mouths. What better way to relieve the taste then indulge in Gabe's special of 50 cent beers? I don't drink myself, but Moldy knocked quite a few back. He even stole some beer out of the pitcher onstage - how punk rock is that, kids?

Anyway, the Ghost quickly set up and rocked. No surprises there. This band just has that *thing* that clicks every time I see them. Emotional post-punk at it's best and brightest. My only complaint was that the setlist was identical to the Milwaukee show I saw them at a few weeks prior. Chalk that up to their new guitarist, I guess? Either way, they still had their shit down.

Q and Not U were supposed to play next, but for some reason Aloha went instead. This made me happy, since I don't like the Q's, so I could skip out earlier. Hooray! Too bad the majority of the crowd disappeared after the Ghost's performance, and what remained were pretty bored people. It's too bad, since they missed one of the most amazing bands in indie rock today.

Aloha took the stage with an improvised jam, and kept the loose feel going throughout their whole 45 minute set. There was not one pause in the music - in between each song, they would improv little segues into the next song, further blurring the lines between contemporary jazz and contemporary indie rock. I know they played "Last Night I Dreamt You Slept Beside Me," as well as a host of new tracks - "Fractures (Part One)," "They See Rocks," "Let Your Head Hang Low," and plenty more. The band never even bothered to talk until the end of their set, instead letting their sweet blend of jazz vibraphone and pulsating drum and bass rhythms do the speaking for them. This band could do no wrong. Unfortunately, the crowd was virtually dead during their performance, save for two overly excited girls directly in front of me, who danced like maniacs throughout the performance. It gave me hope that there are still people who go to shows to enjoy themselves now, instead of bitch.

So last up was Q and Not U. The first time I had seen them was over 2 years ago with the Faint and Camera Obscura. My opinion of them then? A more math-rocky No Knife, and it didn't sit too well with me. Moldy and I watched 3 or 4 songs, and I still felt the same way about the band. To their credit, they did sound tight [especially for not having a permanent bassist anymore], and the 40 or 50 kids who stuck around past midnight for their set were getting into it, but it just didn't do anything for me. The sound was clipping really badly for the band, as well, and bad sound can really make for a bad show. So we left, and I relished seeing my new favorite band live, about 3 inches from the guitarist.

To sum up:

  • Q and Not U - blah.
  • Aloha - amazing. Simply amazing.
  • The Ghost - I've seen them better, but they still sounded good.
  • You Drive This Thing, Kid... - Great name, bad music.


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    Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
    Anonymous (October 24, 2002)

    just a heads up for the kid from slc, we cut the set short because without eric, the vibes player, we can only play one tenth of our recorded material. the set wasn't bad on our end, all told. but then, I was standing close to the amps, and you were standing in front of the pa. and that can make all the difference. then again, we may have been horrible. email me before we play in slc again, and I will guest list you.



    tgarn (September 17, 2002)

    the singer said the vibe players wife had a baby(or it could have been She had a baby, couldn't understand him well)

    maverick (September 17, 2002)

    Their vibes player was not there???

    Please explain.


    tgarn (September 17, 2002)

    I just saw this show in slc, and Aloha was HORRIBLE. I went to the concert because of this review and boy was I disapointed. First off their vibraphone player was not there. Second, their drummer is a little ##### because he cut the set early because he was "bored" Q and not U was awesome, they made my seven bucks go way beyond the value. The opening band was by far the craziest and most unique thing I ever saw(i forget their name)

    maverick (September 16, 2002)

    Fuck, I knew I forgot something, although actually it went more like this:

    FRAT GUY: "Hey man, where have you been? I haven't seen you in forever!"
    HOBO: "I was in the psych ward! It was a mistake, though, they let me out."


    moldy (September 16, 2002)

    damnit scott you forgot the best part of the night. As we were leaving town, we stopped at a gas station for food and this guy walks in, another guy who was already in there said "Where have you been I haven't seen you in awhile?" The other guy replies "Oh, I got put into a mental hospital, but they let me out now."

    Anonymous (September 14, 2002)

    I saw Aloha in August here in Buffalo at a skeevy bar. I can honestly say it was one of the most amazing shows I've ever seen. I've been to hundreds of shows and this was fucking incredible. They are blending the lines or jazz, rock, art, and honesty.
    See this band.

    yellowtrash (September 14, 2002)

    Hahahaha. Drive This Thing Kid...is terrible. They are a bad local band. You'll have to go to a show when Eric and the Floaters play at Gabe's.

    Anonymous (September 14, 2002)

    Your remarks about Q and Not U just go to further everyone's belief that you have horrid musical taste (although Aloha is right on, but their new album is kind of weak).

    Anonymous (September 13, 2002)

    yeah i saw this tour in akron (although it was q, aloha, and party of helicopters). aloha was really good, they're from here so i've seen them often and this time was their best in my opinion. q and not u was amazing. i was blown away.

    Anonymous (September 13, 2002)

    im sorry, i must not speak your magical fairy language, but when i saw q and not u this week, they blew the roof of the sucker dammit. oh well, its all a matter of taste

    xmolemanx (September 13, 2002)

    I saw Aloha and Q and not U in DC when this tour started off a week ago or so.

    Aloha were simply amazing even though they were done the disservice of being the first band, so nobody really had a chance to get into them.

    Next up came Ian's from Nation of Ulysses' new band, the scene creamers. They were doing an odd indie/garage rock thing that I didn't like that much, but it was quite fun to watch them.

    Finally, came Q and not U. I never had the luck of seeing them with Matt but this is the 2nd time I've seen them sans permanent bass. I immensely enjoyed their set because they played 'hooray for humans,' 'the washington monument(blinks goodnight)' and 'a line in the sand' those being my favorite songs from no kill, no beep beep.

    I also bought their new CD(different damage) and although it's an order of magnitude less spazzy, I'm quite enjoying it.

    maverick (September 13, 2002)

    It's in the queue, I just don't want to run it until the album comes out. Dig?

    Oh yeah, and the Ghost only costs about 250 bucks to book, email corrie@fiercetalent.net to book them. I booked them for that much back in April to play in Rock Island.


    iowanick (September 13, 2002)

    pancheros burritos are amazing. especially after a good night of drinking in iowa city.

    Anonymous (September 13, 2002)

    I know it gets backlogged, but did my hot water music review for Caution get sent, cause I don't remember if I hit submit or not. How about we forget I could be that stupid, and go back to me just asking you if it's going to be posted. That hurts my brain less.

    Anonymous (September 13, 2002)

    I left after the ghost, but after walking up to two people and they ended up not being one "Scott" but a little annoyed, I gave up, until I got home and looked at a picture of you with sideburns. Well, at least I accidentally eyeballed you as they say in prison once.

    The ghost were good, they've been better, but still solid.

    My friend said you drive this thing kid was a good band but a horrible singer, so go figure. I didn't like either.

    Panchero's burritos were awesome though.
    I know what you look like now, so I'll find you next time. I had been up since 6 that day so I didn't end up talking to the ghost about booking like I had planned, anyway, I'll be there for the honor system, or whenever, Im sure we'll rock out eventually.

    maverick (September 13, 2002)

    Also, Wyzo, where were you? Moldy and I walked around the whole place going "Wyzooooo...." but no one ever responded in the affirmative.


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