Photos By: Summer Luu
By: Corey McComb
When Brooks Nielson let out his first raspy howl of the night it pricked me like a cactus. Piercing and painful. But once I felt the peyote from its needle, my veins opened with wonder. Who are these Growlers? These stray dogs? These dirty scoundrels strumming pirate rock on a river boat, soaking up all the booze and waiting to pillage.
Neon lights of a bordello shine behind the band and tempt every eyeball towards the stage as “Graveyard’s Full” and “Big Toe” are played. Girls in beach-goth bikinis sail over my head towards the music. We sway with the tones of an organ that sounds like it would go down with the ship, or on anyone with a bottle and willing.
This is the first show of a two night stint here at the Observatory North Park and the first batch of shows in 2016 for the group, but if it looks like they’ve spent the better part of a decade on the road it’s because they have.
Endless touring, four albums, and putting on their own ghoulish music festival, Beach Goth, has kept the band tight and Nelson’s lyrics melancholy. While the production on the latest album Chinese Fountain is slightly more polished than earlier releases, the drunken longing in his voice is raw as ever.
“Finally the bottles bone dry with a message inside that says I’m gone.”
The cult howls along with Nelson and the band, “You know you’re living when it all becomes a blur.” And it is all a blur– The raspiness, the marijuana fog, the crass romance in the air. Couples enveloped into each other, belly dancing along to “Empty Bones” with horny footsteps and kaleidoscope eyes. It’s not a concert– it’s a hundred Big, Fat, Gypsy weddings all at once.
Songs continue to pour as the beach-goth trempresses float on open palms of the crowd, and for most of us, it’s a Tuesday tequila haze. For The Growlers, it’s just another night on the river.
Photos By: Rachel Frank
By: April Almaraz
Los Growlers California Winter Tour was brought to us in part of Homeboy Industries. Are you familiar with them?They’re a really cool organization that helps employ ex criminals and give them hope, training, and support. The photobooth was a mural,and murals have been used by Chicanos for many years as self expression. ‘Homeboy’ is a slang word that came from Chicanos. Hence their tour poster, interlude music (oldies) and even their old english banner, it was all homeboy inspired. They displayed the Chicano cultural and lifestyle tastefully through out their whole tour.