By Ethan Brown
Artists: This is Temporary, Crimson Fury, Dharma, Charm
BYOB and a $5 cover for a show always calls for a good time. This past Saturday, Feb.15, I went to a local show at Studio San Martian where the San Marcan punks were up bright and early for an oddly timed 2 p.m. show.
I got to Studio San Martian about a quarter to 3 p.m. thinking I was showing up early to a set that couldn’t possibly start at the time listed on the flier. Little did I know, the start of the show was promptly underway by the time I got there, and I had pulled up just in time to hear the last song of the first band, This is Temporary. After hearing them finish with a cover of Misfits’ “Saturday Night,” I knew this small, 30 attendee, hole in the wall show was going to be a good time.
After a quick collective smoke break, the occupants funneled back inside to see the next band, Crimson Fury. The two-man piece equipped only with an acoustic guitar and a washboard delivered a unique folk punk set of songs. Their lyrical content about the freedoms of being a homeless person and the joys of smoking cigarettes was accompanied by a friendly and heartfelt stage presence. The guitarist only had to ask the crowd a handful of times to grab beers from the box he had brought on stage with him. “These are for you guys not us,” he had laughed into the mic.
Dharma was the next band to play, and as they set up and checked the mic levels, the front man said that it was their first show, which got a cheer from the room. They then segwayed right into their set without further warning or introduction. This to me felt authentically punk in the sense that there was no real structure to begin with, and these guys were just there to play and have a good time.
To explain their set with one word, I would have to choose “chaos.” It was a pure chaotic cacophony from the very start of the mic check. The front man had the energy and stylistic nature of Jason Butler of Letlive. While using purely ad-libbed lyrics, he threw himself around the stage without any concern for his body and put on a show for the room.
The final band I stuck around for was my personal favorite of the four that I watched. Charm was another two-man group, but instead of an acoustic guitar and a washboard, these guys set up an electric guitar with an amp stack, and a battered drumkit in the center of the room. The lights had been turned off for the first time to set the mood, and the thrashy, hardcore punk style of music the duo put out instantly had everyone in the building moving.
With such a small crowd it was hard not to recognize every person in the room, so when the small pit opened up each person knew who they were lovingly tossing around. The few spinning office chairs in the room quickly became steeds that the crowd, and myself included, used to joust and crash into one another while Charm kept the energy flowing.
Studio San Martian provided a small but intimate venue for the local bands to play in free from the sometimes-stuffy overseeing eyes of bigger venues that have things like security guards and “rules.” It made for a very authentic feeling local show that I was happy to have attended and look forward to doing so again in the near future.
Featured image by Ethan Brown.