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Johnny Hoffman and The Residents’ EP Release at The Rendezvous

Johnny Hoffman and The Residents at The Rendezvous (Photo by Christine Mitchell)

Johnny Hoffman and The Residents at The Rendezvous (Photo by Christine Mitchell)

The Rendezvous’ Jewelbox Theater, considered ‘cute’ by some, was subjected to a thrashing last Friday night courtesy of Johnny Hoffman and The Residents and Everett bands-in-arms John Paul and The Apostles and Shark The Herald. The aging jacquard wallpaper lost a bit of its battle to stay on the walls as the room shook to a cavalcade of drumming. The curated racket was in honor of JHoff’s brand new EP, Untitled (Soniphone), and the mood was celebratory. All three bands have either just released or are about to release new material, and their excitement was palpable.

Shark The Herald’s set got things off to a hair-thrashing start. The band even trotted out a couple of new songs that showcased a push in a new direction; these tracks were more melodic than Shark The Heralds’ usual dirgey jams, and they sounded great. The band was in good form; frontman Kirk Rutherford displaying even a bit more energy than usual as he dropped to his knees with his guitar at one point. John Paul and The Apostles continued the trend of tossing hair, upping the ante by just having more hair in general and adding jumping to the night’s entertainment. Tyson Lee’s acidic, grunge-worthy voice pairs perfectly with the trio’s instruments. Evan Smith’s bass playing deserves special mention; he steals the spotlight at times with great bass lines done well from beneath a shaggy mane and above his bare toes.

The duo of Johnny Hoffman and Frico Suave were kind and funny amongst the crowd and seemed a little nervous and excited at the same time, but as they took the stage as Johnny Hoffman and The Residents a snotty swagger and devil-may-care attitude swirled into the air with them. What resulted was thrashy, messy, and sublime. Suave’s kick drum kept going haywire constantly inching away from him as he continuously pummeled away at it. Β Hoffman howled and pranced, his sunglasses a shield as his fingers tore chords from his guitar. The crowd embraced the set enthusiastically, band members and fans alike.

You can catch all three of these bands again this weekend up in Everett at the Fisherman’s Village Music Festival. Full festival, single day, and at-the-door tickets are all available, and a host of other amazing bands will be there as well. Post festival will see JHoff and The Rez off on a national tour. Tear it up, boys.

Christine Mitchell has been poring over album liner notes pretty much since she acquired the skill of reading, and figured out the basic structure of rock songs at an early age. Whether it’s the needle popping into the first groove of the record, the beeps that signal the beginning (or end) of a cassette tape, or digital numbers ticking off the seconds from zero, music brings Christine happiness, ponderous thought, opportunities for almost scientific study, and sometimes a few tears. When she started attending live shows two decades ago, a whole new piece of the puzzle clicked in and she has been hooked ever since.