Sunday, October 26, 2008


Chino? Isn't there a prison there?

That's basically what everyone who lives in Southern California says when asked about that city. Or is it a town? Who the hell knows?

Anyway, there was a show there last night, and similar to the strange mystique that is Chino, the venue was very untraditional. Held at a mini-mall (what else would there be in a middle of nowhere suburb?), the show was called the Meeting of the Minds Fest. To celebrate, I got a haircut earlier that day to make sure nothing was in the way of my brilliant melon.

I went alone and for most, that might be a problem. But I don't mind. Flying solo gives me a chance to see things in a different perspective than when I'm in a group. I've often said I live inside my head and this fits that mentality just fine.

Who played, you ask? I don't know. It was an all-day thing with bands I'd never heard of and two I have: Jubilee and Earthless. I missed the latter, but their drummer stood next to me for a while. I wanted to tell him (his name's Mario Rubalcaba) how awesome I think he is and how Rocket from the Crypt is my favorite band of all times, but I kept it in my pants. He did say "excuse me" as he passed by me and that's gotta count for something.

After a much-delayed downtime between bands, Jubilee hit. Hear you me: This band is going to be HUGE. At least they should be. You never can tell with all the idiots out there. I'm a journalist, so in keeping with my professional integrity, I have an announcement to make: I have known Jubilee singer/guitarist/Uniform Choice t-shirt wearer Aaron North since 1995. We went to high school together and he was my best friend throughout my teenage years. We were like this (I'm wrapping my middle finger around my index as I type). Aaron's one of those guys who has that thing, you know, the one that makes a certain person different than the rest of us? In tenth grade I knew he'd become something special. I also said the same thing about yours truly and look where that's got me.

Most people know Aaron as A. the guy from Nine Inch Nails, B. the guy from the Icarus Line, C. the guy from or D. the guy who broke into Stevie Ray Vaughn's guitar case in Texas. While he is (or was) all of those, my money's on Jubilee being the band he'll be remembered for. The rest of the group includes some tall bassist dude named Mikey who plays in Queens of the Stone Age, a guitarist who's quick to run out a door when a car alarm goes off named Jeff and a drummer who I don't know from a hill of beans, but based on the other two guys, he's probably pretty cool too. Jubilee travels with this other Mike. He's their sound guy/engineer/person who says "1,2" into the mics while the band gets blown backstage.

It's impossible to know whether or not I'd dig Jubilee if I didn't know Aaron, but I'm going to say I would. They combine enough of everything I like without ever overdoing it. There's the right blend of pop, dissonance and rock and I can get behind that. Imagine Mudhoney and Oasis formed a supergroup -- that's Jubilee.

So the show...Jubilee was louder than I'd expect considering they played in front of a Wahoo's Fish Tacos, but not louder than your average rock show. They didn't say much, but their songs are so good who needs talking? I've always said, "More rock less talk." They played all the hits ("Rebel Hiss," "In With the Out Crowd" and "Pioneers Get Show With Arrows," the most badd-ass bass riff I've ever heard) and a few songs I hadn't heard before.

I suck at this concert review thing, so here's a video of their first song from their first North American show and a few pictures that maybe some of you in Photoshop land can clean up. I'd try, but I don't care enough to do that.

PS As good as Jubilee was, did anyone else catch the suh-moking hot Mexican bartenders upstairs wearing matching corsets? If that's the norm, then I take back everything I ever said about Chino.

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