Laird Allen, contributor
Live Show Review: Scuber Mountain and Moon Pine 1/16/16 at Humbrews: The Pajama Party
Scuber Mountain is a musical oddity. In a town where bands wear their influences on their sleeves or take great pleasure in shameless copycatting, Scuber Mountain does all original tracks that defy easy categorization. Is it some kind of jazz? Is it elevator music from an alternate universe where winged whales and fair trade opium are a major component of daily life? Do they just love beer and hate being in prison and/or college?
All of these interpretations are supported by the text, but what matters is the feel. Scuber Mountain shows tend to be pajama or communism-themed, but musicians get in on the act with an assortment of onesies and laser pointers and accented fiends proclaiming death threats from the sound booth. The whole feel is one of surpassing competence under constant assault, a band that is professional, tight, well rehearsed, and in some kind of terrible trouble that causes them to be bedeviled by nonsense and soviet agents.
The music is great too, not simple or easy stuff. With an emotional range, one that wanders from a sort of gleeful maliciousness to self-pity to other-people-pity, to furiously smoking weed to take your mind off of not getting laid for a whole goddamn semester. That’s not just my interpretation. The song is called “Celibate Semester,” and the events I describe take place in the verses. They have a number of epics centering around the lives of various Lost Coast luminaries, most of whom die or are eaten by sharks, some of whom enact terrible revenge on the rivers of the world, at least one of whom is “fictional anyway, so why are we getting so concerned?”
The charm of Scuber Mountain is fantastic. Intensely focused, precisely instrumented, and deadpan, they are just having the best goddamn time on that stage and they will not even hint at it for you. The songs are dense and dancy and fun and reward both casual listening and early morning drives with the stereo up. They’re golden oldies from a world that never was, and you get to hear them live. You lucky bastard. Get out there.