The same night that I saw Noveller, I also saw Girl In A Coma at the Drunken Unicorn.
Girl In a Coma are a three-girl band from San Antonio. Musically, they are about as far from Noveller as San Antonio is from Brooklyn, but part of the fun of going to a club like Drunken Unicorn is the diversity, not the conformity.
Let me tell you about the Drunken Unicorn: first of all, it's next to impossible to find. There's no sign, advertising or other indication on the outside; somehow, you're just supposed to know that the random two doors at the bottom of a staircase at the ass end of a run-down strip mall is the club. But if I figured out that particular koan, you probably can as well.
Other than the stage, there's not too much more on the inside either. The closest things they have to chairs are a couple of benches built in to the walls, and a few barstool at the small bar in an adjacent room. Since I got to the club right at opening (I didn't want to miss the opening act, Noveller, like I had the Silversun Pickups), and nothing much was happening, I went to the bar to get a PBR, the club's beer of choice.
There wasn't anyone at the bar except three women - who I quickly recognized from the video below as the members of Girl In A Coma. So I spent the half-hour before Noveller took the stage having a beer at a little dive bar with the band. They were incredibly cool and didn't seem to mind at all that their audience included some old, bald-headed, Zen Buddhist. Drunken Unicorn is that kind of place.
After Noveller's set, GIAC took the stage and rocked harder than their video would suggest. During their first number, however, something went wrong with Nina's guitar and she had to fix some wires and jacks while the drummer and bassist tried their best to cover for her. It turned out the problem was complicated enough that they had to end the number, and before the second song Nina apologized and asked if anyone else ever had the sick-to-the-stomach feeling that something's gone very wrong in a very public place.
Yes, I know that feeling, and I was totally sympatico with the band from there on in. Nina is a great performer - she rocks hard and has incredibly expressive eyes that pop, bulge and even roll back into her head as she sings. I was almost hypnotized watching them. She can really sell a song with her eyes alone, not to mention her voice and guitar.
So the evening turned out to be all about suspending judgement - on the mixing of musical genres, on having a beer with three heavily tattooed, tough-looking latinas, any one of whom could probably have kicked my ass, and with the audience (even that tall dude with the 1980s new-wave haircut). And with myself. It's far better to just relax and enjoy the music.