Walter TV set up their equipment before a sparse crowd of typical Pit dwellers, who seemed to hardly notice they were there. From the beginning, it seemed like this band and bar were an odd fit. This was immediately confirmed as they began their sound check; the abrasive, muddy sound of the singer’s guitar cut through MGMT’s woefully ubiquitous “Kids,” bouncing off the cavernous walls of the Pit and driving the few who were on the floor to the many empty seats.
The show was part of CiTR’s fourth Fundrive, the station’s annual push for donations. The event was being broadcast live on CiTR’s Live From Thunderbird Radio Hell.
A few CiTR folks trailed in, shouting the occasion “woo!” to encourage the band, but not looking overly stoked to be there. Some CiTR staff took the stage to introduce the band and ask for donations. At least, that’s what I assume they were saying.
Before playing, Walter TV threw some blankets over their heads. Perhaps this was an attempt to enhance the charming nature of their low-fi indie fuzz pop, but the Pit rendered Walter TV’s sounds indistinguishable. As soon as they launched into their set, we were washed with a grating, high-end cymbal and guitar slush, which caused many to noticeably plug their ears. I can certainly tell you Walter TV featured some guitar, some drums, definitely some bass, and I think some of those melodic “ooh oohs” that are now a low-fi staple.
To their credit, there was something endearing about Walter TV. It’s a shame that there weren’t more bodies to dampen the sound.
Peace, the second act, took the stage shortly after. Kasha Marchinee-ak, CiTR’s promotions director, told me before the show that the band had recently returned from a cross-Canada tour. The lead singer, clearly still in rock star mode, stripped down to some briefs and a pair of fishnets and drained his beer over his head prior to playing.
Antics aside, Peace played a refreshingly audible six-song set. Peace’s brand of post-punk was driving and tightly put together. They mainly kept their heads down and their playing workman-like, perhaps to focus on their instruments, or perhaps to avoid looking out at the dwindling number of Pit patrons.
Despite the less-than-ideal venue, the rare opportunity of seeing local bands without having to leave campus was refreshing.
CiTR’s Fundrive continues through Friday, featuring a talk by Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman and two more shows with local artists.