El Ten Eleven – Cafe du Nord (S.F)

Cafe du Nord is a cool underground space on the edge of the Castro district in San Francisco.  The bar is secreted down the side of the room away from the live space with plenty of room for the punters in front the stage.

El Ten Eleven are making an anticipated appearance tonight at Cafe du Nord, supported by Rob Crow, to celebrate 15 years since their debut self-titled album.

Rob Crow

Rob Crow, a local Californian legend, fronting numerous punk and math core bands, braves the stage solo tonight with trusty guitar and some choice effects.

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After a little bit of nervous banter he gets into his set list. Briefly introducing each song with what it means to him or sometimes not, when the memory is too faded and distant. The set is full of meaningful songs about life in the city, mental health and how society doesn’t really work.

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The bouncy, sometimes poppy, but always a little bit edgy and angst filled set, was delivered without a hitch. Tuning and detuning his guitar as he went with practiced ease – it was a show that could have been played in a massive theater or just as fitting on a street corner.

Check out some of his solo work here.

El Ten Eleven

El Ten Eleven are a 2 piece drums and combo bass and guitar unit blasting out some powerful instrumental tracks.

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Both bass and 6 string guitar are played as lead instruments melding perfectly with the train steady beat of the drums. Lots of looping, layers upon layers, to build the interest into a crescendo. Definitely in the realm of math rock, the complex loops blend and dive together with some trilling riffs, sometimes ambient, sometimes industrial, always trance inducing.

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After a warm up for the crowd to get animated to, a couple of covers are thrown in, just for good measure. Rob Crow gets up and joins them for some vocal action on Devo’s Gut Feeling, which quickly moves into Gary Newman’s, Are Friends Electric – both expertly delivered.

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The duo continue on with more crazy electronica falling into crazy experimental lushness, before delivering a second set playing their debut album from start to finish. Much crowd appreciation!

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Listen to the re-release of the debut album here.

And as for Brown Note? There were so many loops and rhythms’ delving from Brown Note to blue note that colour was irrelevant – they were all good notes.

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