The Von Bondies belt it out at Richard’s
by Nick Black
When you’re a writer, you’re constantly looking for the good angle, the best way to approach your subject matter. Quite often writers feel enticed to use stories that the readers will enjoy gossiping about, because gossip – as much as we wish it wasn’t – is what people enjoy reading (just look at the popularity of tabloid magazines or of Perez Hilton). While I was researching this piece on The Von Bondies, I came across a story that would certainly fall under the ‘juicy gossip’ category; in fact, most of what I read about the band mentioned the ‘juicy gossip’ story at least once. However, after much deliberation (not really), I have decided to take the high road and discuss the real reason anyone should write about a band: the music.
Before I get to The Von Bondies, I’d like to say a couple of things about the band that opened for them, known as The Racoons. First of which should be that they are local boys (at least close enough—they hail from Victoria), and they are beginning to cause a stir. Their first EP, Islomania, is apparently causing quite a ripple in the Canadian music pool. On top of which, they just finished a tour with a veteran live band like The Von Bondies, which is no small feat in itself. Live, at Richard’s on June 8th, they did not disappoint. They bring the energy required of an opening act, and were able to get the smaller crowd of Richard’s to come out onto the dance floor and engage with the music. My guess is they will only progress. Check out their music on the band’s myspace site: myspace.com/theracoonsmusic.
Now, The Von Bondies. They’ve been around since the late nineties, and were apart of that Detroit garage thing that happened with the White Stripes, although they never really made it quite as big as their counterpart. The band consists of four members, but their presence on stage feels much bigger. Their first album, Lack of Communication, was very much steeped in that Detroit sound, but since then they have grown leaps and bounds. Pawn Shoppe Heart, their sophomore effort, definitely displayed the band’s desire to develop their own direction away from what was made famous by the White Stripes; it was great, yet their latest release left this writer a little disappointed. Despite my displeasure, I decided to check out the show anyway. And I am very happy I did. Their energy was infectious, and their on-stage banter is the type that only comes from being together for over ten years. Jason Stollsteimer, the lead singer, belted out every single word, and his band mates were right there with him. But then again, you really shouldn’t expect anything less from a band that has been together as long as The Von Bondies have.