Saturday, July 20, 2019 – Dressy Bessy, Potty Mouth, Colleen Green at the Ivy Room, Albany, CA
Friends, I am getting old! Sixty years and still going to punk shows. So old that I debated about driving up to the East Bay from Santa Cruz on a Saturday night to see a show. On the one hand Potty Mouth – a pop punk trio from Massachusetts (now Los Angeles) that I truly love – was on the bill. On the other hand, I had seen Potty Mouth play just about six months ago in Santa Cruz. In the end I voted to support a band I love and make the trek. It turned out to be the right call for a number of reasons.
I got to the East Bay around 6:30pm. I had a whole itinerary planned which started at the Berkeley Melo Melo kava bar on University Ave. I sat at the end of the bar and drank 3 shells (coconut shells of pleasantly euphoric kava tea) and a CBD drink. From there I drove down Shattuck through the tunnel to Solano drive. I found a funky neighborhood restaurant run by two Middle Eastern guys called Jerusalem Market and Burgers (the restaurant, not they guys!), where I had a totally satisfying burger, fries and a diet coke. I was feeling good, and ready to head to the venue.
When I got to the Ivy Room there was a guy out front with an extra ticket. The ticket was mine for the price of a beer, which was a good deal. His name was Chris and he became my club buddy for the night, which was nice. Chris was a fan of headliner Dressy Bessy, and did not know anything about Colleen Green or Potty Mouth.
I had checked out a few videos of Colleen Green before the show and I was definitely intrigued. She calls her genre “stoner pop” which is of course pop music that’s good to listen to when stoned. Her Twitter handle is @ColleenGreen420. She came out in a leather jacket over a short black dress. Colleen was low-key brilliant. With her sunglasses and straight dark hair she was channeling Joey Ramone. One of the songs she played in fact was “I Wanna be Degraded,” sung to the tune of “I Wanna be Sedated.”
Green’s music is pretty minimal (taped bass/drum tracks and Green on electric guitar and vocals). Nevertheless, I felt in the presence of real art. Green uses her minimalism to the best possible effect. Sometimes she comes off as snarky and worldly wise, but in other songs there’s an honesty and vulnerability which is compelling. I spoke to her after the show and she was very cool. I bought a couple of her recordings which have been in heavy rotation.
Potty Mouth was up next. The had a new (just 3 days) touring guitar player. She may have been a little rough, but her attitude was great. Abby, the lead singer, has black hair now and looks very Joan Jett, glowering at the audience with dark-rimmed eyes. Actually I was thinking how blond Abby is like Samantha from Bewitched, and black haired Abby is like Serena – a little wicked.
In fact Abby and the whole band were on fire. It was the most raw and intense Potty Mouth set I’ve seen. They ripped through following songs, plus probably a couple more that I forgot:
- Smash Hit
- Cherry Picking
- Do it again
- Bottom Feeder
- I Wanna
Potty Mouth has great songs, and a great rock-n-roll attitude. I encourage my readers to check them out!
Dressy Bessy was the headliner. They were formed by singer/songwriter/guitarist Tammy Ealom and some guys in 1999. I actually own their fourth album Electrified which came out in 2005. I think I liked the song “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” but when I tried listening to the album to prepare for the show I honestly didn’t connect with it at all. Ealom does have a pretty good voice, but the songs just really don’t do anything for me. Nevertheless, I stuck out their entire set at the Ivy Room. I will say that the band was having a good time, and seemed really appreciative of the good turnout. They played a decent set and then wrapped up. But wait – Tammy came out onto the floor with an acoustic guitar, and played an intimate mini set with 20 of us standing around in a circle. There were clearly a number of dedicated fans in attendance, and it was nice to see that kind of genuine feeling between artist and audience.
I headed back home with some new music, and having made a new friend. All in all a good night out for this old fart.