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The Rubberneckers 

Live, Dec. 15 at the Logger Bar

This show reminded me why I try not to go to shows at bars.

Came home from work, tired. Took a shower and ate to replenish my energy. Then I went to Mosgo's to see Ash Reiter (Feist, Rilo Kiley-ish, singer songwriter from Santa Cruz). The show started at 7:30 p.m. and served coffee. My energy and spirits were high. It ended at around 9 and Reiter hung out with the small but agreeable audience.

After that it was time to head out to the Logger Bar to catch The Rubbernecker's last show in their home bar. When I arrived at around 9:45 p.m., the opening band, Universalia Jane, hadn't even started yet (the show was advertised as starting "9:30ish"). When the band did play I was pleased with what I heard. Universalia Jane creates surprisingly large dramatic sound in relation to the minimal instrumentation overall band — just keys, vocals and drums. Jane Williams plays keyboard with fervor and belts out lyrics with conviction, her voice ranging from high to low in a single line.

As fun as they were it wasn't dancing/drinking music, and they were an opening band that played for about an hour.

Next was Deric Mendes' new experimental indie rock band, Tanuki, named after a Japanese raccoon dog. The music was soothing and Mendes' vocals ethereal, which is not what I needed at 11 p.m. As much as I liked the magical music it was getting harder and harder to stay awake. I was also fighting off a cold and it was getting painful to stand.

Finally around midnight the Rubberneckers took the stage with luster and authority. People start dancing and the place livened up. It was fairly crowded, but there was still room to breathe, which surprised me. The Rubberneckers' last show at the Logger Bar is well ... "kinda a big deal."

Now, to clear up some confusion, technically The Rubberneckers aren't breaking up. Drummer Brendan Otto reported that the band is going on an "extended hiatus, indefinable in its length." They don't plan on never playing together again, but their bass player, Burton Hollister, is moving to Thailand, where he is originally from. So until he moves back The Rubberneckers are taking a break.

The hiatus will leave a hole in our scene. There aren't many bands that just make you wanna dance like they do. You can't really hear the words because they are all slurred together, but you know they are about drinking. The music is fast and fun and the crowd is always into it. Apart from the ungodly hour at which they started playing and the horrendous state of my throat and feet, the moment those cow-punks took the stage I wanted to order a beer and dance my cares away. Unfortunately, common sense got the better of me and I knew I wouldn't be able to make it home if I gave in to that route completely.

Now I'm sitting in a pile of tissues, coughing up my lungs and struggling to breathe — but it was worth it.

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Melody Stone

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