Sunday, March 17, 2013

Turbo Fruits

[We went to go see the Turbo Fruits show at the EARL on Sunday, March 10, 2013.  The following is our post-show discussion and evaluation.  We had a great meal and drinks at the U-Joint beforehand, then ankled our loved ones, so the scene was set for the best possible reception of live music.]

area.personality:  I think the first thing, and most lasting, that struck me about the Turbo Fruits was that the lead singer has a beautiful head of hair. What a gorgeous, healthy looking mane! He could be in a Prell commercial.  One time my Dad was talking about my brother's insane friend [Name Withheld] and he said, "I could throw her around for a little while." It permanently scarred me, but now every time I see a skinny white boy tossing his long hair about, that is the exact same phrase that always comes into my mind.

iwishuwould:  yeah the fact that they were kind cute and lithe was appealing to me initially as well. in fact that was pretty much the whole reason i wanted to go see them. i didnt have time to listen to anything by them before we left, i just saw them in the earl listserv and was like damn they kinda cute.

area.personality:  I did listen to a few tracks before we left, and the only one I listened to that they actually played was much better live than the recorded version ("Volcano"). I would have listened to more, but they barely have any of their tracks listenable on bandcamp. What's up with that? 

iwishuwould:  but then i was like "turbo fruits? are they fags? Either way thats a shitty band name."

area.personality:  I hate the name Turbo Fruits, but I enjoy their bandcamp artwork where they insert "muthafuckin" between the two words because I enjoy casual swearing.  But, there's no self-respecting queer who would allow such a slip in style and personal hygiene.

iwishuwould:  i think that they had the "motherfuckin" between turbo and fruits made me go against my better judgement and go see them, that was a great way to better their name.  Then i read all about them on wikipedia, etc and tried to ascertain what style of music they got. the description from the earl was kinda lame, but i was pushing against my better judgement in the face of all that lawng haiyuh. just like your dad and crazy [Name Withheld]. that chick was literally insane. oddly enough we are both descendants of banjo playing legends....

area.personality:  I didn't know you are the descendant of a banjo playing legend! Who?

iwishuwould:  here is my ancestor Snuffy Jenkins --

iwishuwould:  this is the foto that made me think-oh shit-turbo fruits-shit they're queers! but i should have known better. its hard to tell from the pictures that they are just session players cobbled together into an "alt" band. but live you truly get the sense that these guys don't belong together. after the show i read a pitchfork review that gave them like a 5.3/10. like the drummer and the lead guitarist both sounded great, and had the most metal hair. the bassist looked like he was from a punk band, and the singer kinda verged on buttrock (sorry dawg). this cobbled togetherness was pervasive in their sound as well, as they skipped from one genre to the next, sometimes within a single song. pop punk+ rock+ buttrock+ altrock+ powerpop + top 40 ballads= crap.

area.personality:  The ballads were the worst, most painful thing ever. It's like they went back in time to a rock show from the 80's and took notes - "We have to have two energetic songs, then a slow ballad, then a hard rocking one, then a fast one, then another ballad..." And this was the first of many things I found formulaic about them. Sometimes formulas work, but not this time.  I agree 100% on the cobbled together issue, and I really would like for them to pick a single style or even two and just go with it. There's something to be said for having a range, but they were all over the place.

area.personality:  I will say this, though. They were extremely tight. They were very polished sounding. That was impressive. It is clear that, cobbled together though they may be, they are experienced musicians.  But, having said that, there was no jamming, no wabi-sabi, none of the good stuff you expect from a live show. It was almost fascist. The lead guitar did some fairly shreddigious solos, and I liked his sound, but as you pointed out at the time, the solos were strictly limited to the number of measures allotted.

iwishuwould:  they were totally tight- they sounded like they had been practicing forever- gotta give them credit for that. and yeah the whole mutli-genre thing is fine, as long as it works somehow, but they really werent werkin it. and everything was totally formulaic, which was a major bummer. i feel like any high school student can perform nice n tight in band, but not anyone can just cut loose and jam, so they totally got docked points for that. but the lawng beautiful hair made up for it.

area.personality:  They were nice to look at (but yeah, better in their photos), but they didn't move or make eye contact with the audience. The 90's are over, people. The horribly self-conscious dont-make-eye-contact-under-any-circumstances thing was mastered by the early lords of emo and needn't be repeated. Entertain me, yo. The bassist was the worrrrrrrst. He kept pivoting on one foot from facing forwardish and looking at the guitarist to facing sidewaysish and looking at the drummer, neither of which were looking at him. As a bassist, I know both of these instruments are important, and sometimes you gotta look at them, but not for an hour.

area.personality:  Did I cheer for them? Yes. I cheer for every act I see because I want to encourage them and get my money's worth by helping them play their best. Would I go see them again? No. So instead of watching a video of Turbo Fruits playing something horrible live, here's Snuffy Jenkins with Pappy Sherrill playing "Long Journey Home."


  1. "Prell is a viscous, pearl green shampoo and conditioner product"-love dem hotlinks, gurrrl!

  2. Heck yeah I'm going nuclear on the hotlinks. I hope you noticed that "the early lords of emo" is in fact five different hotlinks. The time for hotlinks is now, Dawg.

  3. omg i totally did not catch that- amazing