High Places @ the Echo (with Hecuba)


I checked out some new music this evening at the suggestion of a friend of mine from Seattle, Colin Johnson. A few of you may have heard of him, as most recently he was booking a little place called THE Nectar- it’s possible that you might have heard of it too. Colin made fratty Fremontland cool again for the last year with fresh sounds and jumping, popping shows.

Ah just kidding, you guys all know Colin. In fact, he and I have a lot of mutual friends- EVERYBODY.

Now he lives in LA. Bad for Seattle, good for LA. 

Tonight I went to High Places. I wish I had been high. The crowd at the Echo was young but not that young, weird, and artsier than you.

I caught a little of one of the opening acts, Hecuba, a very entertaining male and female duo using a nice selection of random instruments and electronic sounds, and their words were as batty as their dance moves:

“He’s the Tom, I’m the Jerry”

“Taste the rainbow”

“I have a wandering mind. I bought a house for the first time. My brother thought it was a good idea.”

I wasn’t too into the lyrics, but I am a beat lover and tend towards music where lyrics are but a complement to the beat and not the focus of the song. I can barely even go to rock or punk shows anymore and hear yet another stupid freaking screamed story about a lost love or a planned revenge. Shut up with your story, I just want to dance. It’s a funny opinion, seeing how I’m a WRITER and all. SHUT UP with your stupid words, geez.

Whatever the lyrics (judge for yourself), Hecuba was giving it on stage, slinging their heads violently, pounding the cymbal with their fists, and jumping and twitching about; these two have definitely taken a lot of acid and it’s possible they were tripping tonight. The girl in the full-body jumpsuit and mop haircut made bird noises into the mic and would stare into the crowd after a song like a womanimal who was contemplating which of us to jump on and strangle.

They had moments though; my favorite song was filled with some nice froggy bass, and by that I mean it splats down, spreads out a little, and leaves a bit of slime behind. Hecuba was dramatic and very entertaining; and the crowd approved. We always love to see other humans getting their freak on, because we are all the same: so different inside.

The headliners were also a male/female duo, but High Places‘ sound was less experimental and more cracking island electro-pop, like you just woke up from a dream to find yourself smoking orange sherbet in Barbados with Bjork and tribe of naked drummers. It was the sound of wild animals, of seeds rolling around in a coconut shell, of a beach party just getting started and the rum is kicking in.


Mary’s voice is warm and rounded, the fitting complement to Robert’s wild drumming, and with a few knob twists and loops they created an interesting live performance with fluid percussion and a welcoming feel: come to the party, smoke some sherbet! With many rhythms, maracas, and juicy sounds going at once, the Los Angeles crowd lapped it up, our ears and brains being fine tools for soaking in whatever musicians can throw at us all at once. Aural multi-taskers we are.


That’s it! The set was short, High Places thanked their friends and expressed gratitude for getting to now see them all so often. Why? They’ve just moved to LA.

Must be a trend or something.

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