California X and Potty Mouth at BAR, New Haven

A Western Massachusetts invasion was announced on Manic Productions’ website. Two homespun superstars, California X and Potty Mouth were making the not quite two hour drive down 91 to play a free show at New Haven’s BAR. Although friends, there are not many similarities between the two bands beside location. There are obvious differences like one is an all-male quartet and the other all-female, but there are definite musical differences.

California X were on first but they seemed to be the biggest draw of the night. Their crowd screamed along with every lyric sung by guitarist, Zack–which was needed because microphone troubles made the vocals cut in and out the entire set. Luckily, the lyrics are not exactly the focus of California X. Although they sit on the border of indie rock and sludge-punk, they have a certain jam band element to them. The band only managed to squeeze five songs into their set mainly because they extended the outro of “Pond Rot” into a repetitive, slow headbanging daze.

The jam quality of California X is in direct contrast to Potty Mouth’s energetic, no frills style. Kicking off with “Wishlist,” the band blazed through their 90s-style pop punk set. Similar to the band’s previous Connecticut performance with Andrew WK, the set was derailed by primadonna behavior. Bassist Ally said that lead singer/guitarist Abby Weems’ amp sounded “crazy.” While no one in the audience seemed to notice any strange noises coming from the guitar, Ally stopped the set not once but twice. The second time she insisted on having the amp changed out. A nearly ten minute delay ensued as Abby asked in the microphone “can we borrow someone’s amp?” Finally, California X came to the rescue and swapped out the amp. By the time Potty Mouth resumed their set, there was a bit of a bad taste in everyone’s mouth especially since the new amp seemed to sound exactly the same as the last from the crowds’ perspective.

Despite the “technical difficulties,” Potty Mouth played a more than adequate set. Although the crowd didn’t seem to know every word quite like California X, headbanging and light moshing showed their appreciation of Potty Mouth. If the show were a battle of the bands, clearly the round would have gone to California X (despite their mic troubles). Luckily the two bands are friends just happy to be playing an out of state show together. The Potty Mouth girls seemed extra smiley on stage as their friends and fellow artists stood front row headbanging and being generally ridiculous. It was a nice atmosphere for an invasion.


  • Kiki says:

    Abby’s amp is actually broken so the whole “primadonna behavior” line you threw in there is preeeeetty annoying to read considering there was/is an actual problem.

  • Brian says:

    I don’t remember this dork going around polling people about what her amp sounded like or a “bad taste” in anyone’s mouth. Her amp wasn’t doing what she wanted it to so she took a few minutes (way less than 10) to borrow a new one. Get a fucking life.

  • Ally Einbinder says:

    Dude, come on. You’ve had the fortune of seeing us (Potty Mouth) the ONLY two times our amps have malfunctioned. (Maybe it’s Connecticut?) Stop trying to use a totally coincidental incident as an overarching statement on our behavior as a band — or me as a person, rather, since you seem so psyched to highlight in both write-ups that I was doing something wrong by speaking up when our gear wasn’t working. First you call me a wet-blanket, then you call me a primaddona — either way, I have a hunch you wouldn’t be using that same language if it was California X’s gear that was malfunctioning and had to stop their set. Shit. Happens. Have you ever been in a band that plays live shows? Have you ever tried to play out of a broken amp? It doesn’t matter if it sounds “fine” to the audience — when one instrument is cutting out of the mix, it affects the rest of the band’s ability to play the song correctly. If you’re not hearing the nuances in each instrument, then you’re not listening closely enough — which is disappointing (albeit not surprising) given that you’re a music writer. Fine if you want to mention a technical glitches on your review, but to suggest those glitches are not “real” or “important” because you are not “hearing” them is just unfair. Further, to suggest that a musician speaking up for herself and asking for help from the friends’ and person’s who’s job it is to engineer sound in a venue makes her a un-fun, self-important diva is doubly unfair. Give up this narrative and write about the other 20 minutes of what was otherwise a completely functional set. It’d be more interesting to read.

  • CALIFORNIA X says:

    Wow! this is some nasty crud. Abby’s amp was Seriously Broken. If one of our amps had been making some shit sound like that we would have reacted in the same way and it probably would have taken us longer to sort out. At least Ally was able to ask for help when it was needed. It is fucking absurd to totally disrespect her for that. Talk about leaving a “bad taste”. This show was incredibly fun for everyone involved and the experience didn’t need to be tarnished by making this a Performance Battle between good friends. Also needs to be mentioned that Blessed State, another band from western mass that played that night, totally killed it.


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