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Concert review: Tacocat preaches inclusion during spirited Carabar performance

Posted by Andy Downing | April 03, 2014 09:43 AM


Seattle quartet Tacocat performed at Carabar on Wednesday.

English lit majors likely got a head-rush when Tacocat tore into the song “Party Trap” (yet another palindrome!) near the midpoint of its 30-minute, sugar-high of a performance at Carabar on Wednesday.

The verbally adept Seattle quartet, touring behind the most-excellent NVM, approached its music with every bit of the playfulness suggested by its name, bounding through an assortment of giddy bubblegum-punk tunes with all the enthusiasm of kindergartners enjoying a mid-afternoon recess.

But while the musical backdrop exuded an undeniable sense of fun, singer Emily Nokes, who remained in motion the entirety of the band’s set, like a gamer determined to dominate a round of Dance Dance Revolution, espoused a strong feminist message, singing about everything from women’s health issues (“Crimson Wave,” possibly the most danceable tune ever penned about the menstrual cycle) to surviving those awkward teenage years (the wonderfully heavy “Psychedelic Quinceanera”) to the need to brush aside (taco) catcalls from “gross dudes on the street,” as she said introducing “Hey Girl.”

“Construction worker! Hey girl! Guys playing soccer! Hey girl!” Nokes chanted, swinging her tambourine with a force that suggested it were some sort of medieval weapon. “Drunken hobo! Hey girl!”

A similar snottiness bled into the sneering “Skate or Die,” a rambunctious number where guitarist Eric Randall, who could have passed for Jesus reincarnated as a lanky indie-rocker, laid down a barbed guitar squall that would have served as ample warning to steer clear even if the bandmates hadn’t been repeatedly shouting “You better watch out!”

In general, though, Tacocat’s music wasn’t designed to drive people away (unlike the similarly socially motivated and far more confrontational Perfect Pussy, which was playing across town at Ace of Cups on this same night), and even a song like “Crimson Wave” was performed in the spirit of inclusion.

“Who here is on their period?” asked Nokes, as both men and women raised their hands in the affirmative. “He is! You are! Let’s synch up!”

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