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Seismic Commentary With: Chelsea Robinson on Detective Agency at Sunset 4-25-12

May 14, 2012
There’s a certain type of music that I refer to as “high school music” — not because it’s amateurish or bad or because it’s made by teenagers. No, it’s more about a feeling than anything else. It’s music that makes you feel young again, makes you dance like Molly Ringwald in that scene from The Breakfast Club where she’s in the library. Even if most of the time you feel like Ally Sheedy, the music sets you free from all that superficial bullshit. You just feel young and wild again.There are a few bands that make me feel like this: Hunx and His Punx, ‘Allo Darlin’, Best Coast, Tennis. They make love songs for hope. Love songs that don’t make you feel super fucking sad that you’re alone, but really excited knowing that it won’t always be this way.

Detective Agency makes these kinds of songs.

I am somewhat familiar with most of the band from hanging around Ballard and from when I worked at a shop on Ballard Avenue called 20Twenty (R.I.P.). I don’t really know that I ever want to call anyone a hipster, but these kids are fucking cool. They dress awesome, they have hella friends, and they are pretty.
It’s kind of not fair.
They’re band is pretty damn good too.
Super not fair.
I arrive at the show late (per usual). Punctuality is not my friend. Alas, I miss the opening band and the first half of the second band, Pony Time. From what I do hear of Pony Time, they are fucking awesome. I’m pretty much always a fan of a two person band, especially a one female, one male band. It’s so Captain and Tennille. They sound like the best band that ever played in your cool friend’s garage.
It feels like the 90’s again. The ladies here are dressed in the baggiest clothes that tiny cute girls can buy. One young lady is wearing leggings with two different patterns on the legs. Both tie-dyed.Excellent.
Detective Agency is better than I expect them to be. You know how it is when you hear a band is good and you automatically notch your expectations down about 3 pegs? That’s what my mind has done with Detective Agency. I do this with movies, too.
A lot.
It’s really the only way I can like things anymore. Amy, who also plays guitar, sings most of the songs but Nate, who also plays guitar, sings, too. Their voices sound good together and separately. Gwen plays bass and Ulrika drums. As anyone who knows me knows, I love a predominately female band. Not just because I think women are fucking awesome, I think they make incredible music.
Speaking of other lady bands, some of Detective Agency’s jams remind me a little bit of super-early Sleater-Kinney, like “I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone” style. The music is very danceable, which is basically my only criteria for liking anything. I’m very easy to please like that. They also do a ridiculously adorable cover of The Beatles’ “Love Me Do”, which just kind of makes me love them more. They sound like what I would call “Feventies”, which is they are kind of doo-woppy like the fifties and kind of garage punk cool like the seventies. And since those are two of my favorite eras of music, the combo does me good. I wish that I was up to taking my shoes off and Molly Ringwald right there. But shit, this isn’t high school anymore.
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