The Blakes take the stage

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By Maggie Boissonnault
Flapjack Chronicle                

Table raging and beer kicking good times went down when The Blakes hit the stage at Humboldt Brews on Oct. 10.  This indie rock, Brit punk band out of Seattle, Wash. was competing against two other bands that night for an audience.  Although their show wasn’t the largest on the block, for what it lacked in size, it more than made up for in enthusiasm.

Monica Topping, KHSU member liaison and mother, said she doesn’t get to get out too often, but for The Blakes she makes the exception.

“I love The Blakes!” Topping said.  “(They are) fun to dance to, fun to shake my booty to.  I’m very enthusiastic!”

She first saw them live in Arcata about five years back, and then again in Portland where the members recognized her.

“It’s their energy that I love most,” said Topping.

Liz Morgan, a student at HSU, had never seen The Blakes live before.  But when she recognized their name from an iTunes download years back, she said she had to come check it out.

“I clean upstairs, so I thought I’d pop down,” Morgan said.  “There’s just so many good, inexpensive shows around here.”

And for Morgan, this one was no exception.  Even for a near empty venue, the energy in their music was infectious and had Morgan, Topping and even some more senior couples shaking out their boots on the dance floor.  On stage, the lead guitarist, Garnet Keim, responded to their enthusiasm by jumping up on the table and inadvertently kicking over his beer.  The crowd’s response– buy him another.

After the show, Keim contributed his energy to what he saw mirrored in the crowd.

“It makes all the difference having enthusiastic people,” Keim said.  But the fans are not what drive him to keep performing.

“There is nothing in the world like playing your own songs,” Keim said. “There is nothing better than that creative outlet.  Lots of bands talk shit about who is the best, and it creates this antagonistic energy for who is going to be on top.  I don’t want it, he said, and now I realize the irony.  We are all fellow artists.”

The bassist, and brother, Snow Keim also had a positive outlook after the show.

“Life goes on y’know,” Keim said.  “You do what you do, and I do this because it’s the only thing I do, I don’t know what to do without it.  Everyday is a different show; I like the variability of it.”

“It’s my thing,” Keim said, “I don’t need to prove to anyone.”

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