Friday July 4, 2008 found me in Ballard, Washington to see the musical trip threat of The Doll Test, The Tripwires, and the Reunion of the Model Rockets. I first saw the Model Rockets opening for the Minus 5 on back to back dates in 2003, then they toured Spain, then they broke up. Not a month has gone by since I heard the news that I haven’t been sad in some way that the Model Rockets were gone. The Doll Test and the Tripwires formed from their ashes, but I’ve wanted to see the Model Rockets just one more time for years now.
First up were The Doll Test. I saw them once before, last fall, and was quite impressed. Someone should tell them that CDs can be sold for a profit and that bands make money that way. Last fall I got a copy of their EP Gasoline and Banks for free. At this show I got a copy of their full length album Mosque Alarm Clock for free. I know, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, but I would give them money for their albums. They were really good and played Whole Lotta Nothing, Gasoline and Banks, and my favorite My Future Self. Also of note: a cover of Junior’s Farm by Wings.
The Tripwires were up next. It’s hard to believe that they don’t spend all day, every day practicing. Each time I see them they get tighter and tighter. This time around Ramberg mentioned they were working on a new record. Yay! They played a few older songs, then a bunch I can only hope will be on their next album: Friday Night, Dismantled, and one I didn’t catch the name of but earned Jimmy Sangster the name “Porn Bass Sangster” from my friends. I hope they put She’s A Mod on the new record as well.
Then it was time for the main event. The Model Rockets. They were amazing. They played the songs I wanted to hear: Rusty Rollercoaster (my personal favorite), Ditched at the Grand Illusion, and the Pilot County Suite. Also Hitchhiker Jane (their “hit” in Spain), Queenbee, Daredevil Girl, and a few covers. About halfway through the set Kurt Bloch took the stage, and said there was only one difference between a Model Rockets show in 1992 and today. Then he and an accomplice stole Boyd’s shirt right off his back. The set ended with a cover of “You Can’t Do That” by the Beatles which turned into a dance party on the floor. And arguably one of their best “fuck you” songs, Stick It Out which was one of the songs I listened to over and over when I was fighting with the Wilco fan community.
But all good things must come to an end. The show was over; we couldn’t go to the dance dance party party at the sunset after hours since we had to get back to Portland. The Model Rockets are still broken up, the Doll Test’s future is uncertain. Hopefully, we’ll get to see the Tripwires again soon.