What is Grudge Rock?

by Isaac on 02.22.2013

Grudge Rock is a local game show that you can see on the first Thursday of every month. It’s basically Rock and Roll Family Feud. Two bands face off for prizes, money, and glory in the name of music.

I went to the this month’s Grudge Rock between ubik. and Barefoot Barnacle. For this show, the organizers happened to be shooting the show for a pilot that they plan to turn into a web series.

ubik. plays grudge rock ericHere’s how Grudge Rock works: Two bands with the same number of members face off in a trivia challenge at the beginning of the show. The trivia portion is played just like family feud. For those that don’t know, here are the rules. The winner of the first round gets to decide if they will play first or second. Whoever they chose sets up their gear and plays immediately. After their set, the second round is on, and all answers are worth double points. At the end of this round, the scores are tabulated and the winner is declared, followed by the presentation of prizes. Whoever wins the trivia challenge wins all of the door money. The runners up get a bag of goodies from the show’s sponsors. Finally, the remaining band plays their set to close out the show. All the while, if any survey answers remain on the board after both bands have struck out, or finished scoring points, the host asks the audience to fill in the blanks to win prizes from their sponsors. I won a Grudge Rock tee shirt!

Here’s a video of a complete round.

This show was a ton of fun. The bands that were playing fit in some sort of metal genre, so the crowd was mostly dudes with leather jackets and burly physiques. As we waited for the show to begin, we all grabbed beers, found our seats, and watched some retro footage of the original family feud projected on the big screen. I asked around, and most people in the crowd had little or no knowledge about how the night was supposed to go.

ubik. plays grudge rockAt the end of the first round, ubik. was in the lead. They opted to go first. I’ve written about ubik. in the past, but I will say that they keep getting better. This show was very tight and they played at least two songs that I was unfamiliar with. Their brand of jagged, angular, science-metal is a lush landscape of rhythm complexity and melodic depth. Keep up the good work, guys. During their set, the projection of family feud continued to play in the background. It was a strange juxtaposition. The camera men for Grudge Rock set up cameras around the stage, so hopefully they got some good coverage of ubik. for their show.

2013-02-08_00-17-40_761At the end of the second round, Barefoot Barnacle took the lead by a staggering 2 points, despite ubik. winning the last question. It was an upset, but the rules are the rules. Barefoot Barnacle took home all of the door money.

High off their win, Barefoot Barnacle took the stage and proceeded to blow my mind. Members of ubik. and the audience were psyching me up to see them play. I had been told that they are awesome live, but I kept my expectations low to be on the safe side. As you may know, I love mathy stuff, so Barefoot Barnacle was right up my alley. They are epically loud, ferociously fast, ominous and twisted all at the same time. Their songs are long flowing instrumentals with more tempo, rhythm, and movement changes that it’s a bit overwhelming. Add to that their perfect stage presence, and it’s true; they are an awesome live band. I had to buy their album, and I’ve been listening to it in the car…a lot. These dudes are very tight, which was surprising because their demeanor during the trivia contest was so unassuming. They just seem like a bunch of goofballs. Below is a half-decent video of them playing one of their songs, taken with my friggin’ camera phone. Yeah, I still don’t own a real camera.

Grudge rock is a lot of fun. I would recommend it to anybody. Just be sure that if you come, you come to play and be engaged. There might be some free stuff in it for you. Keep your eyes peeled for their pilot webisode. I’ll try to update this page when it comes out. If you want to be involved, go to their facebook page and you will find links to the various surveys that they use to make the gameshow happen. Give them your best answers.

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