No LA band in the early nineties worked harder than Popdefect. Every scrap of space, every inch of press, every audience member, came hard-earned through a seemingly infinite series of limited edition singles and frenetic live shows. I saw them in every shithole club this town had to offer, and even a few of the nice ones, not to mention in peoples’ living rooms and apartment courtyards, in the middle of the desert, even the lobby of the Red Hook Ale brewery in Ballard, WA. (The latter performance consisted of singing along to the Devo CD they’d slipped the bartender.)
They were one of the city’s finest bands in those years, and their peak years are best heard on the album Punch Drunk (Flipside, 1992). Though that album includes most of the key songs, even it fails to convey the rare beauty of their presence on a small stage, where one would see a super-tight band playing with total abandon, like early Attractions or the Didjits. They haven’t been seen in these parts since 2001, which makes Friday’s appearance at the Echo a special event and homecoming for members of the old Al’s/ Raji’s/ Spaceland scenes. Even before adding in the promise of sets from their brothers in time and space, Velouria and the Insect Surfers, I can’t think of any show this year I’d recommend more highly.