April 1, 2004
Musing on the music—human and otherwise—at 2004’s SXSW

“And the nomination for best L.A. bands playing SXSW were: The 88—oh,
the eighty-fucking-eight, the best band in the world—played four
shows at SXSW, and won over their criminally sparse crowds with their
suits and Kinksian songs. Will God never deliver the 88 from the foothills
to the mountaintop? Never has such a thorough album as Kind of Light remained
so untalked about. Genius, as always, is misunderstood, I guess. But the
88 unveiled a few of their newer, bluesier tunes that’re as infectious
as the previous pop-heavy goldens.” – by Chuck Mindenhall


July 22, 2002

Continuing the evening’s theme of familiar yet original music was The
88. As soon as I saw their singer pick up his hollow-body electric guitar,
it became evident that they knew what they were doing. Their blend of
power pop, alt-country, Britpop and blues worked wonderfully. I’ll let
you pick: think Oasis meets Mudhoney, The Verve meets Screaming Trees, or
Pleasure Forever meets Wilco. I recognized one of the members of The 88 as a “percussionist” from Midget Handjob. It was hard to believe this fellow
was the same man I saw a few weeks ago banging tribally on a wok and pickle
bucket. Only this time, he was wearing a crisp suit and playing guitar
(acoustic and electric), maracas and tambourine. Their keyboard player
also handled occasional accordian duties. There’s no weak link in this
band’s chain, and their performance proved this. -Adam Reese