La Otracina @ 3 Kings Tavern

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La Otracina drummer Adam Kriney (above) and his band should have spent less time complaining. All photos by Doug Beam.

It’s never a good thing when excellent musicians have to threaten and berate a small crowd on a weeknight. Drummer Adam Kriney of Brooklyn’s La Otracina did just that last Wednesday at 3 Kings Tavern, threatening to “not play a single note” until someone placed a foot on the dance floor in front of the stage.

Perhaps if Kriney had spent less time between sets playing with his video camera, some of the crowd that had assembled for opening act Red Orange Yellow would have stuck around.

Unfortunately for La Otracina, by the time they had their home movie setup complete the small crowd had retired to the bar and the billiards tables. After pleading desperately for someone to watch them, a few people took to the floor, but were soon driven away again by La Otracina’s self-described “stoner-prog.”

Having just watched another, more interesting drummer-led instrumental band, the crowd was in no mood to appreciate or try to grasp what Kingdom of Magic bass player, Joe Ramirez enthusiastically referred to as La Otracina’s “music for musicians.” In a puerile act of defiance, Kriney disregarded the soundman’s attempt to end the set by saying, “we have just one more short song,” and then blasted into another swirling, ten-minute-plus space odyssey.

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The end of this highly skilled, but rather boring set was not met with applause, but rather a crack of pool balls. Kriney could not resist one last jab at the crowd, and without a whole lot of menace shouted into his microphone, “You guys are playing pool in the back. That’s f**king impressive!”

What’s really impressive is that La Otracina bass player, Evan Sobel, admitted that the crowd was even less interested when they played the same venue two weeks ago. It is a shame, because they are excellent musicians making fairly interesting music. However, the small crowd at 3 Kings must’ve thought La Otracina’s performance was less interesting than their Family Guy pinball, Mickey’s Wide Mouths or games of eight-ball.

Thankfully, the other three bands saved the night. Red Orange Yellow, the Phantom Family Halo (Louisville, KY) and Kingdom of Magic were all able to entice and entertain the small crowd with interesting and accessible music, and live performances worth watching — and they let their music do all the talkin’.

KINGDOM OF MAGIC

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LA OTRACINA

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THE PHANTOM FAMILY HALO

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RED ORANGE YELLOW

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Check out more photography from Reverb contributor Doug Beam.