Holy F*ck !!! Bowery Ballroom May 16

Holy F*ck !!! @ Bowery Ballroom, Wed May 16
Category: Music

Okay, those are two separate bands that played last night at the Bowery.

Makes a nice headline!

First up, Holy Fuck: four guys from Toronto. They play electronica-type dance music without electronics. Seriously. Per their Wikipedia entry, they are “a lo-fi improvisational electronica band.” “The band uses live instrumentation and miscellaneous instruments and non-instruments (including a 35 mm film sequencer) to achieve electronic-sounding effects without the use of laptops or programmed backing tracks.”

Lo-fi indeed! Does an ocarina count as a non-instrument?

Set was 35 minutes. Two goofy guys in front on homemade trestle tables, an ocarina, the 35 mm film sequencer, and some really cheesy keyboards – as in physically decrepit-looking things, not particularly Farfisa-sounding things. The two live musicians were a drum-beating moptop with an admirable Moe haircut, and a hyperkinetic bald and excellent guitarist.

To me, they weirdly suggest a little prog rock in their soaring keyboards, laid over and in between lots of twitchy dancing stuff and crazy beats working together and off each other. And intense guitar work off on the side. It was like . . . Emerson, Lake, and Palmer at 90 bpm on Red Bull. And lots o’ it.

Hey, everybody had fun. They have good t-shirts.

!!! is dance punk. Look it up in Wikipedia. (Seriously. It’s an entry. With x-refs. Yikes.) Don’t look up dance punk. Just go see !!!

Frontman Nic Offer looks a hell of lot like Hyde on That 70s Show.

But he never stops moving, channeling a breathtaking repertoire of 70s disco moves extraordinaire. I have not seen a shirt like that since Connecticut in 1980. And I have not seen moves like that since Nightbirds disco in the Norwalk, CT strip mall in 1977. Almost expected a faint whiff of Bonne Bell lipsmackers and Love’s Baby Soft in the air. Whoa.
Offer is near impossible to catch standing still.

The crowd wasn’t standing still either – sweat, water bottles, arms, legs, heads – were flying for 1 hour 15 mins straight.
Overheard behind me
“Your hair is in my beer, man. I’m just telling you. Your hair is in my beer, man.” (said by tall skinny tweaking yet drunk hipster-beard-wearing dude. To a girl)
“Your beer is in her hair. I mean, your beer is in her hair.” (reply by boyfriend of girl with hair thing going on)
The nine-member band was channeling some massive mix of funk and rock, rock, rock. Besides Offer, there were two other vocalists, including an amazing woman resembling a short, compact, pumped version of Grace Jones – she got down in the crowd and worked it like a . . . major disco queen. Their new album Myth Takes is pretty good, but NOTHING like their shows. They apparently hang w/LCD Soundsystem – and share Tyler Pope on guitar and electronics sometimes – but they are way wilder and much less tight than LCD Soundsystem. And they were loud, loud, loud.

As the crowd stumbled out onto Delancey around 12:30 pm, one stoked guy hollered up the Bowery, “I’m not ready for that show to be over!”


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