Friday night. Six bands; two venues.
Used to Be Women
Scotland Yard Gospel Choir
Raisinets and Red Bull. As good for dinner as they are for breakfast!
Too many bands; too little time:
Somehow my husband got tix to see Scotland Yard Gospel Choir at nyc’s Knitting Factory at 8pm while I had got tix to see the Electric Six at nyc’s Bowery Ballroom at 9pm.
No problem. Knitting Factory show 8-10pm w/him and the inimitable Millerman; Bowery 10pm-whenever w/my pal Monique. And a few too many energy drinks.
Knitting Factory: first up, Used to Be Women. who used to be in Chelsea, Michigan, near Ann Arbor, in 1999. A perfectly fine bar band with a skinny skinny singer whose stage manner was marked by some kind of killer hand that kept waving in the air, threatening, perhaps, to choke him. Apparently without his volition. Nice American rockers. Cute bassist.
Scotland Yard Gospel Choir came highly touted by the husband. He’d seen them at CMJ 2007 and brought back a CD, marked by the gorgeous work of Sally Timms of the Mekons, some sweet Brit pop references, and a more than passing resemblance to early Housemartins (get that ref, o hipsters?) and manchester soul.
In person, sans Timms, they were lotsa fun, kinda goofy, and very loose and appealing, if not absolutely galvanizing. Some fine work on “Aspidistra” and the heartbreaking “In Hospital”; though all four kids are from Chicago, they are mystifyingly British in locution.
Third up was a kindly bearded fellow lurking in the shadows. Uncle Monk, who played bluegrass on a mandolin, w/only one partner.
That figure was actually. . . . Tommy Ramone. Yes, the drummer and probably only, surviving Ramone. He’s now resolutely bluegrass and somewhat reminiscent of . . . a Jerry Garcia fan. O tempora, O mores.
On to the balcony at Bowery, where I got there in time for the Golden Dogs, a loud rockin’ band with a head-tossing female keyboard player, a tall, tall lead with what was apparently some kind of furred wolfskin guitar strap, and an affinity for loud, raucous, 70s ROCK. They reminded me of Golden Earring. Hmm. and their name. . . holy shit, could I have seen a tribute band?!?!!? Their finale, a celebratory, booming, irony-free, nearly note-for-note rendition of Paul McCartney’s “1985” was oddly satisfying.
Then down to stage front left, for the Willowz,
two willowy and wiry guitar godlings w/long silky hair, a Los Angeles pedigree, a mystifying semi-troll-like female guitarist of tremendous chops, and some SERIOUS CHORDAGE, dude. These guys were busting out some serious massive licks and large chunks of glorious led zep/neil young/stoner guitar freakdom. i know none of their songs but who could not enjoy this fest? Alas, the beauteous lead
had a poor chemical mix and from the heights of Mordor descended into a tripping, flailing, missed-the-guitar-entirely-on-that-twirl stagger off the stage.
The other guitarist, a mysterious girl w/a dirndl skirt, Cousin It hair that completely obscured her face, and MASSIVE searing licks mined from some quarry of deep 70s guitar gunk, was jaw-droppingly amazing on her solo. .Seriously. Throwbacks, yes. Way fun throwbacks – hell yes.
the Electric Six came out to “Showtime”
and put one on. These guys seriously rocked out. Total perfect deadpan tongue-in-cheek lyrics. So totally deadpan that not all of their masses of devoted screaming fans may have gotten the jokes.
No matter. The lead, a baby–faced showman and spotlight ‘ho who could get a bit annoying,
absolutely delivered the goods, even sliding off stage to cuddle and croon to the crazed New Jersey girls in front of us.
No matter. Electric Six were so fine and frenzied live, with great versions of “High Voltage” (my companion asked: “is this their radio song?”), a smashing “I Buy the Drugs” finale, and a four-song encore, with one song from each of their albums, in chrono order.
The only one I knew was “Gay Bar,” thanks to I Got My Reasons blog and Kelly, but it was freakin’ great. And some extended patter about political hemp led to the encore finale, which has something to do with Mexico – and featured the very, very cute guitarist.
whew. Next up was Saturday. And that was pretty great, too.