Monday, June 25, 2007

I saw approximately 2,000 bands this weekend!

Many of which I am trying to forget. I am tired--deeply, deeply tired, at the cellular level. And deef. Here is a small sampling of what put me in this dreadful state:

Mike Rep & the Quotas (Comfest, Sat. 6/23): Despite Rep's "legend" status among those who care about such things (and I am one), I never got into these guys. But Saturday the majesty of Johnny Furnace's echo-drenched guitar solos hit me full force. Eerily reminiscent of Grateful Dead-style noodling. I was at Comfest and that might have had something to do with its appeal. I will have to check them out again to make sure it wasn't just all the tie-dye seeping into my brain.

Unholy Two (Bourbon St., Sat. 6/23): Saw them at the post-CDR-BQ show last summer and then studiously avoided them after that. Now, whaddaya know: with Bo and Adam of Necropolis lending a hand to the proceedings the Two now produce mechanistic skullfuckery that is quite nearly danceable (I did, as a matter of fact). Bo laid into his pots and pans (I think there were some real drums, too) like an autistic kid who's been fed a buncha shots and set loose onstage, Lutzko's guitar was as blown-out as [insert gay/anus/Pride Weekend joke here], the whole mess floated in a fluffy cloud of Adam's corrosive feedback, which he sculpted with a massive bank of pedals (I usually don't enjoy watching people twiddle knobs but he made it worth my while [lots of thrashing/writhing], thanks Adam). Pussy Galore with less "fuck you" and more "JUST FUCK IT." Lutzko also wore the most ball-crushingly tight pants I've seen yet on a man. Mad props dude.

Jerusalem and the Starbaskets (Bourbon St., Sat. 6/23): Sorry, I tried to like these guys but I just couldn't. I was bored. I will admit I was nearly too drunk to stand by the time they played so that probably didn't help. Just a drummer, a dude with a guitar, and some naive, starry-eyed hippy-folk. Recalls the Velvet Underground in Mo Tucker-on-vox mode at some times and the Go-Betweens at others (and why do bands like this get the "psychedelic" tag all the time these days? I hear not one iota of "psych" in this stuff). Not BAD exactly, I just couldn't pay attention to it. I like some of the songs on Myspace better now so it might just be one of those things where it doesn't translate to a live setting very well. Or I could just be a drunk asshole with no attention span.

Gut Reactions (Carabar, Sun. 6/24): I'd be lying if I said that I haven't seen caveman garage-rock done better than these guys are doing it. But of course the whole thing about caveman garage-rock is that you're not SUPPOSED to be trying to do it better than the next guy. Gut Reactions are not possessed of any sense of melody, dynamics, or polished presentation that can't be found on any given Teenage Shutdown comp, but they: 1) looked like they were having a supergood time, 2) wore sunglasses onstage, 3) have a lead singer that did such a good impression of a retarded kid I was afraid he was going to poop his pants onstage, and 4) appeared to be the biggest nerds ever. I am a nerd, too, so I have a fine-tuned appreciation of nerddom. Anytime I get to see a band look this unselfconscious while playing I feel grateful. I think I might be a fan.

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