Ambulance LTD
Ambulance LTD
   NY Rock Confidential By Jeanne Fury
Online coverage of the New York
City music scene since 1996...

May/June 2004 Issue:
   • Liars and Yeah Yeah Yeahs
   • Stellastarr* and Ambulance LTD
   • Hurry-Up Offense
   • Lunachicks
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Liars and Yeah Yeah Yeahs at Warsaw, Brooklyn, 2/24/04

Shuffled over to Warsaw to catch the Liars show, which included a surprise guest as the opening act. The show was the same day that the latest Liars disc hit the stores. They Were Wrong So We Drowned got tanked by Pitchfork and SPIN (1.0 and F, respectively), meanwhile, I gave it a B+. Why all the haterism for this eerie soufflé of an album? Because this new one sounded nothing like their lauded hardcore funk noise bomb They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top?

Drowned excels in listen-ability, bizarreness, and clever tweaking. Singer Angus Andrew came hopping out onstage in some wolf-in-the-woods get up, spazzing and convulsing. Kind of hard to take him seriously with a plush tail sticking out of the ass of his pants. But hey, it beat the socks off Karen O's drunken wind-up doll performance. (To absolutely no one's surprise, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs were the surprise guests.) As a friend and ex-Karen O-holic recently said, O's antics are getting "tedious." O swilled from a bottle of what looked like Champagne while shouting about how much her band loves the Liars. YYY's set flailed and fizzled; their hit single "Maps" kind of sucked; and it was a relief when they finally exited the stage.

Stellastarr* and Ambulance LTD at Irving Plaza, New York, 3/31/04

Stellastarr*, a NYC quartet that evokes a meth-fuelled drama club pow-wow and/or the Cure getting its ass tickled by a feather, sold out Irving Plaza to a throng of people with fucked-up haircuts and vintage t-shirts. Singer Shawn Christensen's head wobbled side to side like one of those vertigo-inducing bobble head dolls as he bellowed away. A nod to frisky drummer Arthur Kremer for rocking very large pimp sunglasses and a giant black X over his right nipple in homage to Janet "Damita Jo" Jackson. The floor turned into a happy little dance party when Stellastarr* busted out their single "My Coco." Sadly, the song is not an homage to the hot chocolately beverage.

Openers Ambulance LTD seemed to float on air as their spacey dream-pop drifted over the crowd. Pretty young thing Marcus Congleton doesn't sing so much as verbally strut an asshole's ego when he repeated "Relax, don't think about the way that I treat you." Not that Congleton is an asshole with an ego. He seems like a perfectly nice young man. Ambulance's strongest moment came with the all-instrumental finale – a bright, pulsing number. The band didn't exactly make a dent, but they were pleasant enough without being painfully earnest or unbearably fey.

  Hurry-Up Offense
Hurry-Up Offense
Hurry-Up Offense at CBGB, New York, 4/22/04

Headed to CBGB to see local punk trio Hurry-Up Offense, who got their name after a club owner told them to "hurry the fuck up" and get through their three-song set. (I've been told to hurry the fuck up under slightly different circumstances. Not cool. But I'm glad these guys put the phrase to good use.) The trio buzzed through sunny-side-up pop punk with a jaw-snappin snare, regardless of occasionally dismal lyrics like "sometimes I feel like never waking up." Max Leavitt the mohawked, eyeliner-wearing singer/bassist jumped around while singer/guitarist Jason Brandt (who looks a bit like Craig Nicholls from the Vines) rocked steady. Leavitt's song for Biggie Smalls, "Punk Life" was described as being "about the struggle" (hereby referred to as "The Struggle.") To distract from all the focus on hardships, scantilly clad Suicide Girls were strutting around in their underwear and being all squirmy. My hard ship thanks them.

Lunachicks at the 9:30 Club, Washington, D.C., 4/24/04

Some people follow Phish. Others follow astrology. Still others follow carb-free diets. I follow the Lunachicks. Wherever Theo, Gina, Squid, and Chip go, I shall follow. So when I found out they were reuniting for one night in Washington D.C. at the 9:30 Club, well sugartits, I bought my tickets faster than you can say "certified stalker." This wasn't an ordinary show; it was a benefit for NARAL Pro-Choice America on the night before the giant march for women's lives. If any band is going to rock and roll in honor of my sacred uterus, I'd want it to be the 'chicks. I thought of bringing a stereo to the march and playing their reproductive rocker "Fallopian Rhapsody" on repeat, but for some reason, I decided not to. The set was every bit as brazen and bitchtastical as my uterus could have hoped for, with songs that ran the gamut of the 'chicks career. NARAL president and spunky mamma Kate Michelman came out mid-set to rile up the crowd and get them ready for the big day. But before doing that, Michelman had to pause and profess her awe for the power of the Lunachicks. "I think you're just wonderful!" she beamed in earnest. Theo cried. Gina bowed in reverence. Squid and Chip exchanged sheepish smiles. And I'll admit to getting choked up when Michelman raised her rock-n-roll fist in the air and shouted her pride. And then she promised that we all have a date with the Lunachicks in November. Rock.

May 2004

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More NY Rock Confidential Installments:
by Jeanne Fury:
Mar. '04: Suicide Girls
Jan. '04: Franz Ferdinand
Dec. '03: Stills, Gits, Opti-Grab, Toilet Boys, Modey Lemon, Slumber Party, Funeral for a Friend, Cougars, Fireball Ministry
Oct. '03: Billy Idol, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and the Warlocks
Aug. '03: The Lawrence Arms, None More Black, The Star Spangles
Jul. '03: Drive-By Truckers, Barbez, Dresden Dolls, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum
Jun. '03: Fannypack, Liam Lynch, Stratford 4, Nada Surf, Amazombies, ARE Weapons, Deadly Snakes, Essential Logic
Apr. '03: Turbonegro, Madball
Mar. '03: Manda and the Marbles, Count the Stars, American Hi-Fi
Feb. '03: Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players, Tiger Mountain, Blood Brothers
Jan. '03: Enon, Penny Arcade
Dec. '02: Lost City Angels, McLusky, Black Keys, World/Inferno Friendship Society
Nov. '02: CMJ, Diamanda Galas, Longwave, Division of Laura Lee
Oct. '02: Sights, ESG, Princess Superstar, Bush Tetras
Sept. '02: Original Sinners, Northern State, Opti-Grab
Aug. '02: Paybacks, Gore Gore Girls, Cato Salsa Experience, Burning Brides
Jul '02: Bantam, Girls Against Boys, the Makers, the Bangs
Jun '02: Slut Em Go, Darediablo, the Liars, the Chromatics, Lovelife
May '02: Hellacopters, Gaza Strippers, Lunachicks
Apr. '02: Distillers, Nekromantix
Feb. '02: Metropolis Fest, Bianca Butthole Benefit, Le Tigre
Jan. '02: Sam Bisbee
Dec. '01: El Vez and Tammy Faye Starlite
Nov. '01: Tracy and the Plastics, Crowns on 45
Oct. '01: Reid Paley
Sept. '01: Ladyfest East
Aug. '01: Betty Blowtorch and Candy Ass
Jul. '01: Porcupine Tree
May '01: Ladyfest East Benefit, the Bellrays and the Greenhornes
Apr. '01: She-Rock-O-Rama, Blast Furnace
Mar. '01: Babe the Blue Ox, the Gossip, Knoxville Girls, White Stripes
Feb. '01: Sarah Dougher, Glen Phillips and John Mayer
Jan. '01: Melissa Ferrick
Dec. '00: Joy Askew
Nov. '00: Natasha and the MGB
Oct.  '00: Heather Eatman
Aug.  '00: Miracle of '86, Ultimate Fakebook, Sit n' Spin
July  '00: Chickfest 2000

by Mistress Persephone:
Apr  '00: Joan Jett and Reverend Horton Heat
Feb  '00: Elvis tribute at the Continental featuring Mr. Monster, Needlehead, X-Possibles
Dec  '99: The Serpenteens
Oct  '99: Misfits

by Miss Adena:
Aug  '99: Cabaret
July  '99: Ancel and the Electric Church
June '99: Tuuli from Toronto rocks CBGB
May  '99: The Rise and Fall of Bikini Contest

by Didi Delicious:
01/11/99: the Velvet Mafia
12/04/98: the Misfits
10/19/98: Didi interviews DJ Chumley and DJ Quick
09/01/98: Hellfire '98 (benefit for NY Underground Film Festival) featuring Double Dong and Go-Go Pup
07/28/98: Mad Daddys, Nina Hagen, Blondie
06/04/98: the first annual New York City Tattoo Convention
05/02/98: Didi's S&M Special with Flesh Fetish
03/28/98: No More Tears and Soft Parade
02/27/98: Ace Frehley, Sebastian Bach, Mick Rock, Lenny Kaye, ex-Foreigner Mick Jones, ex-Hanoi Rocks Michael Monroe, the new Max's Kansas City, Joy Ryder, Misstress Formika
01/30/98: King Norris, Karen Black, more
12/26/97: Ramones, The Dictators, The Undead, more
11/29/97-12/11/97: Sexus, Princess Superstar, more
09/19/97-10/26/97: Blowtop, Crazy Raymond & the Watchdogs, more
05/21/97-08/17/97: Toilet Boys, Nashville Pussy, Turbo A.C.s, Waldos, Sisters Grimm, The Independents, more
01/18/97-03/30/97: Sea Monster, Speed McQueen, Bombshell, Dee Dee Ramone, Jayne County, more
09/19/96-12/19/96: Coyote Shivers, The Living Daylights, more
07/23/96-09/09/96: Electric Frankenstein, The Wild Bunch, more

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