Lunachicks at CBGB, April 6, 2002
The greatest rock critic the world has ever known, Lester Bangs, once said that Elvis gave him an erection of the heart. On April 6th, I had major cardiac wood.
For one night only, my favorite live band reunited at CBGB. The Lunachicks kick my ass, and make me happy. Theo, Squid, Gina, and Chip got onstage after each performing with their current bands. Theo's got some solo deranged showtunes-meets-electro thing going on, Gina leads Bantam, Squid fronts Team Squid, and Chip drums for Suicide King. No fancy outfits, no garish makeup, and no monstrous hair. (Well, Theo was the exception.) The Lunachicks ran through "Less Teeth More Tits" and "Luxury Problem," and then brought up Sindi, the long lost Lunachick from the days of yore. "Thank you good night just kidding!" rambled Theo with a laugh. Fans were treated to "Jerk of All Trades," "F.D.S.," "Drop Dead," and some other songs I can't remember because my woody was in the way.
There were burps, jokes, a few emotional moments, and a throng of glowing fans.
Hellacopters, Gaza Strippers at Village Underground, April 22, 2002
I christen this show "Wank Fest 2002" because the rock-n-roll guitars were flowing freer than beer in a busted keg. Lots of leather, head-banging and howling were on hand for the Gaza Strippers and the Hellacopters show. To my knee-buckling delight, the show actually sold out. Viva la ROCK! Let me in!
Owners of one of the greatest names in the history of bands, the Gaza Strippers were busy shouting at the devil and laying down super-loud, guitar-driven honky rock (and they're from Chicago!). "We're the hillbillies tonight, ladies and gentlemen," proclaimed lead singer Rick Sims. The band's infectious energy roped in anyone who was unfamiliar with their music. Songs like the "Transistor" and "Newburgh House Wives" made the most of oh-lawdy yelping and shit-hot guitar licks.
"How many people in the audience like fucking?" asked Sims. With beer bottles raised, people belched out a few burly woo-hoos as Sims continued, "We like it so much we wrote about it!" He elaborated a bit on "the magic pimp, pullin' bitches from his britches," and the Gaza Strippers blasted into "Get 'Em Down."
After a few false starts, Sweden's Hellacopters took the stage. When you think of Swedish music, you think of Abba and corrosive death metal, right? Well, now you can add a dash of r'n'r to that eclectic mix. The Hellacopters mix the motor-rock of MC5 with the witchery of early Black Sabbath and the piano crazies of Jerry Lee Lewis. Hold onto your sweet serpentine.
Rocking out with songs like "The Devil Stole the Beat from the Lord" (take that, Creed!), "Toys and Flavors," "I Want to Touch," and "Sometimes I Don't Know," singer/guitarist Nick Royale and guitarist Robert Dahlqvist swung their instruments into a vertical position and wanked their way to euphoria. Some kids decided it would be a good idea to crowd surf, and braved the Village Underground's low ceiling as they were clumsily passed along (more like hoisted and then dropped).
Toward the end of the show, Detroit-rock fixture Scott Morgan (of the all-star Sonic's Rendezvous Band which featured the late MC5 guitarist Fred Sonic Smith, Gary Rasmussen of Up, and Scott Asheton of the Stooges) joined the Hellacopters on stage and shouted, "We know who's gonna save rock 'n' roll it's all you all!" More hot-wired wanking ensued.
For the finale of Wank Fest 2002, the Gaza Strippers joined the Hellacopters in a wank-a-thon. The tiny stage was full of sexual imagery: vertical guitars, flying hair, and sweaty scalps. And the noise was as pure as if it came straight out of the late '70s. And being that it's 2002, that shows there's some definite hope for die-hard rock fans.
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