Slut Em Go and Darediablo at Brownies, May 9, 2002
And another one's gone, and another one's gone, another one bites the dust. By now you may have heard that Brownies is closing its stage at the end of the summer. Yes, the bar will remain open, but the bands will have to find another place to play. Share your favorite musical memories of Brownies with me (one sentence will do) and I'll post them in a later issue of NY Rock Confidential.
Local bands Slut Em Go and Darediablo were tonight's entertainment. I missed the former at Ladyfest East, and the latter is a hot little number with the cool kids. Let's go be cool.
"Harnessing the power of satanic menstruation," according to singer/guitarist Sarah Michaels, is the four-piece band Slut Em Go. Big guitar noise was backed by a drummer whose-name-I-don't-know trampling all the hell over the drum kit in a style that would have Andrew WK partying till he puked. The songs are lite-on-lyrics and rock with dexterous guitars and lots of ooh-ahh pedal trickery. Slut Em's music harks back to the early '90s when people weren't afraid to lean on metal. See, today's bands don't lean on metal, they regurgitate it in a steaming pile of mordant crud. The Sluts don't do that.
Darediablo do not deserve a geek-label like "prog rock," no matter how many people around me were using the phrase. They're such down-to-earth fellas. If David Lynch ever wanted a real mofo rock score to any of his fucked-up noir-ish films, he should call on bassist/guitarist Jake Garcia, keyboardist Matt Holford, and drummer Chad Royce.
The instrumental sledgehammer that is this band combines the better parts of Sonic Youth, Foo Fighters, Black Sabbath, and some Rage Against the Machine. Brownies was packed with enthusiastic fans of all ages, and the applause for Darediablo was genuine not "I'm clapping 'cause the song's over," but "I'm clapping 'cause that stuff rocked."
Amazing what happens when you get three incredibly skilled musicians together on one stage. The band keeps its feet firmly grounded in rumbling TNT-charged energy, but nevertheless gets a nod from the experimental school of noisemaking. No wonder Darediablo draw such a crowd.
The Liars, the Chromatics, and Lovelife at Northsix, May 30, 2002
"I feel like I recognize all these people," said my pal Mo on Thursday night at Northsix. I surveyed the crowd of neo-'80s trashcan kids swarming the Williamsburg venue. This is a real-life attack of the clones. You know what I'm talking about. Scores of Williamsburgers and kids who act like 'burgers waify boys and girls with tails (as in, mini-mullets), cruddy jeans, hair that looks like it was styled with Crisco.... Whatever fashion craze the Strokes helped popularize, it's become an epidemic. I have termed it the Bedford Virus.
The Liars are headlining a bill tonight that includes Lovelife from Baltimore and the Chromatics from Seattle. Lovelife singer Katrina Ford's vocal torture is a cross between the huffy grunts of Wendy O. Williams and the morose drama of Siouxsie Sioux. Ford wiggled and slinked (slunked, slonked?) her way through the set, letting roars rip over evil church music. The Chromatics, two gents and two dames, reveled in jolting tempos, hyperactive screams, and a heavy bass bottom. Call it pomp and circus-dance. Members Adam and Michelle trade bass and vocal duties,
while Hannah is on drums, and Devin's on guitar. Adam was a bit disappointed with the crowd's lack of enthusiasm. It's a common symptom of Bedford Virus. But the fact that some of us put in a full workday, it's 11 at night, and the Liars still haven't gone on had lots to do with it, as well. "Are you gonna show us what's up?" he crowed. "Be nice!" scolded Hannah. "Adam's drunk," said Michelle.
Cripes, said I. Look, a shit-faced singer does not (necessarily) equal a charismatic singer. And so the majority of the crowd didn't indulge in this dude's schizophrenic fish-out-of-water antics. But the set got a hell of a lot better when Michelle was rocking the demented vocals.
Ah, finally the Liars. The quartet is one of a handful of local bands that have been plucked out to be card-carrying members of the Next Big Thing club. Not that that means jack in the long run. It's funny, then, that the Liars titled their 2001 album They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top. But this band's got goods. They're a frenetic, fantastic fusion of early Joy Division, Yoko Ono's shreiking, and Dadaist mentality. Why the hell did they go on so late? Pat Noecker's stoned bass, Ron Albertson's plodding/marching drums, Aaron Hemphill's creaky guitar, and Angus's Kraut-tinged vocals rattled the pennies in my pockets. The tall, lanky lead singer has a mild resemblance to the dead porn star John Holmes, a.k.a. Johnny Wad. (Thank you, "E! True Hollywood Story.") By the second song, bodies in the front were roughhousing to the cacophony, and Noecker was getting down like a bad-ass. As energetic as it was,
there was something troubling about it. There was something violent working its way into the air. Angus looked like a manic dictator, barking out coarse noise. Hemphill was doubled over his guitar like he was going to puke on his shoes. The crowd gave in to the lure of the release that comes from jumping around like an idiot to bursts of shrill noise. My advice to you this summer: definitely hit up a live Liars show.
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May '02: Hellacopters, Gaza Strippers, Lunachicks
Apr. '02: Distillers, Nekromantix
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