By Melpomene Whitehead; Photos by Priuga Phur
Back in the oldentimes (the early 90s), I looked forward to CMJ like I used to look forward to Halloween. That silly pass got you into the best fucking shows. I saw Daisy Chainsaw practically self-immolate. I saw a lot bands I don't remember. I recall being one of only a handful of grrls at a riotous Primus show. We moshed and surfed like it was the end of the world, and dumped ice over each others' heads. I didn't see Nirvana at the Pyramid-I think that may have been the night I went to see the Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black and found a nice juicy green and stinky bag of pot. These days, CMJ basically just promises the same old shit available for consumption every week. But there was one show worth seeing--Love Life and Oneida at Luxx. Oddly, the place was not filled to the rafters, but only moderately stuffed, mostly with peeps so old that I felt kinda like a kid again. Seems like all the out-of-town hipsters were at the Lou Barlow show. Aww, ain't that sweet. Leaves more room for me, and makes it easy to get to the friendly bartender serving the very inexpensive Makers' Mark. Love Life was a frenzied and chaotic whirlwind of strum und drang . This time, as opposed to when I saw them at Mighty Robots, I was actually able to see them. Love Life is a visually exciting band, so I suggest you try to see them rather than stand in the back and just groove to the droning. Singer Katrina Ford is a delicate child with the voice of a demon. And Sean Antanaitis plays the guitorgan. That's right, I said the guitorgan. It's a guitar that sounds like a big-ass pipe organ. I'd never seen such a thing! I thought he invented it himself, but he didn't. No matter. Love Life sucks you into their dark world of sonic discord like a Hoover. Just watch out for the many many lit candles on stage. At one point during the show bassist Anthony Malat knocked over a bunch of them and I thought we wouldn't get to see Oneida. Love Life's album, "Here is Night, Brothers, Here the Birds Burn" is available from Jagjaguwar, or visit the temple at http://www.templeoflovelife.com/
Oneida shocked me by losing a member--that's dismemberment! Apparently Pappa Crazee left in January 2002. No one tells me nothing. I missed him a bit, it's true. There's nothing like a crazed hillbilly hippy banging on a keyboard to keep your mouth hanging open for flies. But in exchange Oneida has tightened up a bit, Now, only some of their songs sound like drug-induced psychedelica. The rest sound alcohol-induced and thus are shorter. And it's not like there are no antics on stage--when you tired of marveling at Fat Bobby's manic organing, just rest your eyes on Kid and his crazy drumming. Oneida is at enemyhogs.com and will be playing Friday the 13th with Mudhoney at North Sixth.
Tibbie X of the X-Possibles and I interviewed author and Rock Candy promoter Steve Blush for Rools Like Ozzy, but then I had to high-tail it across town to the Cutting Room to see the All Girl Accordion Orchestra. Organized and led by Walter Kuhr of Main Squeeze Accordions down on Essex Street (http://www.mainsqueeze-nyc.com/noframe/who-b.html) this charming 18-piece oompahed the packed crowd. The girls had an array of accordions, from small-ish to jagunda bass ones, and they polka'd their way through accordion classics, all dressed like they were attending a school assembly--white blouse, skirt, boots, and pig tails! It was just gorgeous. I told you the accordion was the new electric guitar! I requested that they learn some rockin tunes for next time, and I was assured that the women are attempting to lead Walter down the primrose path of metal. Later, after I told Hornbuckle of my request, he serrenaded me with a super-sexy squeezed version of "Kashmir." Relatedly, Hornbuckle is now performing with drummer Poisson d'Avril as The M-Word. They had a well-received set at Deep Dish Cabaret which resulted in Pd'A losing his cellie, later to be returned by Steve, the friendly drunk host of the cabaret. Steve is also the publisher of Ghent, a free epistolary publication. You can read more about that at http://www.ghentmag.com/
Mid-November I went to Arlene to see Hialeah Jorge and the Cuban Cowboys, but all these other bands were playing, so I really got my $5 worth of entertainment. In fact, I'd go so far as to say I got more than my $5 worth. We walked in on Starlings, a canadian pop-punk band whose tape I'd reviewed for Soundviews in like 1991. Wow! Weird! Then next up, inexplicably, were the Tuff Darts. Now, when I was a baby I went to see the Tuff Darts at CBGB's Theater opening night, but the fire department shut the place down before they came on. It was a long night and I'd fallen asleep at some point, maybe during the Shirts, but was awoken by the annoying warbling of David Byrne as he sang "Pyscho Killer." Imagine, there was a time that the Talking Heads were not the big draw on a bill? I've hated Byrne since then. The theater was not heated and sleep was the only thing that comforted me while I awaited the Darts. I enjoy closure as much as the next person, but I realized that the me at 14 was not the me I am now, and the Tuff Darts seemed sort of mundane. Well, at least they have some funny lyrics, in songs like "Your Love is Like a Nuclear Waste," and "Slash My Wrists And Cut My Throat." We're all older now, I know it, but at least they can still play, whereas falling asleep in a cold theater is a luxury afforded only to adorable 14-year-olds. What do they say? You can't go home again? Well, you can, but you might be bored. But God the Band fixed all that for me with their crazy antics and complicated songs. Key changes, time changes--everything but costume changes occur during a GTB set. Please note: if you have no sense of humor GTB is not for you. You'll just be annoyed and baffled. Luckily for me, I hate serious music, so I think GTB is magnificent. And they have a new album available, just in time for the holidays! I almost won a big hunk of meat when Rollo Royce announced he'd give a prize to the first person who got him some eye drops, but I couldn't find them quick enough in my big Badtz Maru sack. *sigh*. I don't even know what I would have done with meat, being a veg, but still, I felt a huge sense of loss.
I was thinking there was no way in hell that the Cowboys could follow God the Band, but I was dead-wrong. Jorge and pals managed to get people actually dancing, something I haven't seen at a show in a long time. But it's difficult to remain seated while the Cowboys play their infectious Cuban surf-punk. Even if I was a sleepy, cold 14-year-old I think I would have been outta my seat.
The party season has barely started, and I've already missed two of the hottest parties this year. What is it Pink said? I'm sick in bed so you better get this party started. Decompression 2002, the unofficial Burning Man NYC event took place at the Lunatarium this year, and I heard it was even hotter than last year's party. A bunch of the BMNYC camps decorate and design areas of the space, and it's a 100% flip-out. My pals were doin' the rich-bitch thing as the Beaucoup Bucks Camp's Chez Moi de Mone, an exclusive club within the Luna, featuring sexy maids, exotic dancers, rock stars, and plenty of space for snoggin'. It's conceivable that some babies were made in Chez Moi, but remember, the club owner is not responsible! No doubt I would have had to have bribed the door bitch to get in.
I also missed Decay NYC at the Pyramid, hosted by Tibbie X and Polina. The Sex Slaves changed some of their song lyrics for the evening, and the Liquid Tapedeck baffled the exquisitely beautiful crowd. Many Waste-oids were in attendance, along with the goth and puck-rock elite. Aw hell, I probably couldn't have gotten past the door people. Altho my illness did give me a lovely pallor.
Things to buy your friends for Firestorm
Xmas...that most mysterious of holidays. You loved it as a kid, you hate it as an adult--why? Why not make xmas fun again? But how? Pulling pranks? Running around outside naked? I suggest you tell your friends that you don't celebrate xmas, but Firestorm--a fictitious Satanic celebration where two of every animal are brutally slaughtered. For more on Firestorm, see Jon Konrath's epic misadventure, Rumored to Exist (available on amazon and on rumored.com). Make some Firestorm cards using images from PETA propaganda. "Puke for all!" is a proper Firestorm sentiment. Below is a list of Firestorm-appropriate gifts.
For your satan-lovin' pals: You And What Army?--Lesion (lesionallevil.com). Rock's favorite devil-worshippers seduce with songs like "Friend In Hell," and the bio-horror of "Clone Boner."
For your friends who are capricious, enigmatic, and silly (you know, the ones that make no sense to you): Rawk--God the Band (godtheband.com). Rock songs constructed like show tunes, a mix of Meat Loaf and Grand Funk Railroad. Get a "Satan Says..." t-shirt while you're at it.
For the cow-punks: Big Ideas--Kings County Queens (kingscountyqueens.com). Like a whiskey sour, the Queens will have you singing and crying and wanting to hug your friends.
For the hottest nerd from band camp: On the Waterfront--Hungry March Band (www.hungrymarchband.com). Everyone's favorite guerilla brass band has released its second CD of originals. You've heard them at the hippest renegade parties-now have them around the house! HMB will make you wish you paid a little more attention during band practice. Available at Clovis Press Bedford Ave Williamsburg, Ultra Salon 233 4th St, or whenever you see the band marching.
For the avant-absurdist with taste: Simple Pop Songs--The Liquid Tapedeck (Fast Forward Flood) (thetapedeck.com). The 'deck attack and reinvent every rock cliché on this tasty home-made 70+ song treat. Contains the LES hits "Crack Whore" and "Lou Reed's Cock."
For your musically sophisticated eclectic hipster pals: Nearly Alive--Hornbuckle (Kittenfarm.com). Hornbuckle artfully constructs arch, ironic, and occasionally salacious pop songs. Features Deep Dish Cabaret fave, "Onion Man," and Big Mike/Big Show show-stopper "Tender Is The Night."
For the balls-to-the-walls rockers: Bantam (bantamnyc.com). The debut CD from NYC heavy-hitters, featuring Gina Volpe from the Lunachicks.
For the girls with the blackest tears: Here is Night, Brothers, Here the Birds Burn--Love Life (Templeoflovelife.com). Sonically and psychically assaultive music. Not for the feint of heart.
For your manic-depresssive pals: The Bipolar Bear (cafeshops.com/worth_less). This adorable little stuffed teddy needs your love, and some lithium.
Also, you wanna check out La Superette at Cuchifritos. Its an annual art market where artists and craftsmen present and sell their coolest shit. Its Dec 7 thru Feb 1, every Monday-Saturday 12pm-6pm Cuchifritos, 120 Essex St. inside the Essex Street Food Market.
Hellacious Firestorm! Puke for all! x0, melpie
Dec 3: Hornbuckle @ sidewalk $free
Dec 6th, 13th and 14th, 10 pm; "I Was a Quality of Life Violation" directed by Nick Zedd, written by Reverend Jen & Nick Zedd. Starring Reverend Jen, Faceboy, Rob Schapiro, Joey Gay & others! Collective Unconscious (145 Ludlow Street) $5
Dec 6, 8pm: Merzbow, Black Bonds @Swiss Institute (495 Broadway, 3rd Fl 212.925.2035) $free
Dec 6-7, 8 pm: Under The Highway, the Gypsy Musical, @ Space Theater, 602 East 14th street (Just east of Ave. B) 2nd floor, $8
Dec 7 thru Feb 1, every Monday-Saturday 12pm-6pm La Superette at Cuchifritos: an annual art market where professional and amateur artists and craftsmen present and sell their creations to a wide range of visitors. Cuchifritos, 120 Essex St. inside the Essex Street Food Market
Dec 7 10 pm: La Superette after-party featuring Sikhara, Bee And Flower, Flux Information Sciences, (r) from Larsen at Pianos 158 Ludlow Street (1 1/2 blocks South of Houston)
Dec 7, 10 pm: Carmen Mofungo's Coquito Christmas Carol, Surf Reality, 172 Allen st, 2nd fl (res. 212.673.4182), $10, inc. a comp. rum + coke! Carmen's famous Christmas show has become as much a holiday tradition as getting busy with the guy from office services at the company holiday party.www.carmenmofungo.com
Dec 9, 8pm: The Big Quiz Thing, Trivia with a $300 grand prize! The Slipper Room, $5
Dec 12 8pm: Foot, featuring Thurston Moore, Don Fleming, and Jim Dunbar @Swiss Institute (495 Broadway, 3rd Fl 212.925.2035) $free
Dec 13, Oneida + Mudhoney at North Sixth
Dec 14, Santacon. Info at http://brooklyn.cacophony.org/santa2002.html
Dec 16, 8pm, Lesion Xmas Party at Arlene Grocery, $free
Dec 18, voodoolulu CD release party, Uncle Mings, 225 Ave B at 13th St (voodoolulu.com)
Dec 21, Kings County Queens at Petes 709 Lorimer St., Brooklyn, NY http://www.petescandystore.com/
Jan 4, 6 pm: LoVid, Nautical Almanac, Iron Lap, Diagram A, Dream Machine and installations by Douglas Irving Repetto and Cory Arcangel @ Gale Martin, 134 10th ave (bet w 18-19th st) $free
Jan. 17 8 pm Krakatoa, Flaming Fire, Livesexact, Super Dimension Fortress!!!, Shy Child @ North 6 Basement, 66 North 6th
Melpomene Whitehead edits snevil.com. email her at email@example.com