I try to avoid talking about stuff like this, but in the interest of full disclosure I think it may be necessary for this post. As I've mentioned before, I don't know very much about anything. A good bulk of what I experience is brand new to me. This is especially obvious when it comes to music. As recently as two years ago, I was still attending hippie, jam band music festivals. In the summer of 2007, I had dreadlocks and went to the All Good Music Festival in West Virginia and then cut off the locks and went to the Gathering of the Vibes in Connecticut. I didn't have a reliable internet connection in those days so it was slightly harder for me to find worthwhile music. At that time, I knew I like band like Pavement and the Pixies but anything new was completely lost on me. Fortunately, those days are long gone. Last night, Gary and I ventured out to Baltimore to bear witness to the Shattered Records tour.
Gary and I got distracted drinking beer out of camouflage cans, and ended up leaving for the show a bit later than we had planned. By the time we got to the Ottobar, we had totally missed Useless Eaters. From what the internets report, Useless Eaters are fronted by a 19 year old kid and they're from Memphis. They have released some vinyl for Shattered Records, and later on this year they will release some more under the Goner Records label.
Box Elders were pretty cool. I had a good feeling about them from the beginning because I was pretty sure that their name came from the Pavement song of the same title.
They played a pretty standard brand of garage rock, but they were damn enthusiastic about it. Their guitarist played a sweet double-necked guitar. This band made me very thirsty.
Gary and I mingled near the bar while we waited for the next act. I glanced towards the stage, and I noticed a man standing there adjusting the equipment.
The man wore no shirt, and had on striking black and white hot pants a la Van Halen in the '80s. He also had a large bow-tie. Then another man came out on stage in the same outfit. Then there was a female bass player who had lots of glitter smeared on her face, and a drummer with big hair who was really, really cute.
There was also this thing on stage that was wrapped up in a big white flag. The flag dropped to thefloor, and surprise, it was yet another dude in hot pants and a bow-tie.
Yes, this was my introduction to Hunx & His Punx. If I weren't lazy and hungover then I would come up with a clever way of describing the band, but that just won't happen today. Gary called them Ramones Revivalists, and I agree. Actually, to be precise they sounded like the Ramones if the Ramones were fronted
by a past contestant on Project Runway. Their set had something for everyone in it. The songs were fun, and the band was relentless in their march as they tore through each cut. There was also simulated oral sex on stage, as well as fervent discussion about penises. The lead singer pulled a boy on stage, and then gave him a spanking. The lead singer also took his pants off, to reveal not only bikini-styled underwear but an erection as well.
Nobunny was the next band on. Their lead singer wore a bunny mask, and ate carrots. And not to be outdone, there were two members of this band who abstained from pants.
Definitely, the most pants-less show I've ever seen. I thought Nobunny was awesome while Gary was less enthused. The frontman was all over the stage, and repeatedly climbed the walls so that even the fans in the balcony got their money's worth. There was lots of beer being thrown around, but no one seemed to mind.
What really separated Jay Reatard from the other bands on the bill was how Reatard's set was completely gimmick-free. He didn't coordinate outfits with the other guys in the band, and they didn't use any props. In fact, he didn't really talk to the audience at all except to announce the next song. And, that was it. Song after song after song with no breaks in between. Jay Reatard owned the stage, and managed to kick every single person's ass without even lifting his head up. Performed live, the tracks posses a rawer quality to them as opposed to hearing them on wax.There was never a question of what song it was, though, because the words were still the same.
Once, when talking about something Hunter S. Thompson said "It never got weird enough for me." I feel the same way when thinking about this show. Sure, things seemed strange at times but it never swelled to a point where I thought I was in the wrong place. I loved the aesthetics involved with this show. If I spent every Saturday night like this, then I would think that I was doing something right. Good times.