Leave it to Frankie Wood to both liven up a cold, wet, winter night and usher in the first warm breath of spring, in the same 5 day period.
As you may remember, I have been to and reported on many a Frankie Wood show in my earlier years as a NYWaste scribbler, and I have seen some great line-ups, But the two evenings I attended were especially notable.
The Front-of-House Engineering for both evenings was provided by Marc Allen, whose other professional credits include the New York Dolls and Type O Negative. Let me tell you, if Marc can’t make you sound good, it’s because YOU suck.
Friday night featured our favorite Delancey bartender Mikey slinging drinks with the greatest of enthusiasm, and dead air between sets was brilliantly resurrected by DJ Pat Pervert .
The festivities were started off right by The Jamies, a girl band that is not a girl band. They rocked unpretentiously, without taking themselves too seriously. Scratch that: They just rocked.
TCB, new on the scene, picked up the pace with their re-invention of classic hardcore. They were inspired, clearly, but not derivative. These guys are off to a good start with their music, and I have high hopes that they will maintain and develop.
The Velmas came down all the way from Albany, and as always, were a highly enjoyable experience, unpretentious, fun, even allowing Frankie Wood himself to join them onstage for his,…er…oddly appropriate rendition of BFZ’s “Jigglebum”.
Animal Pharm brought the proceedings into a realm of higher consciousness with their soulful, powerful funk-rock sound. They are a peace love and understanding movement you can take seriously.
If both the british invasion of the sixties and the british punk invasion of the seventies had originated in NYC instead, The Bowery Boys would have been at the forefront. Percussion was picked up in smashing style by Gass Wilde (The Love Pirates), while Dave gave a steady, old-school rhythm bass, and Joff Wilson, the original Bowery Boy, played and sang to all of our jaded hearts’ content.
Last, but certainly not least, all the way from Scotland, in their first U.S. tour, Fangs gave a dynamic performance . And it was a gift. They played so tight, so perfectly, they made new wave punk sound like a whole new thing, without any stylized garbage. Why did I love them? Let me count the ways:
A) Instead of a drum machine, they had a real percussionist, JoJo, who none the less laid down an exact beat, like a healthy heart, instead of a lifeless metronome.
B) Marko weighed in with an accompanying bass rhythm that never faltered.
C) There was nothing synthetic about the synthesizer sound Lloyd came across with.
D) The Queen. Truly. She is the poster girl for punk glamour, the kind of woman who illustrates what an adventure being a girl really is, with nothing less than her total being. Take her just seriously enough, and you might get out alive!
Of course, with Mr. Wood, there is always something else coming around, And St Paddy’s Day was it.
Yuri was at the bar and never let anyone go thirsty for a second, while D.J. Jette filled the between-sets quiet with music to come back from the dead for.
Sarah of Bird to Prey started the evening off with a haunting acoustic set that both seared and soothed.
Smooch graciously, cheerfully, bounded onto the stage next with an energetically funky, feel-good double set, that was well played and made for an un-obnoxious good time.
Does it count as returning from the dead if you never died in the first place? I don’t know why we even bother to count the birthdays anymore, Because Bobby Steele is still going strong, never slowing down, still as classic as ever. So much so, that Hitomi ( on drums, Statutes of Liberty) and Hiromu (bass, Back C.C.‘s) have jumped on his bandwagon and won’t get off.
Unfortunately, since the day was one traditionally awash in alcohol, there was a long line for the can and I missed Torcher’s hard-core’ slinky-funk set.
Thankfully, Grub Animal stuck it out to the end, unraveling a delightfully esoteric pop set, despite some instrumental technical difficulties.
Both shows embodied everything there is to love about the N.Y. scene, a seamless back and forth between old and new, classic and modern, and refreshingly, always going back to the important point:
Having a good time.
See you around the bender, Darlings!
" The Worm that Destroys You is the Temptation to Agree with your Critics, to Get their Approval."
" When choosing between Evils, I like to choose the one I haven't tried yet."