Like this ...
Wow, what a show! After trying and failing numerous times to
see TV on the Radio, I am pleased that the fates conspired to
make me wait until last night. They performed at the fairly
new club, The
Hook, with Mommy & Daddy, Tracy and the Plastics, and
the venerable ESG. Since Red Hook has almost no subway access,
I took the B61 bus there, missing the stop and having to wander
around the neighborhood for a while looking for Commerce Street.
There's seems to be quite a lot going on there, but oh! I can't
imagine living so far from the trains.
I finally found the club and momentarily feared the show
was sold out, making my long trip pointless. But I got in
fine; I guess the exorbitant ticket price had afforded me
entry. The club is pretty big, somewhat reminiscent of North
Six, but with fewer kids. They even have the same bleachers-type
seating in the back of the hall. It was fairly crowded, but
not nearly as crowded as it got later (I also heard that the
show did sell out, so whew! for me). Drinks were too
expensive, but I kind of expected this. The club also has
a basement room where DJs were spinning and people were groovin'
and smokin'. The basement leads to a back-alley sort of space
where are the serious smokers chilled out. Literally. I had
seen pictures of the club on their website and was relieved
to find that it is much grimier in real life than it appears
on the web. I was afraid it'd be too swanky, making me feel
bad if I dropped my drink or barfed on the dance floor.
and Daddy were playing when I got there. I had always
wanted to see them, they're a couple who play bass and keyboards
with a drum machine. Not my kind of thing in theory, but they
totally rock live. And they're cute as buttons, which never
and the Plastics were up next. Well, actually it's only
one person, a young woman who I assume from her set is both
a lesbian and film major. She sang alone on stage, backed
up by prerecorded beats synched to a video of her in different
wigs talking about the historical significance of the band's
name. I thought is was pretty funny, and her voice is great
at times, but I don't think everybody
enjoyed it. What was weird to me was how un-theatrical it
was. She wasn't dressed up, she didn't prance around or use
props. She just stood there with a microphone. Seems to me
if you don't play an instrument and have no bandmates, you
gotta jump around or something. M&D play instruments and
still managed to bounce all over the place.
on the Radio then took the stage. All their recorded stuff
is all drum machine-driven, but now they have a bassist and
drummer, so the sound was quite a departure from the peter-gabrielly
sound of most of their work. Fine with me, they totally rock
the full band. The bass was a little too loud, drowning out
the drums too much, but they were really on, and best of all,
the singers really sing. Now, I'm a big fan of the Steve Albini
growl-speak vocals, but if you've really got the pipes, actual
melodic singing is great. I was kind of surprised they used
no keyboard whatsoever, but I guess that's just for the records.
I wonder if the new musicians will be permanent members from
now on, recording with them in the future. I hope so.
must be one of the weirdest bands of all time. Their music
isn't crazy, very spare funk-rock. But the members are all
black women from the Bronx. They formed in the late 70's,
so they're not exactly spring chickens anymore. And two of
the daughters also play with them now. But they turned the
mutha out. The drums are really the centerpiece and
with their minimalistic style they really worked the room.
The slightest fill or change-up was met with roars of appreciation
from the crowd. They could not get enough of it. Why are there
not more bands like this?
We hung out for a while longer and I again danced, badly.
I keep thinking of that thing KDunk
posted on her site the other day: "Dance like no one
is watching." I hope no one was watching. Really. We
got a car home, a very wise move at that point. But I wanna
go to more shows like that, even if I have to take the bus.
Posted By Jimmy Legs