I arrived at First Avenue for Radio K/First Avenue “Best New Bands 2011” night - highly anticipating this one, especially to see Sexcat and blood&stuff, who I knew would be able to fill the room - with people and their full-on loud rock sound. I got there halfway between Fire in the Firs set, and was surprised to see the West staircase removed! How that opens up the room! More, great sightlines.
It was great to instantly see so many friends in the room, early on. Early on there were several times more people in the beginning than in years past, a sign I think, that the music scene is experiencing a resurgence, definitely. Watched Fire in the Northern Firs with Jacob Grun (who worked on engineering singer Carin’s earlier band, First Communion Afterparty). Grun would later be singing with Dream Crusher, also one of the best new bands. Ran into Ed and Dylan of blood&stuff, who were excited about their upcoming mainstage show, their first, and … they found out they won their Kickstarter campaign this day! With enough left over, Ed said, to maybe make more t-shirts to sell! And they finished their new record the night before. Things are looking really good for one of my favorite bands, blood&stuff, and I told them as a contributor, I cannot wait to get my CD (which I will spin frequently on Spin with Cyn show) and T!
I really liked Fire in the Northern Firs, who I’d not seen yet. Dark, alt-rock, sort of post-punk, ala Echo and the Bunnymen, New Order and Bauhaus (very favorites of mine back in the day).
Then, Sexcat!!! Yay! Sultry, Dressed in dark, shiny, beautiful red and black garb with a dramatic light show, Sexcat’s songstresses Hannah von der Hoff and Megan Charles sexed up First Avenue with their incredibly funky soul, make-out dance music (you think Polica is make-out music? You oughtta see/hear Sexcat!). To me, they brought back the best of female rock music of the ’80s and ’90s … sort of Berlin meets Missing Persons with a heavy dose of Donna Summer “Love to Love You, Baby” vibe. I know, sweet, right? Their dance moves would make for a great burlesque show, Hannah’s low, husky yet strong vocals, weaving playfully with Megan’s at times soaring, others scratching and rawrring like a cat were frankly, mesmerizing. Their set was all too short, like 20 - 30 minutes. While they performed favorites like “Champagne (In Your Face)” “Sexpot” and “Electric Hypz” I still felt I wanted this to become (hopefully someday) a 3-hour (or even all-night long) dance party. And a great way to get you in the mood.
Then Dreamcrusher, 11 guys who are in innumerable bands. Its an experimental, atmospheric, ever-changing collaboration. Performing on the main stage gave them room to really project their lo-fi, quieter, hypnotic sound.
It was Joe Hastings’ birthday - his “28th” - we will never know the true age of this timeless, ageless musician, one of the best, and most in-demand guitar-players in town … one-man-band Hastings 3000 and with the Sex Rays (a huge fave of mine - Sex Pistols meets Link Wray). Happy Birthday, Joe!
I’ve been likening the phenomena of the steady growth of blood&stuff, their full-throttle, loud rock shows and rabid enthusiasm and fervor of audiences at their live shows, and how big I think they will (should) get in the world to the phenomena of Husker Du back in the day. Oddly, before their set, First Ave DJ spun Husker Du and Hold Steady. Appropo!
Blood&stuff hit hard right out of the gate, and totally owned the main stage like I haven’t seen in years. 2 guys, sounding like 5. Astounding!
“There will be blood … “
After blood&stuff’s amazing show, numerous fans, super-fans, and first-timers exclaimed, “They’re amazing!” “They really ROCK!” and so on, as they always get from people seeing them for the first time, or the 5th …
"One Day Roses"
"A Fire Out at Sea"
Catch blood&stuff at the Turf Club, Feb 3 for: “Ice Damage, Inc.: A benefit and auction for Tasha Pruitt, also fe: Sea Whores (laser light show in Clown Lounge, Birthday Suits, Gay Witch Abortion, and DJ Danny Sigelman.
Post blood&stuff, I caught rapper MaLLy, and caught up with The Japhies’ frontman Reed Wilkerson, who updated me on the status of their recording their new album. The Japhies will be guests on my next Spin with Cyn show, Tuesday, January 31st, from 10 a.m - noon http://www.kfai.org/spinwithcyn in advance of Reed’s Bday Bash, February 3 at the Triple Rock with guests: My My Misfire, Black Church Service and Lost in Prague!
Headed to the Depot, for late-night fries, a 2-Hearted and chat with friends. Christy Hunt noted Pink Mink is going to do SXSW, this year with Peter Wolf Crier.