Saturday, November 17, 2007

Return of Double Giggage: Electric Six, Uncle Monk, Scotland Yard Gospel Choir

Electric Six; The Willowz
@ Bowery Ballroom
New York, NY - November 16, 2007

It could not be resisted. With the previous gig being so early, and the Bowery Ballroom so close, how could a seventh Electric Six show be passed up? Sure, Horton Heat was in town, sure VHS or Beta were doing their own dance-rock thing, sure there were a ton of great gigs in the night but there is only one (or six, rather, or actually when you really think about it, nine or ten) Electric Six. It was well worth going. For possibly the first time in seven reviews, not counting any possible drunken blackouts, Valentine and the gang did "Electric Demons in Love". From the first record, the second track, the one that truly establishes the band as Disco Metal and arguably remains their finest song. Forget "Danger! High Voltage!". This is the track that should have been the hit and should have made this band as big in the U.S.A. as it is in Europe, if not bigger. But speaking of bigness, for the first time in about four or five reviews, the show was not sold out and packed to the gills, and the mosh pit (featuring only some of the regulars) was more subdued for larger portions of the show than previously. Could the U.S.A. Six Success have peaked? Or was everyone home because of the news Valentine broke? That Larry King had died? (Dick did seem actually serious about it but of course as we know now, Larry is alive and well. Cleveland, Hello!) Anyway, this is one of the best, if not the best, Electric Six performance ever reviewed and not just for "Demons". Exuberant, extra saucy highlights also include the new "Dance Pattern", the classic "Dance Epidemic", "I Buy The Drugs", "Future is in the Future", "Improper Dancing", and "Rock n Roll Evacuation", which had Valentine's latest political ramblings, that while New York will have to (probably) pick between its current senator and its former mayor for President, that as poor as that choice is, it's all better than Bush. And finally, after years of ranting by D.V., we got one good, fist-shaking wail of "Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuush!" Loved it.

Dude, I don't know what it is about the Willowz man. They look like they should be doing some country bumpkins from hell thing, some Little House on the Prairie meets Black Sabbath type deal, but they really just do garage. Maybe it's the singer's voice? Maybe it's a lack of substantive follow through on the opening licks? I don't know. They aren't that bad, but there is something definitely missing. But kudos to them, they were fun to laugh and dance with in the balcony during the Six set. But word of caution guys: When people in the audience heckle you, do not taunt them and threaten to fight them. It is unbecoming. Especially when you have a charming gal in the band.

Uncle Monk; Scotland Yard Gospel Choir; Used To Be Women; Alec Scott
@ Knitting Factory Old Office
New York, NY - November 16, 2007

So yeah this is the first review of a living, breathing Ramone. The last original Ramone no less. Tommy Erdelyi performed his sincere, fun, and frankly, good, bluegrass duo material. There's not much to wax on about it. It was straight forward mandolin and acoustic bluegrass. By Tommy Ramone. You can't beat that.
Scotland Yard Gospel Choir are a great Chicago bar band that do it in a folky and stompy fashion. Lots of Indie pop sensibilities but with a nod to the more basic elements of good live rock. It's official by the way, Chicago has arrived. The city is now teeming with great bands and its an eclectic brew. The next few years ought to be a lot of fun.
Used to be Women seem to want to be an alt-country, contemporary hard rock mix but they sound more like the latter and it's a little unorganized and not in that good, punk way. It's kind of hollow.
Oh, Alec Scott. Alec, Alec, Alec. You are true to your soul, I'll give you that. It was something to hear this young acoustic soft pop-folk performer talk in length to the audience about his songs, especially when he lectured the crowd about the merits of Michael Moore and how he was inspired to write "The White House Is Corrupt" because of the big man. Now, political debates about Moore aside, the point here is that Mr. Scott talked to the crowd as if the crowd had no idea who Michael Moore is. This was the first clue that young Alec has a lot to learn. Later, he feebly tried to get the crowd to sing along. And then finally, he nervously rambled on about the sound guy, his two bandmates on bass and sax respectively, and himself. And that's just it. He was nervous. I hope. Anyway, this Dave Matthews thing he's going for needs more metaphor and poetry if it's going to work. If you're going for a Woody Guthrie, tell-it-like-it-is approach, just do that. Pick and choose, young friend. Pick and choose.

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