Sunday, August 01, 2010

The Gories; Death @ Lincoln Center

The Gories; Death
@ Lincoln Center
New York, NY - July 31, 2010

Well this was an odd one. A heady mix of punks young and old and aristocratic Lincoln Center patrons who shushed those punks and told them to sit down came out for the first half of the second half of the Ponderosa Stomp at Lincoln Center's Out of Doors festival at the bandshell shaped like a split-open pearl onion. This year's theme was "Detroit Breakdown" courtesy of some little old man from Lincoln Center and a jew-fro'd Motor City connoisseur named Dr. Ike. I am not making any of this up. This is not a scene in a Pynchon short.

By all rights and merits, I should be flipping my lid and doing a dance across I-80. During the Detroit Craze, there were two bands that existed some 10-15 years before that were constantly cited as the direct roots of all that was happening at that time. One of those bands were Goober & The Peas. The other were the Gories, the band that would eventually give us the Dirtbombs, the Demolition Doll Rods, and a thousand bastard sons of the Motor City garage rock scene. Both bands have reunited. If this was 2003, 4, 5, even 6, I'd be doing the curly shuffle. Instead I am merely giddy on the inside, full of nostalgia for that nostalgia of a few years ago. By coincidental aid, I recently read the trip down memory lane called We Never Learn, written by Eric Davidson of the New Bomb Turks. It paid heavy focus on the Gories, (and a little bit at the end about the retro garage craze of the early 2000's which was were I came in). I noticed Mr. Davidson in the crowd but didn't get the opportunity to tell him he wrote a good book which shares another certain writer's penchant for run-on sentences and over-the-top descriptions of rock bands.

So this is what those Gories records would sound like if they knew how to play their instruments better! Hitting the notes (all two of 'em), tight and crisp, full of that same energy and raw power but with a deference to professionalism . Hopefully, it still offended the ears of the resident patrons. But only if they knew how it once could have been - a loud, sloppy, stain-your-dress mess. It's nice to see Dan Kroha perform in actual clothes (red shirt with white polka-dots do make the man). It's nice to finally see in action the mysterious, long heard about Peg O'Neil, whose drumming style and stage presence caused some in the crowd around me to observe that she was reminiscent of a another former Detroit resident who drummed in a simple garage band. Of course that drummer arrived well after Peg left the scene so this was a chance to see how that whole puzzle came together. And of course, it's nice to see Mick Collins period.
This was a real treat. "Thunderbird ESQ" and "Nitroglycerin" LIVE and by the band who made those songs. Mick singing the blues - THE BLUES! MICK! I'd never thought I'd see the day. And while all the memories of that time flowed back (not the original time of the Gories but the time in which they were remembered), it didn't feel like a nostalgia show. It felt immediate. It felt like some things were meant to resume and pick up where you left off. If only for 45 minutes.

Death came to Lincoln Center. It was still a medium-paced set, like the one at Europa, but it got a little sweatier and a little more ferocious by the end, as the band fed off the swelling number of people choosing to stand by the barrier and in the aisles. Credit goes to one young man in a green shirt who refused to let the stiffs carry the day. A one man pep rally, the lad danced and half-moshed by his lonesome, which convinced others to at least stand with him and bob their heads. Truly, rock n roll and good decency came together. Which is kind of like Death - the ultimate sounding in loud, talented rock n roll but played by gentlemen with distinct class.

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At August 1, 2010 at 12:25:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was awesome! Punks stormed the stage and nobody could stop it! Thanks to the mysterious man in green for taking that brave first (mosh) step!


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