Or: Aids Wolf / Double Dagger / Old Relijun @ The Velvet Lounge
First and foremost – I am sooooo sorry I did not have a camera with me. Now on to the show.
Thanks to the glory that is the internet, I have become very good friends with people I have never seen face to face previously. Due to the intensely small world of graphic design and particularly poster design, I know the bulk of the players in varying degrees of closeness. Such is the draw to make my way to the Lounge on a Tuesday night. I rarely come to the club as parking always seems to be a drag and I actually have things in my car that would bum me out if they were stolen.
I also have a predisposed disdain for tiny rooms without a bar in them (this means you too Black Cat back room) that more or less cause a situation where the band competes with booze for an audience. I always thought these were the forces that come together to make live music work but then again I don’t run a club.
Bruce and Nolen (the only “Bruce” and “Nolen” I know personally) form the design duo known as Post Typography in b’more but they also comprise two thirds of the noisy crew known as Double Dagger. They open the show as I am looking for mildly safe parking. When I finally stroll up they are loading their gear into the van. Shitstix!
From the looks of ’em they had a sweaty good time.
The boys let me know that the show the night before at the newly re-opened Talking Head, with the same line-up, in Baltimore was simply amazing and broke down into an “apocalyptic dance party.”
Chloe and Yannick (the only “Yannick” – I know a few “Chloes”) are one half of Montreal’s Aids Wolf, but more importantly to me they are Seripop, my favorite designers practicing today. Insanely mind-blowingly good designers. I also know them as pretty serious introverts so I am curious what their stage show holds. It turns out I needn’t have worried.
Chloe is wrapping herself around the stage and mic cord immediately much in the way her vocals dart in and out of the cacophony.
The dueling guitarists set a trebly mix that pushes and pulls itself apart and then makes up faster than you can kiss goodbye. Chloe makes her way through the audience holding hands and bouncing off folks trying to recapture some of the energy they had the night before to no avail. Bruce notes during the tiniest break in their set the one joy of playing noise rock in a small setting. No rudeness. “You can’t talk through this when it’s going on. That’s for sure.”
Chloe sports an amazing haircut as she has her locks in essentially an Aniston bob but it is buzzed in a three inch swath straight across her head making an invisible strap holding her brain in. Yannick tries to compete with his wild beard and uncontrollable doo on one side with a buzz cut on the other. I barely notice his hair or much else once he starts playing though. A dervish on the drum stool he propels the songs along with such manic force and energy that it is hard to take your eyes off him. Which sucks as I have been desperately trying to.
You see, he is wearing super short shorts to play in. He is French Canadian so I try to excuse this but I can’t.
I am just praying that all f his bouncing around on the outside of his shorts does not cause anything to bounce right on out of there.
When they bracingly halt their playing to finish their final song for the night , I am both exhausted and relieved. When Yannick changes into pants immediately after I can barely contain my laughter. I have known them for years and I finally get to see them (almost too much of them!) so big sweaty post show hugs are in order.
Old Time Relijun start to set up and there is a classic Lounge moment. When upright bass player Aaron Hartman asks for more bass in his monitor for the third time, the sound man walks up and pushes the monitor closer to him rather than turn any knobs. Perfect.
Another funny thing is happening though.
The guitarist/singer is taking his pants off in such a casual manner that this is most certainly not the first time any of the folks on stage have seen it happen.
Clad in black boxers, front man Arrington de Dionyso leads the Old Timers through their impassioned take on the Beefheart formula. The stop starts and choppy guitar overlaying the tight melodic rumble of the drums and bass punctuated by masterful bursts of saxophone remind me that they are exactly the type of band that need a bigger room and sure as hell need a drink in your hand to enjoy.
I head off in search of alcohol, French Canadian goodbyes, and people wearing pants.
Special thanks to everyone that came out to see Sad Crocodile and Jamie from Greenland on Monday and helped Jamie celebrate his birthday at midnight. You are all cool people, but you already knew that.
(photos from Aids Wolf’s myspace)