So why does a pop monster like me keep going to punk shows? Probably `cause they've got the momentum of a fucking freight train. Even if the audience doesn't totally appreciate what they are witnessing, you can't miss the energy, spit and grank (noise a guitar makes when it's sound checked before each song) of a punk show. Locals Scared Of Chaka opened the show, proving that minute-long songs can be moving even if you don't know the words. Or if they don't know the words. Energy, that's what it's all about. So the drummer was a little pissed that his bass pedal broke, his hi-hat was fucked and sticks were flying in all directions-it got me drinking beer, which is always a good sign.
And then came the Red Aunts. The reason we were at the show and the coolest band on Epitaph (well, Down By Law is damn cool, but we've never seen them live), which is basically the best fucking label alive. If the artists dream of "When I make it big, man, I'm gonna buy a big house for all my friends to live in" was ever applied to a record company, it would be stamped all over Epitaph. The crowd was standing, waiting, anticipating... something. Apparently most of them didn't find it. The whole thing reminded me of the Foo Fighters fiasco, but with less Kurt Cobain references. A few pushed out a little hole in the crowd and stomped around to the beat. I stood behind them thinking I should really get a good shot of the band (I couldn't get the drummer at all, though, sorry) since I was given a photo pass and remembered to bring my camera. Angel told the crowd she was fucking bored. Sapphire told us she wanted some beer. My brother decided to oblige and a pitcher and four glasses hit the stage a few minutes later. The music, well, it's snotty, ragged, loud, short, spitting, fucking, drag us down with you punk. It's not anthemic (and manufactured) like the Sex Pistols. It's not poppy and about masturbation and getting high like Green Day. It's bashing, in your face, and make you laugh (satirical, not dumb and dumber) music driving you into a froth of beer and ecstasy. They probably deserved a better crowd for their first gig of this tour, but, for us, it was a great way to start the summer.
We ran into (well, actually the other way around, but it sounds cool this way) Sapphire (Kerry, really) after they played and chatted for a while about crowds, the Beastie Boys, Epitaph and the demise of heavy metal. Steve got in a few words about L.A., Aaron told his SNFU story again and I demonstrated my headbanging technique. She thanked us (Aaron) for the beer and disappeared as Karen Black and her entourage took the stage. Later we would exchange goodbyes and do that handshake thing that goes through about five phases and ends up with cool gun pointing action. I think it is the official "Are you really okay to drive?" handshake, but she had no idea that I learned the whole thing when I was stoned one freshman night in Kansas.
Oh yeah, the Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black played next, had lots of props, put on a very artistic show that reminded me of G.W.A.R. without all the blood, and demonstrated that you can go topless in a bar (in New Mexico) if you paint your breasts. We could have kept her dress, but thought better of it and tossed it back into the air. This is what happens when I get really wound up after a show and start writing, it goes on forever. Buy #1 Chicken from the Red Aunts and you will get a taste, see them live and you get the meal.
See Terri enjoy part of Aaron's pitcher:
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