I've become so jaded these days about going to shows. If a band doesn't, well, destroy me with their live set, I'm just so not interested. And that doesn't mean that the band in question has to consist of a bunch of crabby, hollerin' loud-ass dudes, mind you. But it uh, kind of helps.
Which brings me to WOMAN. (Yes, that's all caps. Perhaps you should imagine me yelling every time you read their name in this post. It's really too bad I can't record a little mp3 of that, actually.)
Anyway, we'd been trying to catch a WOMAN set for like, 6 months. (No, really!) We kept missing them for no particular reason, much like how, not surprisingly, we're missing M83 tonight -- I've been trying to see him for like, what, 5 years? It was the usual round of excuses: We were either late getting to venues, or broke (we aren't actually rich, you know!), or out of town, or just plain old and tired.
And honestly, I'm the kind of person who avoids going out on Fridays before holiday weekends, but the promise of Portland's Magick Daggers, our dear Bellmer Dolls and the elusive WOMAN
was too much to pass up. Besides, it was at Union Pool, which we can get to via the bus. (BTW, we were recently informed that we are "totally gangsta" for taking the bus in fancy dresses and furs and stupid shoes. Um, damn, it feels good to be a gansgta?)
But I digress.
Now, I wish I could say that I was totally pleased with the Magick Daggers' set -- the first half was absolutely brilliant, Jessy Montaigne (x-Subtonix) really, really kills on bass and Maximilian Avila (x-Get Hustle, Antioch Arrow) is equally wicked on drums. The problem is, Montaigne's vocals are just kind of okay, and it's really only interesting when she's caterwauling and wailing on her bass in a way that lonely metalhead boys in suburban basements only dream of ever pulling off (and would uh, probably cream their jeans to see this fierce dervish of a woman actually doing so). Less interesting, though, is when Montaigne tries to bring the dark cabaret; without that deliciously phallic bass in her hands, she is lost onstage, and resorts to the kind of girly vamping that's uncomfortable-making and rather dull to watch. The fierce momentum that carried the first half of the set just kind of fizzled from a bang to a whimper.
Thank goodness, then, for WOMAN. The best recommendation I can give: I turned to Pinkie at some point during the set, with an insane grin plastered on my face and hollered "WHY DOESN'T EVERYONE LOVE THIS!?!?" "Because they're stupid and have no souls," she astutely replied.
We have a tendency, it's true, to kind of crush out on loud, squally swampy blues bands with tight rhythm sections (check!) and dudes who holler (they have two, even!) -- I'm sure this is surprising to no one at this point. But the thing about WOMAN is that ... well, for all the dark and dangerous poses, they're just balls out wicked and fun. (Though, I guess that part when Skeleton Boy threw his bass, with the pickguard covered in blood, across the stage at the end of the set was kind of dangerous...) Anyway, frankly, after the spring I've had, I needed a good time, and WOMAN delivered.
Oh, okay -- look, sometimes a little embedded video is the best way to show you what I'm talking about -- this is from a show @ Cake Shop at the tail end of last year, via punkcast.com.
The less we say about the plagued-with-technical-difficulties set from the Bellmers, the better. They did, indeed, actually finish the set -- but it was kind of like that time you sort of didn't memorize that recitation for 9th grade English class and you spent all of gym cramming in the outfield, but everything fell apart during lunch, and by the time it was your turn to go in 5th period, you just kind of collapsed -- but you still managed to pull it off anyway. Or maybe that was just me.
That being said, we have no doubt that things will be better this Friday when the Bellmers bring together the best of the Charleston shows -- Preacher and the Knife and Cosmicide (Josh & Brandon of Secret Machines) [ed. from Pinkie - we never said we could spell] -- for the Neighbor of the Beast (6/6/8 -- get it?) show at the CSV Theater, 107 Suffolk (yeah, the building that looks like ... a school). I have no idea what I'm going to wear, as the weather reports promise nasty, humid heat -- but hey, our trainee Ms. Churchill, who's recently back from the UK and is doing well on her Eno regimen (she's stuck on Warm Jets right now), will be joining us -- always a good thing.
Sunday we'll be at the dreadful MHOW where FrictionNYC presents These New Puritans (who we discussed recently on the Tumblr), School of Seven Bells (which is, oddly enough, the new project from Benjamin Curtis, formerly of Secret Machines, and the Dehaza twins, formerly of On! Air! Library!) and Effi Briest (yay!) -- looking forward to that, even if not too thrilled about the venue, or the fact that it's on a Sunday night. But I guess we'll live.