Friday, November 6, 2009

Kurt Vile and the Violators/Benjy Feree/The New Flesh - Black Cat - Nov 5 2009

The New Flesh - This band named for the last three words uttered in David Cronenburg's Videodrome (my guess) is similar to the movie in that it is an interesting misfire. Unlike the movie, it's not overly creative, but is certainly enjoyable for noise-rock fans. The two guitars, bass and drums let forth a steady swirl of noise in the general neighborhood of songs. Some good pummeling, but the drums were a bit muddy although the sound improved a bit as it went on. The vocals never really did, but they seemed secondary anyway. At best, I experienced similar feelings as to when I listen to Sister Ray (the song, not the band). Yes, and here's the obligatory, unplug things as you leave guitars feeding back. Seen it many times and Mogwai did it best.

Benjy Feree - Benjy Feree sang, played electric guitar or keyboards with his wife on drums. The sound was a loose rock'n'roll, sort of old school, but not corny. It was not up to psychobilly speed, but more singer-songwriter pace. He is a good vocalist and the songs were decent. Still, there the sound was just a bit thin for my liking. The set reminded me of the late 70s punk rock days when there were not enough punk/new wave bands to put on the bill and a decent retro-to-modern act like this would be booked. Decent, but a fuller band might help next time.

Kurt Vile and the Violators - Kurt Vile starts off on acoustic guitar and brings his band out on the second. They have a drummer and two guitarists with Kurt switching to electric sometimes and one guitarist playing sax and harmonica, too. During the second song, I have a lightbulb moment, "oh Kurt Weill, I get it". I am slow tonight. The songs move around a lot from slow droning, catchy rhythms, droll vocals to lots of subtle shifts of tempo and volume. Maybe a little in the neighborhood of the Feelies? Maybe not, but close enough for my insta-comparisons. This band is clearly locked into a good light psyche rock groove and the large crowd is enjoying it (they had a crowded back room and this band is destined for upstairs next time perhaps). Very good music worth exploring further.

Quote of the Night: A fan yelling to Kurt "we like to see your face!" as he then parts his Cousin Itt hairdo a bit.

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