Saturday, May 19, 2007

Egyptian Shumba-The Tammys


I had been bored, drinking, and watching Red River on public television with the sound off. John Wayne with his big shifting haunches sauntered across the screen looking not unlike a badly hidden transvestite was pitted against his Oedipal foil, the gaunt-faced Montgomery Clift. I did not much like the movie so I put music on.

A song came on that I had never heard before. It sounded vaguely like French pop with its scatter-brained, circus clarinet and its heavy-footed thudding drums. French pop though, is almost always impeccably recorded, and this was mixed so far out of balance that the vocals were so loud and in front of the music, as to almost blossom into distorted fuzz. The trio punctuated their lines with shimmy shimmies, and delivered their lines in English: “Last night I dreamed I was on the Nile, Dancing with you Egyptian Style.”

The first verse magically collapsed into an entropic chaos of blood curdling feminine screams and jungle howls that reminded me of an Alex Chilton breakdown or a Guitar Slim freaked out solo; Judy Henske came to mind, as did Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Skip Spence, and possibly Little Richard.

It was almost deranged in its off the rails goofy magic. I am in love with the Tammys.


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Jarvis Cocker-The Fillmore, Sometime in April

I had not seen a show since Clinic, in maybe 2005 sometime. I thought that I would wait until Alex Chilton toured again but it was not to be.

The Fillmore is a nightmare, I used to hate it when I smoked because it was a cock tease of a place that you could not go in and out of and of course you could not smoke. But I quit and now it was just stuffed with pricks and pimply teenagers and old guys in leather and over made up girls who leave their puffy lipstick stains on their plastic cups of vodka tonic. The same tired-ass scene.

The opening band was called Honeycut and they did not have a drummer, just a douche-bag who banged his hands all over a little rectangular box that made drum sounds. It was not cool in an experimental way-it was total crap. It made me want to throw up. The singer broke out in a harmonica solo and I screamed at the top of my lungs for someone to drag him off by his hair, but they were allowed to finish up.

My girlfriend got the Jarvis Cocker album from her brother on Christmas and I listened to it a bit, but there are really only two good songs, one he played for the encore and the other he played earlier. No Pulp songs, which was kind of a drag, because that new album is a bit flat, and Pulp was his baby, so it would have been fine, but he let that ghost lie.

“Don’t Let him Waste Your Time” was the encore song, and it is a good pop song, sounding a bit like Pulp, but the best song is the Tommy James and the Shondells rip—“Black Magic.” His band sounded fine, there was lots of dry ice and he did a myriad of kicks and made lots of anti-American political jokes that the crowd showed its appreciation for with fawning, throaty yowls.

I left the place drunk and feeling mean. The whole crowd spilled down those god-awful stairs, which made me wonder about the hippies who must have fallen down those fuckers, all high and blasted out of their minds on acid. Geary Street was like a swap meet of assholes and I waited for the people I arrived with. The rich ones tried hailing cabs, the young ones stood in the light, laughing, happy, pretty and stupid, and the rest of us took the bus.


PS: I will start back up in about two weeks.
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