The Fuckin' Contest

Music editor's note: Inspired by the unabashed rock-&-fuckin'-rollness of Zeke, we here in Locals Land have found ourselves hungering for some of that "reader interaction" stuff, so we hereby declare a contest. Count the total number of times the word fuckin' appears in this review, and be entered for a special prize-package drawing for a Rich Kane-autographed set of the very earplugs he used at this Zeke show (complete with lots of creamy, delicious, waxy buildup!), plus a Backstreet Boys CD single (because we can't get rid of it any other way). E-mail your answer (along with your postal mailing address) by March 21, to rkane@ocweekly.com. Good fuckin' luck!

Fuckin' Zeke/The Fuckin' Black Halos/Fuckin' Honky/Fuckin' Black Kali Fuckin' Ma
Fuckin' Club Mesa
Fuckin' Wednesday, March Fuckin' 7

Fuckin' Black Kali Fuckin' Ma have Gary Floyd of the fuckin' Dicks as their lead singer, so you'd naturally think there would have been some fuckin' semblance of substance to their set. But was there? No fuckin' way! We should have known, though, for fuckin' Floyd is pretty much a pudgy, redneck-looking gent who looked like he would've been more fuckin' comfy working Club Mesa security than ambling around the fuckin' stage aimlessly and fuckin' howling wildly to his mediocre fuckin' band's fuckin' mélange of stupefying drone. Mostly, Black Kali Ma went off like fuckin' Ronnie Van Zant doing distorted Skynyrd covers, if Ronnie had survived the fuckin' plane crash and wound up as a fuckin' graying, sandpaper-faced codger.

Fuckin' Honky, a fuckin' Texas trio, were a gaggle of white-cowboy-hat-sportin', weed-smokin', drag-race-lovin' cretins who blew redneck rock that was even more sludgy, dull and tedious than Black Kali Ma's. They spewed fuckloads of terribly tragic guitar solos (played on ugly, swiped-from-a-bad-hair-metal-band instruments —you know, the kind with lots of points jutting out from the body), which were just a misplaced fret away from sounding like Triumph or Saxon or Yngwie Fuckin' Malmsteen. Add to this mix the castrating vocals of their fuckin' drummer, who came off like fuckin' Phil Collins, and you understand why one guy in the crowd started in with the angry "Fuck you!" yelps so early in their set—and he wasn't even drunk at the time!

Fuckin' next were the Fuckin' Black Halos, a Sub Pop band who acted like a femme version of the Fuckin' Murder City Devils, mostly because of their singer's penchant for long, black, Billy Idol gloves that kissed his elbows; the fuckin' glamorous accoutrements he sported such as a dog collar and a pair of leather fuckin' trousers that were so tight you could make out his little mushroom head wriggling around in there, fuckin' yearning to breathe free; and his insistence on writhing around the stage topless like prime fuckin' Quaalude-driven Iggy ("Oh, baby, take it off!" tittered one person; "No, dear god, put it back on!" we tattered right fuckin' back). Elsewhere, singer man dedicated a song to fuckin' Jesus for no particular fuckin' reason; spouted inane fuckin' stuff like, "I don't got no clean underwear" (try eating more fuckin' fiber, then!); and picked up the fact that save for the occasional-but-too-infrequent occurrence of annoying details like fuckin' "melody" and fuckin' "rhythm," his band was basically one continuous fuckin' noise machine when he yelped, "For all those who can't understand a thing I fuckin' say, that last song's about teenage sex, which is the best I get—I only wish I could get it again!" Oh, wait, we get it—that's supposed to be fuckin' funny! Actually, what was funny was that the singer seemed to be doing everything with his eyes closed—singing, dancing, cavorting suggestively—and after awhile, so were we. We fuckin' fell asleep!

Fuckin' Zeke fuckin' rule! Fuckin' dork metal! Fuckin' guys with fuckin' thick-rimmed specs playing the greatest fuckin' tattoo rock this side of fuckin' Motörhead! They were fuckin' glorious and fuckin' painful, shooting off a fuckin' ecstatic cacophony of fuckin' two-minute gems about fuckin' love and fuckin' pain amid a constant fuckin' spew of smoke machines, fuckin' flashing lights, fuckin' devil-horn-throwing and songlyricsthatgobythisfuckin'fast (sample line: "FUCKYOUFUCKYOUFUCKYOU WAAAHHHHH!!!"). So incredibly loud was fuckin' Zeke that when we briefly removed our fuckin' earplugs, we instantly knew how Ray Liotta's character in fuckin' Hannibal must have felt when he was getting his fuckin' brain cut up and fuckin' fed to him. But hey, like they said, Zeke are all about good-time rock & roll. Good-time fuckin' rock & roll! Fuckin' A!

Ouch!
The 400 Blows
Friday, Mar. 9
Tiki Bar

It was an ugly night at the Tiki Bar on Friday but not as ugly as we'd like, thanks to all the vapidly beautiful people that dangle, remora-like, from the bloated belly of the modern skateboard-industrial complex (so many girls with promo stickers over their breasts; so many guys leering at that hot, hot product placement).

This is the new economy: a bunch of drunk twentysomethings with dot-coms and a terminal flair for "street promotions," pointing their digital video cameras at anything that moves in preparation for (probably) their next bitchen video. "Productions" this, "presented by" that—it's capitalism at its coolest and cutest. Out on the dance floor, a bunch of beer-bellied guys and tight-tank-topped girls were moving units. "You can't stand here—we're selling merch!" trilled one lithe betty. Oops, excuse us! The less-marketable to the back, please. Things were a little plastic and pretty, but then LA's 400 Blows were playing, and they uglied the place up real good.

Fresh from a room-clearing tour de force at Koo's Art Cafe, the Blows were sort of the odd band out on this Volcom-sponsored bill featuring the Consumers (sludgy, fuck-you inept, stoner metal that probably has the '70s-era Consumers shuddering in their pill-strewn graves); Relish (whom you've certainly heard of in these pages); and MTV's Jackass house band, CKY (Camp Kill Yourself, who take self-immolation to strange and strangely appealing new artistic heights). See, the 400 Blows are not a pretty band, and the 400 Blows are not a funny band, and the 400 Blows, we'd say, aren't even a fun band. To call them "fun" would sap something of their intensity because it implies that they somehow depend on you to approve of them or that they can be reduced to simple entertainment or, perhaps more appropriately, product (of course, they were selling stuff like everyone else—band's gotta eat, right?).

It's anti-entertainment, almost. Their singer, duded up in the trim sailor suit that seems to serve as the band uniform, tried a little steely eyed crowd-baiting, but no one rose to take it—not even to say, "I think you guys need a little Jesus." But that's the kids of today for you: postmodern disaffect and irony suppurate from their very pores. They just didn't care—they all put their fists in the air and made devil horns. Then 400 Blows gnashed their teeth in exasperation and ripped into their set. Singer Skot Alexander has a voice like tearing off a scab, all serrated-buzzsaw snarl and vitriolic spite. Drummer Ferdinand Cudia and guitarist Christian Wabschall play the musical equivalent of a collision between a threshing machine and a bullet train: high-speed; higher-precision; almost industrial, atonal melodic shredding that just spins spikes of feedback out into the crowd. It's flayed-to-the-bloody-bone nihilist art rock from, say, the sulfuric depths of hell, and the kids picked up on that—if not the accusing glare Alexander fired at the crowd on songs like "The Gods Are Laughing at Us." To indicate their approval, they threw devil horns around like this was the Heavy Metal Parking Lot. A long time ago, the Lord stopped caring that pretty much the only time his name was ever taken, it was taken in vain, but can we try to reserve a little smidgen of respect for the Dark One? Is nothing sacred?

They closed with the painfully appropriate "The Ugly Are So Beautiful," Alexander stalking around and holding his mic stand like a staff while Cudia and Wabschall whipped their instruments to bits. The 400 Blows have an aesthetic single-mindedness that is almost predatory in its intensity and focus, based on deconstructing a riff into nothing but rhythm and screech. It's a soundtrack to collapse, decay, nihilism—all those good-old self-destructive tropes that really serve to get some nuts and guts back into music, but this be-devil-horned crowd may have made a crucial mistake as they waved up at the Blows (even if the guy from the Consumers introduced them as "the best band in the world," which could well be true after a few beers): this isn't metal, or even irony metal (which is generally what people who flash devil horns listen to). The 400 Blows play the sound of metal being torn apart—they shred in as literal a sense as possible without bringing razors into the equation. Onstage, they're inhumanly harsh; offstage, they were affable enough, if a bit spent, panting and sweaty. "Good show," says we. "Are you playing around here again?" They took a quick peek at the room as they tried to sell T-shirts, calculated the beef-to-beer-to-boob-to-babe-to-brain ratio, and snorted, "No." Ouch. That hurt. But then again, that's what they do. (Chris Ziegler)

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