By Adam Lovinus
By Lilledeshan Bose
By Gabriel San Roman
By Rachel Mattice
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Daniel Kohn
By Nate Jackson
By Mike Seeley
THURSDAY, JUNE 1
At the old, old Coney Island freak show, there was a guy named Captain Fred Walters, and his shtick was eating colloidal silver—a quacky medical practice that survives still, most recently in Libertarian candidates in Montana—because it turned him blue, which turned him into a marketable freak, and then eventually killed him. He became, says historian Jeffrey Stanton, "too blue to live." Thick actor Steven Seagal is marking time between movies with a graveyard of $75,000 vintage guitars formerly belonging to Muddy Waters and Albert King and a backing band that covers Elmore James like they got a firing squad scowling at them across the microphone banks, and his album Mojo Priest is also too poisonously blue to live. Bo Diddley guested on there, but Bo Diddley gotta pay rent somehow. Like a guy who walked home and died one night said: "It's a mean old world." At the Coach House.
And oh look: Bo Diddley paying rent at the HOB. "I hate it when I heard disc jockeys say, 'We're gonna rock & roll you, blah blah blah," Bo told our own Buddy Seigal a long time back. "Ain't rock & roll no more." And now Bo picks up his guitar some evenings and wonders, 'How soon until Steven Seagal buys this off my estate?' I don't even know what rock & roll was, but we should all stop talking about it because it makes nice old men get sad for some reason. Desmond Dekker just died last week, too. Too blue to live.
PLUS: Grand old indie band Pretty Girls Makes Graves is Prag Vec with Cyndi Lauper (ex-Blue Angel) on vocals, especially on new album Élan Vital, totally stiff with '80s-isms: Police-y guitar and keys on "The Number," "Like A Prayer"-echoes on "Pyrite Pedestal," and even a rainbow on the cover. We all repeat the first patterns we recognize. At The Glass House.
AND: Jam-rock with Delta Nove's CD release at the Vault.
All them young punks used to chuckle it up over how their own kids were gonna reject mommy and daddy and become stockbroker Republicans tee-hee-hee but guess what: it was even worse and the weak new generation grew up to grab the only three chords they could get in their fists and decided to flop onward where the old folks gave up. Totally across the board, too: even Hank III, driven perhaps by a blood-borne impulse toward unthinking animal insanity, which of course leads straight to things like the Misfits and a current tour with the Murder Junkies. But then wearing black says so much more these days: "I like skulls AND rye whiskey!" Settin' the woods on fire at the HOB.
PLUS: Afrika Bambaataa and the Soul Sonic Force swoop down from planet rock to take all your freakin' heads off with the most ancient reverent artifacts of hip-hop, built from Kraftwerk and talking about the body rockin'. Also re-entering the atmosphere at this show: Lisa Lisa! (Cult Jam status unknown at press time.) At the Freestyle Explosion at the Pond.
Liars were the closest This Heat and Faust ever got to the NME pop charts, but the squirrel chatter that chased around them and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs doesn't follow Liars as much right now, so you can relax and eat their album in the perforated-like-a-graham-cracker chunks intended. Drum's Not Dead is spaced Krautrock at its core—music for which to realize that something's full of stars—with feint-lefts and jab-rights at Silver Apples' computerized choir-music (singer Angus sounds like Simeon at his most angelic) and maybe the earliest Human League ("Being Boiled"). Dance-punk to me at the Glass House.
PLUS: Alkaline Trio remains gigantic at the Grove.
Detroit jams out with Modern Memory—not to be confused with the Modern Machines—and another four week residency that shoves the '90s out of its beauty sleep: the pop of Sub Pop and the dissonance of Dischord polished to a dull glow. Fans of words like "lush" and "dreamy" and even the formidable "angular" will find something comforting to hug.
Satan takes it in the shorts when W.A.S.P. lights up the Galaxy for 6-6-6 day (remember also to see The Omen, rent The Exorcist, smear on some scary makeup, listen to Slayer and knock out a few supplications to the lord of all material things on this corrupt and ruined plane) and a tuff kind of heavy metal that will never die even though deep down it might kind of want to. Alice Cooper gets her tits tweaked to ten and her brains put through a flanger when Blackie L. fucks like a beast. Fun-ish fact-ish: apparently (according to what Blackie told USA Today) people shot at W.A.S.P. during the wildest PRMC witch-hunts? Then just a year or two later, 2 Live Crew put out As Nasty As They Wanna Be and the Berlin Wall came down. Hail Satan?