The Dwarves and The Queers
As far as Dwarves shows go, last night's at Alex's Bar was fairly uneventful. And by that, I mean no one got naked, stabbed, punched or vomited on. Then again, the self-proclaimed best band ever (seriously, they have a song called "The Dwarves Are Still The Best Band Ever") ditched their infamous on-stage debauchery sometime in the mid to late 1990s, so if you went to Long Beach looking for sex and violence, you were probably let down.
That said, the current Dwarves — singer Blag Dahlia, guitarist The Fresh Prince of Darkness, bassist Chip Fracture and drummer Gregory Pecker — still fucking rule. Of course, the absence of long-time guitarist HeWhoCannotBeNamed was sorely missed, but anytime a naked man in a wrestling mask isn't somewhere, absences will be sorely missed.
The Dwarves played a career-spanning set that included "Let's Fuck," "Drug Store," "Astro Boy," "Free Cocaine," "How It's Done," "Better Be Women" and "Dominator." As you'd expect from a group that is "still the best band ever," people went nuts for these songs, especially when Dahlia passed around the microphone for people to scream along to. However, the crowd seemed to be there to hear tracks from 1997's The Dwarves Are Young and Good Looking because when they played songs such as
"We Must Have Blood," "I Will Deny," "Demonica," "Everybody's Girl" and "You Gotta Burn," the sing-alongs got louder and that crazy dance punkers do got more intense.
So no one was carried away in a stretcher and all breasts (both male and female) were fully clothed, which was fine because, according to Dahlia, the Dwarves invented rock 'n' roll and when you invent rock 'n' roll, you can do whatever you damn well please.
Similar to the Dwarves, the Queers played songs from nearly every era of the band, but seemed to focus a lot on material from 1993's Love Songs for the Retarded and 1996's Don't Back Down, which included "You're Tripping," "Ursula Finally Has Tits," "Fuck This World," "Noodlebrain," "Granolahead," "I Hate Everything," "No Tit," "Punk Rock Girls" and "Born To Do Dishes." Lest anyone think I'm complaining, I'm not because those are my two favorite Queers records. Judging by the response of the crowd, I'm not the only one.
The Queers also played Black Flag's "White Minority" and three Screeching Weasel songs — "Cindy's on Methadone," "Murder in the Brady House" and "Like a Parasite" (which Joe Queer co-wrote, so maybe it's more accurate to say they played two-and-a-half Screeching Weasel songs).
Similar to the Ramones, the Queers didn't say much between songs. Instead, they burned through their material as if they had somewhere better to be later that night. That's not an insult — in fact, quite the opposite. By doing so, the band kept its energy level high, which created an element of fun throughout the set.
Critical Bias: The Dwarves' Wikipedia page and the Wikipedia page for Blood, Guts & Pussy have references to things I've written about the band for this paper.
Overheard in the Crowd: "There sure are a lot of good-looking women here."
Random Notebook Dump: The guy who said there were a lot of good-looking women there was right.