Light fuse get away
Chinese food is bad for you? New studies indicate that living on a steady diet of Kung Pao chicken and pot stickers, as this writer has been doing for months, may not be such a great idea.
My excuse is that, in the non-ebullient state I’ve inhabited since the start of the year, the end-of-meal fortune cookie was often the bright spot of the day. Time and again I expected to read something like, “You will be lap-danced into blissful stupidity by a beautiful stranger,” but of course what kept coming up was the slightly less tantalizing “Perseverance furthers,” or “Light fuse get away.”
Speaking of incendiary, I stumbled into Old Ironsides on Friday night just when the opening band, We Prick You, hit the stage. The trio, which morphed into a four-piece with the addition of a keyboard player mid-set, got busy churning out a trebly, high-strung skein of glam-influenced tunes, the kind that start with mid-1970s Bowie (see: Aladdin Sane, Diamond Dogs) as a reference point, adding such main ingredients as early Roxy Music, the Stooges and Cheap Trick, with the kind of debauched abandon characteristic of such wasted greats as the Faces. It was kinda cool that the band, with its sunglasses and (Eastern) Euro fashion sense, looked more like one of those Croatian ska bands you can find on YouTube, if you look hard enough, than a bunch of studied rockist poseurs—which pointed to a certain self-deprecating charm.
Not to say that attitude should be a governing factor for rock bands. Most of ’em can’t figure out the finer points and thus come off like caricature guitar-slinging maroons, but We Prick You has attitude in spades, and that works to the band’s advantage. Singer Marcus Cortez projects the kind of flipped-bird confidence that separates true frontmen from mannequins. Bassist Matty Magnus and drummer Scott Quam provided energetic assists to Cortez’s swerve, which occasionally propelled him off the stage and into the audience. At one point, Cortez announced it was his birthday. He began passing out sparkly birthday cone hats to the crowd, and then the band launched into the Beatles’ “Birthday.” Sometime soon after, he pointed to the merch table and said the magic words “free CDs,” which got snapped up pretty quickly.
The three-song disc—featuring “Popular Favorites,” “Rug Cut Lover” and “Footsteps in Stereo”—is as much fun as the band’s performance that night. It goes without saying that We Prick You, which can be found at www.myspace.com/weprickyou, brought the rock.
Also on the bill was the Dave Rude Band, a power trio that started strong but suffered from a nonexistent guitar in the mix for the first three songs. Guys, you should trust the Old I’s Lare Crowley; you don’t need to bring your own sound man. They finished with a group hug with members of Tesla, the band in which Rude replaced Tommy Skeoch on guitar.
Headlining was Trust Your Ears buttrock favorite Hot Pistol, which continues on its trajectory of dragging 1970s beer-bong culture into the 21st century. The band covered T. Rex’s classic “20th Century Boy.” And two nights later, when Stars & Garters covered Slade’s “Cum on Feel the Noize” from the same stage, the ’70s had thoroughly returned.