Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Fistacuffs, <3 n late nite texts
So there are some pics from this past weekends social registry thing. It was at this place called the yard in carroll gardens off the gowanas canal. i went to cover it for the record. it was super beautiful. heath and i went on saturday and jory and i hit it up on sunday. the gang gang dance show was definitely one of the best shows of my life.
this journalist maureen keeps calling me for an interview for this story in the post about the secret (weird sentence please with a side of i cant sleep or spell). she needs to talk to somebody who thinks its full of shit. and guess what? im her gal apparently. so heres my the original live from new york, befor hein ziegler butchered it with his professional hard nosed journalism.
i like this one better, but he is the boss. kiss kiss Darling's, oh wait, thats me!
In twenty years when your kids are putting beer on top of your coffee table books and spilling chips in the crevices of your expensive craftsman couch while you’re out of town playing golf in Big Sur, the warped faces looking up at you from those books upon your return will be Gang Gang Dance. And don’t yell at the kids for scratching your Gang Gang Records either, just make them clean up the mess and throw down some rules about parties while you’re out of town, go upstairs to your room, change the sheets, lock the door and get out the scrap book and smile to yourself because you were there man.
I go to a lot of shows and a lot bands pass before me on a monthly basis and very few leave me really thirsting for more. But Gang Gang Dance is going to be remembered as one of the seminal bands of this time, mark my words. I was sitting with Jorskie yesterday at the very end of Social Registry’s wonderful and surprisingly pleasant (more on this later) two day music festival waiting for Gang Gang to set up and discussing best bands of the 2000’s thus far, I said The Kills were one of my faves because of their live performances, Jorskie wrinkled his nose and said “Nah, not innovative enough, what’s original about them?” I nodded my head, yes, yes, I had to concede, he was correct. (One of the things that annoys me endlessly about Jorskie is that I am a devils advocate and so is he so I often find myself arguing points I would usually agree with just because I like to argue and then before I know it I’m all tangled up in a tongue twisting battle of “You’re right, you’re, I agree.”) Next I said Vietnam, again he nodded his head and scratched his shadow, “nah, good, but not new” No way! I countered. But maybe he was right again, although almost nothing beats a good Vietnam show, and all those hundreds of hungry supermodels walking the streets of SOHO in their Vietnam band shirts couldn’t be wrong. Then Van Jorskie looked up and said, “Gang Gang Dance.”
“What? Really?” I asked. He turned and with the setting sun reflecting off his black Ray Bans said, “Yes.”
Hmm. I chewed on this. I did like Gang Gang Dance quite a bit and it was a fun little conversation and it would give me something interesting to think about the next couple of days, but what I didn’t know was that my mind would be changed over the course of the next hour. With the sun now fully set and the band set up, we sat in our plastic chairs in the shady halo of trees along the wonderful breezy Gowanis Canal waiting for the band to play, the smell of barbecue and sunscreen and fresh cut grass surrounding us and giving a break from the smelly grind of the city streets. They lumbered slowly on stage taking swigs from bottles of water and wiping sweaty hands on buttocks to grip their drumsticks. Final chords were tuned on the guitar and then Brian turned the knob. – Now before I continue I would like to say that I have seen Gang Gang Dance play before, twice before to be exact, and each time the experience was different. The first was at The McCarran pool summer shows last year and the place was packed and the band was pushed for some reason to the back of the stage, the second time was at a club, I forget which, and I had to keep running in and out to scream at my x boyfriend into my cell. Neither time rubbed off on me as particularly memorable, except that there was mild recognition that they were good and that everyone else for some reason, seemed to be obsessed. I had heard their music on CD and liked it alright, I’d even gotten a chance to interview them for The Record, an experience that was nothing short of lovely, but still if you asked three days ago would I rather go to a Gossip show or a Gang Gang Show, I probably would have had to think about it (no disses to Miss Ditto you are and continue to be the bomb!).
The music started out how I remembered it, a lot of pre recorded wailing and beats and samples from films or looped over chants, but then suddenly a mans deep distorted voice started muttering “Lift up your eyes and open your heart to god, lift up your eyes and open your heart to god.” A red light and a spinning rainbow psychedelic orb and a smoke machine had been placed on the rickety wooden plank stage, smoke started to push out into the audience and because of the Canal it sucked it out over the water like a scene from Night of the Hunter. The past two days everyone had casually sat back in rows of chairs and chatted quietly while bands played but as Lizzie started to squirm and chant wildly like a possessed woman, her eyes rolling into the back of her head, the guitar slowly intensifying to match the beats and drums (the guitar playing in this band is hugely ignored or underrated in interviews and articles, as much of what the band follows to keep their many dismembered parts together is the linear under melodies that the guitar keeps hidden and then repeats to pull them back in, not to mention that when he does solo some of things he plays are mind blowing.) But of course the percussion is pushed to the forefront, and wisely so, because as Jorskie so aptly puts it, that’s what makes them innovative and will keep them transcendent (sorry Gossip, Kills, Vietnam, your influences are like your hearts, all on your sleeve’s) First it was one group of people who approached the stage, then anther cluster got up and joined, soon everyone knew what was happening and started to rush up to grab a piece of what would be considered prime front row real estate. Jorskie shrugged at me and I said, “I guess we should get up.” And we snagged a spot right in the front, people pushed in tight and we were transported into the world of Gang Gang where music from all genres, specifically world music is open game and game spit out into a truly unique danceable beat.
And just as they were building up to the climax of perhaps what was their best song of the night, everyone sweaty and mesmerized the power went out and the stage went black, the Christmas lights set up around the space, the lanterns over the shed, the amps and the smoke machine. It all seemed to disappear into thin air. The band acted as if it wasn’t planned, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it were.
Other bands played and they were good as well, definitely check out Electroputas their my new favorite band of the minute after yesterday’s performance (at some further date I would like to do them more justice but I realize after my Gang Gang Dance fan dance it might fall a little short, but really! They were my second favorite of the day! Sian Alice Group from England was also very nice, a sort Lavender Diamond meets psychedelic surf music kind of a thing and of course TK Webb was amazing as usual.
My best advice to you? If Gang Gang comes into your town, do yourself a favor and go. I watched as the back of this little boat shed became what I will remember as one of the best shows of my life. It felt how I imagine watching The Velvet Underground in the sixties might have felt or The Pixies or Nirvana in the late eighties/early nineties, or what it must have felt like to be in college getting to watch Kathleen Hannah rip off her shirt and write Bitch across her chest, or the great Janis Joplin wail herself rasp. I joke not. It was something I will always remember. So go go go! Because twenty years from now you don’t want to have your kid come to you and ask what was it like to see them live and you go, “You know what honey? I didn’t go, I was too busy fighting with this guy who was almost your daddy, but who am I kidding would have never been your daddy, but I decided to stay home and make cupcakes and casserole with him and snuggle and watch Herzog on Netflix.” To which their hopeful little teenage face will fall and they will shrug their shoulders and go, “Oh never mind, I thought you were cool.”
Reporting Live From New York
I’m Nikki Darling And You’re Not!
me as a simpson, i thought the blue tooth was a safty pin and i couldnt figure out how to take it off. foss n heehaw n jory in the shade.
two happy creatures of this earth. happy happy happy to be alive like they should be.
one big dick.
ps. im still trying to figure this blog stuff out.