just another one-night stand

Quick round-up of shows I have seen in the last few months but, for whatever reason, didn’t get around to writing about. So behind the cut: The Damned, the Meat Puppets, the Koffin Kats (part III) and John Doe.

dave vanian and captain sensible at the metro
the damned’s captain sensible and dave vanian, metro, 2011-10-25

I love the Damned. Like. A lot. They were celebrating their 35th anniversary by playing 1977’s Damned, Damned, Damned and 1980’s The Black Album back-to-back. The former is one of the greatest albums of all time ever, the latter is not far behind, and there was no way in hell I was missing this show. The band came out and waved and Dave was in his dark suit and sunglasses like one of the original gothboys that he is, and Captain Sensible looked like a guy wearing a Captain Sensible costume, and the bassline of “Neat Neat Neat” kicked in and I smiled and danced for hours. I knew I would enjoy the show, but oh my god, I had so many Feelings. It was actually a bit overwhelming! I tried for weeks to write about this show and couldn’t do it, but it was one of the best this year.

Support was The Legendary Shack Shakers, as kickass a rockabilly band as I’ve seen. I’ll definitely be trying to see them again. Full photo set.

meat puppets at the double door
curt kirkwood of the meat puppets. double door, 2011-11-11

Confession time, you guys: Sometimes I get the Meat Puppets confused with the Meatmen, the Marked Men, the Mustard Men and Mustard Plug. None of those bands have anything in common, though, don’t worry. There is no need for alarm. It’s just a name thing.

Anyway. When trying to tell people about the Meat Puppets, I always forget that they were sort of popular in the 90s (thank you, Nirvana), and I fall back on describing them as one of the “big” SST bands from back in the day, when SST signed weird hardcore bands and a handful of them got popular (for some punk rock version of popular) by mixing hardcore and something else. Black Flag went metal, Hüsker Dü went pop, the Minutemen went funk, and the Meat Puppets went country. But whatever, I love hardcore!Meat Puppets and alt.grunge!Meat Puppets and I’m not super wild about contemporary.country!Meat Puppets (which seems to be what they are doing now), but this was a good show. Those dudes can really fucking play, and they were having such a good time up there doing it. They played old songs and new songs and the Kirkwoods might be looking rough, but I like my people with some edges.

Support was a local band called the Sweeps that I can’t really tell you much about (except for, “My name is Santiago, and that’s Bob.” The juxtaposition of those two names cracked me up) and a Belgian garage.grunge band called Black Box Revelation. I was not really in the mood to listen to drawn-out noise jams (which means I was also not in the mood that would’ve been most receptive to the Meat Puppets), but I thought these guys were worth checking out.

The light was shit that night, and so the photos are terrible. They are here, nonetheless.

koffin kats at reggie's
koffin kats @ reggie’s rock club, 2011-12-16

You guys know how I feel about Koffin Kats shows. Fantastic good times all around. They are hard as hell to photograph, but whatever. Let’s just look at more pictures.

vic victor, koffin kats at reggie's
vic victor zooooom. koffin kats @ reggie’s rock club, 2011-12-16

koffin kats at reggie's
tracer bullet @ reggie’s rock club, 2011-12-16.

That’s Tracer Bullet, the band that drives me completely insane because I swear to god I know those guys from a different life. Which life? I have no idea. If you like your punk rock mixed up with the oldies station I listened to in Michigan (50s rock, early early r&b, motown, some soul), you should check them out. Also because Chris tends to take his clothes off. As you can see, he is a fan of Batman. I approve this message.

Full set here.

stage of the old town school of folk music before john doe came on. 2011-11-26.
john doe, old town school of folk music. 2011-11-26

Took a break from Social D to go to my second John Doe show of the year. The first was with Jill Sobule at Lincoln Hall supporting their album, A Day at the Pass, and this time he was at the Old Town School supporting his own new one, Keeper. His backing band includes Maggie Björklund on pedal steel, which is completely aces, and Dead Rock West’s Cindy Wasserman on supporting vox. Which is to say that the people behind him are fantastic. Anyway, I love John Doe so much that I walked up to him of my own volition and told him so. His shows are fantastic, but he doesn’t belong at the Old Town School. He has too much energy for that place, or a different kind of energy, or something. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fantastic venue and a great place for certain kinds of shows, but there was something off about it in this case. All that sitting, sipping your wine while John Doe is rocking out a few feet away? I can’t even deal with that.

Also they irritate me with their no-photography signs, which say “per the artist’s request,” as if they ask each individual artist and go from there. Lies! They do not allow photography and they should just say so. But whatever, I heart John Doe and I will go see him every time, even playing venues I feel are not kickass enough for him.


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