by Casey Dewey
Like Capt. Willard lost in the jungle, I'm in the thick of it now. Time is of the essence, and due to a
developing earache my patience is nil.
I saw a lot of bands, and most of them were crap. But the ones of note are:
The Protomen (TN) - For fans of dirt bikes, Michelob, "city rock", Streets of Fire, Loverboy, community theater, Ennio Morricone and truck-stop boogie. The Protomen (and one Protowoman) are an eight-piece band who aren't afraid to mix slick power ballads with retro-soundtrack dynamics. Their three albums, Act I, Act II and the forthcoming Act III tell the sci-fi tinged stories of "The Protomen", complete with various band-members acting out central roles. It sounds cheesy and gimmicky, but it works. I'd love to see a complete show rather than a showcase from these guys. Speaking of...
Pissed Jeans (PA) - Lead singer Matt Korvette is the preening and writhing love-child of Jesus Lizard's David Yow and Johnny Rotten. They would have been proud of this caged beast twisting, yowling, hunching his back and displaying pure contempt for the audience. At one point he launched into a tirade on SXSW, saying with a wide, shit-eating grin "this is a showCASE, not a show. Next time you see a shitty band here tell them that." The band only played a 25-minute set at the old, converted cattle-hall venue, but it was a great set full of piss and vinegar fuck you.
Death (MI) - Not the death metal band every rebellious teenager has a passing phase with. Nope, this is the amazing proto-punk band from Detroit. Good news for fans: they're the subject of a new doc called A Band Called Death and they have a new album in the pipes! Death played an impressive hour-long set at a packed tiny dive. They played the entirety of ...For the Whole World to See, plus a beautiful Marvin Gaye cover and a couple of new ones. Unfortunately, the security at this venue were complete assholes. Anytime there was any movement in the crowd, the bouncers were right there making sure nobody bobbed their head too much or shimmed their shoulders excessively. I was wedged between one meathead and the band's monitor, and the slight earache I had earlier fully blossomed during the set. Remind me to get some earplugs today.
Always on the run, talk to you soon.
Over and out.