Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The King Khan & BBQ Show / The Jacuzzi Boys at The Grey Eagle - 11/25/2008

The King Khan & BBQ Show
with The Jacuzzi Boys
The Grey Eagle

I managed to go to two good shows in Asheville in the span of three days. I'm not sure this has ever happened in this town, ever, unless you consider good shows to involve a lot of noodly guitar or bad cover bands.

This was a double-bill of bands I wanted to see even...opening the events were the Jacuzzi Boys, a trio of kids from Florida who weren't playing shitty metal or hardcore (I was given the impression early in life that was the only sort of bands who came from Florida). They did the dirty garage-punk thing like the Black Lips have made popular recently, only I'm pretty non-plussed by the Black Lips but found the Jacuzzi Boys quite entertaining. They had a layer of pop to their sound that made their gruff rockers quite catchy, which is probably what held my ear so firmly and drove me to the merch table later to pick up a seven inch by them. And now the state of Florida is 1 for 4,376 in the "bands that don't make you want to leap head-first into a moving train" competition.

I've seen the King Khan & BBQ Show many times, both together and as separate entities, and this was by far the worst crowd I've ever experienced. Like most "bad crowds", it's really just a handful of assholes making everyone else look stupid, but this group were going at it like there was an award to be won for pissing off the greatest number of people. It was so awful even the band was calling them out for it, but they were either too dumb to understand what was going on, or too high to care. At one point these two girls from the ass pack (one of which looked to be in a heroin nod) got on stage, wherein BBQ let them know that they had a strict "no whores on stage" policy and they would have to leave. Eventually a handful of them got kicked out and things mellowed out a bit, but not before putting most of the audience in a bad mood.

But you know what? Despite that crew of douche nozzles and douche nozzlettes, it was still a fine outing the duo. King Khan was dressed in his Sunday best sequined dress and matching veil, complete with a trash can next to him in the event he needed to vomit (apparently he had a touch of food poisoning). They played nearly every song you'd want to hear from them - "Waddlin' Around", "Fish Fight", "Shake Real Low"...all your favorite doo-wop influenced garage rock jams. There was even a brief cover song, as King Khan performed Johnny Thunders' "You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory" while BBQ fixed a broken drum pedal. As bad as much of the crowd was, the band made up for it with a raucous good time.

(Photo actually taken at a solo BBQ show in Oakland a few years back, everything I took on this evening was shitty; and yes, I realize I say this a lot...it's because I take a lot of bad photos.)

Flute Flies / Magic Babies at the Local 506 - 12/12/2008

Flute Flies
with Magic Babies
Local 506

Nothing quite like a free show, just as god intended. If god were a cheapskate.

This gig was a celebration of the launching of CyTunes, a local music download website used to raise money for the fight against cancer, dedicated to the memory of local man-about-town and friend to all, Cy Rawls, who recently died from the disease. Many local bands have released exclusive and long out-of-print songs on the site, and I'd encourage everyone truck on over there and do a bit of shopping.

Besides the website unveiling, there were some live bands as well...first up was the Magic Babies, featuring a bunch of former members of The Weather. they played a very Sloan-like piano/keyboard driven 70's power pop, lots of hooks and harmonizing and pleasant vocal melodies. Their best songs sounded like they could have been off a long lost Records or 20/20 album, a high compliment in my book.

The main reason I drove over the the Hill from suburbia though was the Flute Flies. A local "super group" of sorts, featuring members of the Rosebuds, the Sames, Schooner and Ashley Stove, these kids got together and wrote, recorded and released a few tracks to be sold exclusively on CyTunes. Their set consisted of these three songs, each one of them a fine composition, as well as songs by their respective original bands, only switched up a bit from their original form. Even though Ivan of the Rosebuds was in the group, when they chose to play a couple of his tracks ("Back to Boston" and "Drunkards"), he didn't sing either, instead letting others handle that duty. It gave songs that I knew inside-out some new life, a fun bit of diversion from the norm.

It was a great night, good times from start to finish, and for a good cause on top of that. I'm sure Cy would have loved it.