Thursday, November 13, 2008

Los Llamarada + Hank IV + Daniel DiMaggio/Home Blitz + Blues Control: Nov 12 2008; The Charleston

The likably ramshackle Charleston, where they almost insist you accept free pizza with your drink order, is located smack in the middle of the could-stand-a-bit-more-ramshackle Bedford strip in Wmsbrg. Which isn't why I arrived with conflicted feelings. I'd planned to miss the first band, Queens/locals Blues Control, because let's face it—four bands in one night? What am I, half my age? Conflicted feelings blossomed into profane ambivalence when my arrival, an hour after Blues Control was supposed to start, turned out in fact to be 40 minutes before they played. That old storyline…but. One hand: How am I going to last all night? The other: I get to see Blues Control, who have a bad habit of going first at these shows (due to the fact that guitarist Russ Waterhouse has a good habit of putting on most of these shows), and thus get missed more often than they should. I'll be fixing that, cause the duo has colonized some unmapped, heavily tweaked corner of the outerverse, chooglin' from aimless (the good kind) murk to alien blues exotica, Waterhouse digging deep while Lea Cho emits chiming keyboard sprays, lighting new planetary systems we hadn't spotted before. The music sounds far more reasonable than I've described it.

Next was Daniel DiMaggio, who usually appears (live and on record) under the name Home Blitz. He flew solo on borrowed electric. Totally killer. DiMaggio shot out a tight, nervy set that may have owed to the Chris Knox school formally (he even false-started a couple of songs) but sounded more like the Damned—or for that matter, Gaunt, which makes sense because in most parallel worlds, DiMaggio'd be from Columbus—stripped of the rhythm section. I found the Home Blitz CD at Other Music, maybe you will too.

Daniel DiMaggio; shoulda used flash, held hand still. Shoulda, coulda, woulda; didna.

By this point the night was just happening. (As if I had anything to get up for in the morning anyway.) Between bands downstairs, Brian Turner and Dave Martin DJ'ed while the trendyscenti clotted the tables to the front, away from the rock. Brian recommended to me a new comp, Downer Rock Genocide, which just happens to be my favorite kind of genocide. (It's also not really new, but such distinctions mean hardly anything. Everything now just kind of is, now.)

WFMU's Brian Turner, on the 0s and 1s. Also pictured: King Kong's good record, right.

Then came Hank IV (no relation) from SF (and a Crime comparison here, spiritually speaking at least, is no insult to anybody). They proceeded to destroy with their raucous yet focused trash-rock, brutal and funny. Being short meant I couldn't see frontman Bob McDonald's renowned stage moves (also not helping: no stage).

Hank IV is back there, swear.

Things McDonald said between songs: "This next song's about dirty ponchos, it's called 'Dirty Poncho.' [to bandmate] What? Oh. Okay then, this next song is about quitting, it's called 'I'm Quitting.' " And: "People ask about our name. Yeah—we wanted to cut the Williams family off at the knees. If Hank 3's son wants to make music, well the name's already taken." Hank IV's new Refuge in Genre is out on Siltbreeze (no surprise there); buy vinyl, win free download. The record's catalog number is SB117 but the Silt discography only goes up to SB102, so you know this is some future shit.

Straight outta Monterrey, Mexico, Los Llamarada have been offering beautiful music to difficult people for a few years now. Somehow missed them at FMU's SXSW show this past spring (I was there, but also not there), and have had to endure a massed-choir of praise for them since. All of which appears to be deserved: what brilliantly damaged and passionate rock music! Real howling desperation and disregard (sample song titles: "I've Got Your Face," "A Chance to Become Transparent"). Musically and otherwise, Los L are hard to pin down: guitarist Johnny Noise wore sweatpants; synthist-singerist Estrella countered with skirt and argyle sweater.

Los Llamarada: don't know what to wear, also don't care.

The llama-riders (no I don't speak Spanish, why?) also have a witheringly fucked new slab, Take the Sky, on S-S (a trademark of kwality, just like Siltbreeze), which ups every ante featured on their previous, The Exploding Now. The good news for NY'ers is that Los L and Hank IV play again this Friday at Cake Shop. I'm going back for seconds.