by: Thaddeous Thadington III
Well, it has been nearly two weeks since I attended the event that encourages the forthcoming descriptions. I would have typed this article sooner, but your humble narrator has a long standing affair with procrastination - the result of which has left him a man usually unable to capitalize on any good tidings which happen to cross his path from time to time... alas, if only good tidings were of a more permanent nature and not the stuff of a fleeting wind. (please pause to reflect...................... thank you) It should also be noted that any flowery narration, overstatements, or general verbiage to follow is a result of the author having watched Stanley Kubrick's film "Barry Lyndon" only minutes before penning this show review.
Luckily (in spite of my aforementioned procrastination), I happened upon the Le Tigre / Chicks on Speed / Erase Errata rock and roll concert at an early hour and was received by the host venue warmly and with enough time to comfortably situate myself before the first note was played. I discovered later that this was due, in part; to the opening act's van having fallen into disrepair during their journey toward The Glasshouse in Pomona that evening. Erase Errata finally kept their appointment, however, and did gamely make amends for their turning up late so. Their pieces were frenzied to be sure. With all the fervor of an orgasmic tremble, these lasses volleyed forth chaotic bursts of sound which seemed to intend on having the listener discern distinctly the notes of each instrument. Indeed, the guitar, bass, and drums did not emit "unifying" notes, as is the norm for rock musique.
With all the fervor of an orgasmic tremble, these lasses volleyed forth chaotic bursts of soundSomehow, though (in a way not wholly understood by your narrator), the ensemble was able to create something quite danceable - despite the fact that they appeared not to "give a fig" about what the other members of the unit were playing. The audience, however, remained literally unmoved. It might be difficult for the reader who is unfamiliar with these sorts of gatherings to understand this, but often, even while experiencing aural ecstasy; patrons of these concerts will stand as motionless as a child hiding from the whip of his father, all the while suppressing his or her deepest urges to juke! The reasons for this are too involved to go into at this time, but suffice it to say that this development in underground music circles is disheartening... quite disheartening. In concluding my statements regarding Erase Errata, let me convey a particular appreciation I felt for their drummer's exercise. She is to be commended for her smart play which does distinguish herself from her contemporaries.
Having mentioned them in the previous paragraph, perhaps now would be the time to relate to the reader the various types of music lovers which were in attendance that evening... and a varied lot it was! Had John Singleton Copley stirred such diversity onto his palette, perhaps his portraits would not be so drab. Yes, there were all manner of dress and folk at the event and it pleases me to remember and list them: lesbian couples (with crew cutz) - thrift store junkies - up-to-the-minute fashionistas - non-aggressive males (alone) - aggressive males (with girlfriend) - a drag queen (1 that I know of, perhaps more) - pretentious music know-it-alls - your average joes - poetry/photography fans (often bespectacled) - wild 1970's retro stoners (see fashionistas) - gutter punkz (who were in good spirits, even while asking me for spare change). It is a credit to Le Tigre that such diverse walks of life were drawn to gathering.
Performing in the second spot that evening was Chicks on Speed. Known for their fashion forwardness, these women took to the stage sporting articles of their own design. Behind them, a movie screen flashed film of the Chicks creating the previously mentioned garments as well as home movie footage of them cavorting 'bout as women will and having a time of it (with the notable exception of a segment featuring nothing but people's arms and an egg yolk.. ... artists!).
lesbian couples (with crew cutz) - thrift store junkies - up-to-the-minute fashionistas - non-aggressive males (alone) - aggressive males (with girlfriend)
As for their music, they dwelled solely in an electronic sphere and any sounds that were actually generated by traditional rock and roll instruments were pre-recorded and relayed to us via a computer machine. The Chicks on Speed then sang along to their electronic creations while acting out the lyrics to the songs - and what songs they were! Like Britain's finest - moving against the French at Louisbourg, the beats pounded relentlessly and laid a fine bed for the melodies to rest upon. They did capture that indefinable quality which makes a tune remain in one's head long after the actual sound ceases. One number in particular, titled "We Don't Play Guitars", stayed with me until the dessert hour on the following day. Much enjoyment and energy was projected from the stage as the performers danced and pantomimed incessantly. Unfortunately, the patrons of the concert again stood as still as an adulterer taken, slung in a stockade and left to the crows. If put to me, I would say these music fans could have used a little more brothel, and a lot less Bible. Applause all around for Chicks on Speed, though. It was through no fault of theirs that the audience acted the sap. Also, I appreciated the political and social commentary iterated by these lovelies... but something did disturb me - whilst they admirably put forth the issue of consumerism in their songs and films... they seem to have allied themselves with the money-hoarding-manufacturing side of things. They were selling t-shirts in the lobby for 25 American dollars! Also, their web address offers you the opportunity to purchase a C.O.S. lapel pin for the preposterous price of 10 dollars. Please girls, even if these prices are part of a larger strategy to convey your thoughts on consumer appetites, understand that; sometimes the exchange of money for your goods is undertaken by the shopper with the unselfish intention of aiding your group's financial situation - rather than undertaken with the slobbering zeal to stockpile material objects.
Like the group before them, Le Tigre was a 3 piece which relied on electronics to provide the bulk of their sound, although for many songs a guitar was strummed handily (pun intended) by a living creature. Other "common field" plowed by the bands included the use of motion pictures, an upbeat sound meant to induce dancing, and the relaying of a political agenda. Sexual politics were of a particular interest to this band. They espoused a feminist viewpoint wholeheartedly, and I was loath to disagree with their statements as it would have surely meant my getting sacked by a mob which soaked in the speech as an alley tart might soak in the sweat of her lover. Not that I would disagree under other circumstances, mind you. I found Le Tigre's message a refreshing substitute for the banal, chauvinistic rhetoric often overheard at these concerts as a result of post-pubescent males having been chuffed up at the discovery of their muscles and cocks... the latter of which being confused with a gun - and therefore being confused with power. Delightfully, Kathleen Hanna (of the band), upon recognizing the lack of movement within the crowd, gave the audience permission to dance. Well the shackles were off now! The crowd had been given the key to the stockade, and believe me; they knew just where to stick it. Where before there existed only a summer's breeze worth of merriment, there now existed gale force frivolity! These abandonments culminated with the introducing of a personage who, while carrying the frame and stature of a robust man, was nonetheless draped in the height of female fashion (handbag included) and spoke with the bird-like pitch of a pig-tailed milk maiden! Heads or tails, it was difficult to tell... you would have to steal a peek at this one's "parts privy" to know for sure... but I do believe I spied an Adam's apple. We were told by the performers that this curiosity was called Vaginal Cream Davis, as the throng lifted Vaginal Davis over their heads and passed our new friend from hand to hand toward the stage. Once within reach, Miss Hanna removed one of Vaginal's pumps and delved into an inspired toe sucking session.
Many a jealous onlooker seethed in his or her unrequited desire to substitute their foot with the foot of DavisMany a jealous onlooker seethed in his or her unrequited desire to substitute their foot with the foot of Davis. With Vaginal now properly onstage, the troupe at once perplexed, and titillated the crowd with a round of salacious posturing to the tune of a song titled "Well Well Well". During these antics a video displayed spinning question marks so as to echo the song's report on sexual ambiguity. A well timed image of glue streaming from the nozzle of it's container finally brought an end to this libertine display of hormonal drive... might I borrow your handkerchief? Aside from Le Tigre's winsome rhythms, stanzas, and Hagar riffs... the trio did also endear themselves to the public with their charming stage banter and overall congenial attitude.
Indeed, the entire affair is remembered in a favorable light and I look forward to the promise of further gaiety (pun intended) upon the acts returning to our spot on the map sometime in the future.
Thaddeous Thadington III (Keith of "Dialed In")