I love seeing bands play at The Beale on South Avenue, as they shoehorn themselves onto the windowsill the restaurant calls a stage. I braved the ass-chapping cold this past Thursday to catch Genesee Johnny and the River Rats. The last time I remember seeing Johnny, it was solo, foot-stompin' Delta style with a cross-section of Muddy Waters and Mississippi John Hurt and so on. It was the same thing this time around, except Johnny had a band this time around to stomp and flesh out the man's finger-picked, lo-fi slide and electrified country blues.
As it was also Son House night at the joint, musicians got up to add to the jam, including Washboard Dave. Dave's rag-tag assembly of pots and pans and assorted cymbals and things that he whacks at with thimble-covered fingers gave the show the feel of a garage sale come to life.
Friday night was a blast at Abilene -- unless you were under 6'5". The Hi-Risers completely sardined the joint to the delight to those who could jockey for a look-see, and all who could hear. I imagine the crowd was no big deal for guitarist Greg Townson as he just returned from a gig in Mexico City with Los Straitjackets where the band drew 50,000 rabid fans. That's 50,000, baby.
It's hard to get out to get down on a cold Monday night, but thankfully I did just that to catch one of the best shows I've seen in a long, long time. Pennsylvania punkers Moistboyz packed Lovin' Cup and painted the walls with the enthusiastic crowd's brains. It was an incredibly tight set of angry, breakneck sing-along, anthem-esque rock.
Shirtless singer Dickie Moist -- a la Henry, a la Iggy -- was a tantrum personified as he seethed and raged and wallowed about the stage, all the while defiantly chain smoking cigarettes. The band, which also included guitarist Dean Ween (Ween) and bassist Nick Oliveri (Queens of the Stone Age), played tight and furious, without overshadowing its reckless energy, false starts and all. And with MDG at the board the sound was incredibly big and loud. It made me moist...