Thursday, May 09, 2002

Rock Shows of Note XVII
Another fine installment in the Handstand Command anniversary residency at the Abbey last night. Thanks to everyone who came -- especially all the people we didn't know, the people who danced and cheered us on, and the people who stuck around to see who the super-secret special guest was.

We had to rejigger the lineup a little because the super-secret special guest had to work last night and couldn't get to the Abbey in time for their scheduled slot. But it all worked out well. Asian Babe Alert, a wonderful garagey duo comprising Tom from the Anchormen and Leslie, celebrated Asian-American and Asian-Pacific-American History months, as well as Mother's Day with a raucous set full of aggressive guitar, Tom's charmingly hoarse singing, and Leslie's unbridled enthusiasm slamming on the drums and singing. They surprised me with a solid cover of the Anchormen song "Moon Face."

Next up, the Anchormen. Oh, did we have fun. In our announcement for the show, we said that we'd spend 30 minutes insulting each other, and we basically did. Chris wasn't as acerbic as he normally is, but he took a lot of pokes at me (like when I wanted to play a song we'd already played again because I like it so much), and the rest of us ganged up on Tom at one point. I think we played a more assertive set than we usually do, erring on the side of our rockier numbers and playing only one of what Emily calls our "girl songs." My glasses kept flying off of my face, people were bopping along up in front, and one girl was even kind of singing along or cheering. Awesome to see so many people we don't know in the audience. Thanks again to everyone who came, especially the girl who said hello right after the set and the guy who'd just moved here and was into socialism and anarchism. The audience rocked.

I'd never heard the Count Me Outs before, but I was familiar with Hilken because of her work with Punk Rock Aerobics. They're fun and garagey, and they wear home and away T-shirts for their shows. The home shirt, which is reserved for Boston-area shows, sports dark blue (or black) sleeves, and the away shirts have orange sleeves. I particularly appreciated Mark's singing and Hilken's guitar playing and hair flipping. Fun!

Last up, the super-special secret guest: Mr. Airplane Man, which we couldn't promote because they're playing tonight as part of the WBCN Rumble. I'd also never heard them play live before other than one of their street busking performances on Harvard or Central square. And you know what? I wasn't that psyched about their set. I like the general idea, two women playing energetic, authentic blues rock, but I didn't really get into them last night. Maybe they were saving themselves for the stage tonight. Maybe I was finally fading, given that I'd only slept a little bit flying back on the red eye from San Diego.

Our friend Roland Ouellette was there shooting photos, so perhaps some images will be available in the near future. Happy birthday, Handstand Command. Happy birthday to you.

Meanwhile, across town, our friends' band Spoilsport played at the Midway in JP. "We had a very sparse crowd, but we were told the sound/mix was the best we ever had," Craig reports. "We had fun, so I guess that's the important thing."

Indeed. Fun is an important thing.

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