Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Rock Shows of Note XXXII
I didn't think I'd make it to Jef and Dave's Plunge into Death show last night at O'Brien's, but having met Kendra for drinks after work at Bukowski's, I was already on the Green Line, on the right line (B), and almost all the way there, so I decided to check it out. After all, Jef said they played first, so I could still get home relatively early.

They didn't play first. They played third. But I am super happy I went because all of the bands -- all! -- were absolutely amazing. First up, Tunnel of Love, who are slated to play with the Anchormen at the Abbey in early September. A duo comprising a shirtless drummer and guitarist wearing matching athletic shorts and striped leggings, Tunnel played a spastic set of raucous garage rock that was quite energetic and enjoyable. Andy kept kicking over the microphone stand, and a friend stood near the front to pick it back up every single time. I'm jazzed that we're playing with them. It'll be a lot of fun.

Second up was X27, a garagey three-piece from Chicago. Reminding me of Math, early Scissor Girls, and other Chicago no-wave bands that predated the post-rock scene, X27 was also extremely spazzy. The guitarist undulated like he had no spine, pulling tortured, syncopated skronk sounds from his guitar as the drummer -- whose kit was outfitted with a piece of sheet metal instead of a cymbal -- stood in the back of the band. The boy-girl vocals were rare but well-timed, and the song with the line "feeling asthmatic" stuck in my craw. Awesome!

Jef and Dave's ever-name-changing project Plunge into Death (at least for last night) was next up. It took them quite awhile to set up the stage with the monster boombox, CD beats, keyboard, and guitar, but it was worth the wait. Jef played his guitar with two bottles while singing backup to Dave's new-wave goth lead, and they pulled some favorites out of their hats. The Pac-Man sample song won the crowd over, and they added some new gimmicks. Jef placed the robotic Godzilla on the keyboard so its roaring noise fed through the amplifier, and Dave reached across the stage with a coiled semi truck antenna to play the guitar occasionally. One dark spot was the song in which Dave rants about turning off cell phones and pagers. It seems he lost the original sample CD they used to the vocal track on that number, and it's difficult to replicate the disembodied, inhuman voice that laid such an interesting foundation to the original version. Plunge into Death added a nice, slower side to the so-far rock-and-stomp show.

Lastly, 25 Suaves, which used to call Somerville home but now hail from Michigan. Another wonderful garage-rock two-piece comprising a drummer and a guitarist, the Suaves ended the night on a high note. I think they played the Misfits' "We Are 138," and they covered "Saturday Night" with punch and panache. Glad they came back to town.

I caught a cab home from Allston around 12:30, having spent much of the night SMS'ing with Coco. I called her when I got home, and we talked until the sun started to lighten the sky. So I'm a little tired today.

No comments: