Friday, March 02, 2012

Blown Away on a Birthday

Frank gives Ted a birthday gift by V'ron
Frank gives Ted a birthday gift, a photo by V'ron on Flickr.
OK, just as I get done ranting about how nobody really wants to play on their birthday, Ted Jorin decides he not only wants to play, but play in two bands. So last Saturday night, a last minute addition to an already garage-y, psychedelic, surfing, and repeat, garage lineup resulted in one of my favorite new finds of the season. The original lineup was Dr Chow (if you're tired of reading about them, understand that I have a vested interest in their success) and the Dick Satan Trio, who have evolved into a really dangerously great surf quartet. Even House of Hamburg proprietor Timmy O'Keefe was blown away.

But let's back up a bit. The night started with a blistering high energy garage set from The Northside Creeps, which were basically the Dick Satan rhythm section (Ted and "Kip Satan") and Ted's brothers. Great, punchy guitar-driven blues pop songs that would have made it onto any Pebbles/Nuggets compilation, delivered by guys who look like the Beau Brummels and sound like the Chocolate Watch Band. I could not tear myself away from a set that included rants, ballads, and really solid sweaty songwriting. Ted later explained to me how this relatively new band sounded so tight: the songs are some 10 years old. And one of the brothers is living in Kentucky; he's just in for the weekend so they slammed together a rehearsal and came up with the freshest thing I've heard in a long time. Problem is, given the distance here, a local show from these guys is going to be a rare thing indeed, and that's a bummer. We could use some snappy new garage in this town to blow us away.

Then the younger brothers Jorin put down their axes and the older "Brothers Satan" plug in and jump into some strange, sinful garage before Ted, in his birthday exuberance, blows out his bass amp. How the hell do you blow up a bass amp? And of course, Dr Chow's Joe Polizzi, was nowhere to be found. Figures. The one night he doesn't show up early and we need to borrow his bass amp. And I say "we" because I needed to hear what was promising to be the best Dick Satan set yet. Those devils were amped up. Fortunately he arrived, giant ass bass amp literally in tow, and was really cool about it. And Dick Satan delivered on their promise -- best set I've seen yet. Very tight, messing with stops and breaks, like an unexpected wave crashing into the breakwaters and pilings before washing up on shore. Rick Satan keeps the precision going, Dick, the effective rhythm, and Artie Christ (Ted's nom d'demon) has really learned how to play the garage/surf bass.

Not to fear, Dr Chow's had to follow Voot Warnings, and they can follow this. Sometimes I don't know how Frank does it. How does he not only work up all the energy, but keep it so fresh each time? I've heard these songs a hundred times, and every time, Frank manages to make 40 year old tunes sound like they were just written. And Ted was in glee, sitting up in front, drinking it all in and getting blown away. See Ted? You don't wanna play on your birthday. You wanna just take it in. (But I'm glad you did.)

Allright, who's throwing a band birthday party for themself next?

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