New Earplugs for some new bands
|More energy in three minutes: Windpipe|
I was all set to stay on the South Side and go see the Six Wives of Richard at Frank's Power Plant when I looked in my "events" portion and remembered at the last minute that Aluminum Knot Eye was playing at the Circle A. they're a favorite, and I haven't seen them in YEARS. I though I could hit the Circle A show, and then be down to the South Side in time to catch the Six Wives. I'd had a very stressful week at work and I wanted -- make that NEEDED - to hear three badass broads belt out the Ace of Spades, but I didn't want to miss Aluminum Knot Eye, either. Oh, what to do?
Well, I tried both. At the Circle A, there was an opening band, a quartet out of Green Bay called Windpipe that, at first, I was annoyed at existing, because the Six Wives were going on 930/10ish and if Aluminum Knot Eye wasn't even going to go on until 9ish, there's a conflict. Three songs in, (as well as those aforementioned high end filters) and all my conflict melted away. Since they were opening for Aluminum Knot Eye, I didn't know what to expect: were they going to be dissonant? Were they going to be punk? Were they going to be secretly amazing musicians that obviously listened up in high school jazz band (or the equivalent) and blow me away musically? I ask because you can ask these same questions in the form of "Which Aluminum Knot Eye are we going to get tonight."
|Aluminum Knot Eye|
As it was, Aluminum Knot Eye didn't get on stage until something like 920, which meant I was good for three songs. They were on top of their game, and this night's version (at least the part I heard) was less about destruction and more about cynical rage. Like Windpipe, that punk veneer belies the fact that underneath the volume and the rage, there's tight, controlled musicianship driving this outfit. As I've only seen Windpipe once, I can't say if the Green Bay band can match AKE for versatility in approach-- it's like I've never seen the same "version" of AKE twice. It's the same guys in the band, they play the same songs, but how they're going to come off is always the 64,000 dollar question. And, that's why I'm a fan.
|Six Wives of Richard|
Honestly, it wasn't as loud as four full cabinets and three amplifiers in a small club would suggest. As I'd noted that night, the overall effect was that of living next to a train yard, and hearing that sub sub sub bass rumbling as the locomotive engines idled. Except bass player Aaron Wells plays a lot faster than a train waiting for decoupling. Like Windpipe, they were tight, but these guys were more obviously punk, from the near-constant shit eating grin on drummer's Derrick Cook's face to the equally animated stage presence of Wells. They were less rage and more outrage (and both were great.) Remod actually had quiet moments, and despite the lack of a higher ranged instrument, had plenty of melody and hooks to keep one interested for an entire set. Actually, I wouldn't have minded more than their 40 minutes. They sang, they screamed, they even switched instruments for a bit, and Wells turned that sub sub sub bass sound into a lead instrument that even had me humming along.
Both the out-of-towners were happy additions to a full night of music and reminded me that I have to quit just going to see tried and true acts like AKE and the Six Wives. Both Remod and Windpipe have that midwestern punk ethos that pushes them to keep playing and drive four hours to play a 40 minute set for maybe 50 bucks at the door. I don't know how they do it, but I'm glad they came to Milwaukee, and I hope they'll both be back, and I'm glad I had my new earplugs with me.