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Friday I read a post on Friendster from the booking agent for Lenny’s, Bean. He wrote that the fire marshal had paid them a visit so for that Friday they’d have to limit admission to the club’s posted max, 90 people, and only allow 21 & up in the door while the fire marshal made a return visit. We headed over to investigate.
For some unknown reason, they were only allowing people to enter through the back door and there was no reentry once you were inside, but otherwise I couldn’t tell any difference between that and any other night we’d been there. We were early, so the smaller crowd was expected.
Fridays they have “Kiss,” sort of a rock and roll dance party spun up by a fun DJ. But before the pre-recorded rock cranked up we were treated to some live music, courtesy of The Orphins.
I’ve heard this stuff labeled “no wave” a lot lately, perhaps a reference to the fact that nobody knows what to call non-pop rock music these days. (I’m reminded of an interview I did with The Titanics several years ago in which I asked them what they called the garage-rock-sounding stuff they did. “Rock. Just rock,” they answered.) No long ago, the music of The Orphins might have been called “math rock.” It’s got shades of Devo in the uptempo repetitive guitar, and sounds of Sonic Youth in the straining vocals. It’s pretty good stuff.
Next up, Annaray from Athens. They, too, had the modern rock stylings of Sonic Youth with the energy of Nirvana. Either the whiskey I was drinking was kicking in, or these guys were really good. Enjoyed it a lot and would like to see them again. The small-but-growing crowd bopped along, or stood coolly by and contained their enjoyment behind slight smiles. What’s cooler than cool? Being ice cold, apparently. Goddamn, kids, it’s ok to show you like something!
I figured the room had more than 90 people in it, but the fire marshal came through and inspected the joint and apparently had no complaints. He lurked around for a while but I don’t think anything came of it.
It was a strange collection of 90 people too. The youth of today in their battered 1984 Sears fashions mingled with a large group of skinheads in their own counter-culture retro uniforms beside a pack of lesbians at the pool table. And us, the aging hipsters, feeling simultaneously out of place and right at home. Crap, it won’t be long before I’ve been going to that bar longer than some of the younger patrons have been ALIVE.
Last up, Oxford Collapse from New York. Again, shades of Sonic Youth on vocals, accompanied by spastic thrashing around and energetic guitar work, backed by a drummer that plays so fast and consistent that his hands become a solid blur over the high hat. I had to ask him after the set if he was a fan of Joy Division and he nodded enthusiastically. I enjoyed their set so much I picked up the CD for a mere $5 and I hope they come to town again and play to a crowd considerably larger than 90 people. Some of the assembled crowd were fans familiar enough with their tunes to yell out requests between songs, so apparently I’m behind the curve these days. But hey, if this is what the kids are into these days the kids are alright.

It's funny, but it'd be funnier if it didn't hurt to read at the same time:

In other news, we got this from degenerate AG:
Welcome back to the States. Georgians Opposed to Prohibition is screening a
new film on what to do if police pull you over or want to search you, and
we're debuting it during a party at the IAG Jan. 31. We're hosting the
party in conjunction with Dance Safe and Rock the Vote. You can find more
info here:

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