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Judi Chicago
The Earl
July 2008

Text and photos by Frederick Noble

I spotted this bit of graffiti in the Krog tunnel on my way to meet EM. The Krog tunnel features some of the city's best graffiti. Sure, there is the lame, indecipherable, artless tagging, but there are some amazing murals and important political statements as well.

About every other week we find ourselves at The Earl for dinner and a show. The food is always good, the drinks are reasonably priced, they book good local and touring acts and the sound quality is often the best in town (thanks to the magic fingers of Curt Wells.) If I lived within walking distance I'd be even more of a regular (and broke, and an alcoholic.)

In back, a couple of DJ's spun some interesting tunes of wide variety before and between acts. Alas, I did not get the DJs' names but I enjoyed their selection.

 

Meanwhile, the stage was practically covered in equipment. The headlining act, Noot d'Noot, brings a lot of folks, each with multiple instruments. When added to Judi Chicago's gear there was barely room for people on stage.

I'd heard a Judi Chicago tune on the radio (Album 88, I think) and enjoyed it, and I'd seen the name around town a lot lately so I was curious. I was already amused when they stepped on stage in some interesting outfits, one guy in a helmet and carrying a key-tar.

They cranked up some backing tracks/loops/sound effects, fast, energetic electropop kinda stuff, then began rapping with a distinctly English accent, immediately reminding me of The Streets, but considerably faster and more "let's get this party started"-ish.

(I'm sure there's a better adjective for it, but over the many years of my collegiate career I majored in computer science, math, physics, business, art education and sculpture. Maybe next time it'll be English, literature and/or journalism.)

 

But soon the lead singer abandoned the guitar, and bit by bit his suit, to dance and sing in the midst of the crowd. They were trying hard to get folks moving but it was early and they didn't have enough devoted fans, so the crowd was slow to respond.
Which was too bad, because Judi Chicago pumped out very danceable music, often with actual instruments like guitar or saxophone, sometimes with the help of members of Noot d'Noot for added percussion.
But the end of a very energetic set, more of the crowd had begun to move to the beat. These guys really should've gone on last, regardless of who the headline act is. It's perfect late night drunken dance party music.

EM wasn't feeling so good so we had to skip Vagina Jenkins and headliners Noot d'Noot, but they're all local acts so we'll get the chance to catch them again soon, I'm sure. Noot d'Noot just put out their first CD as well, so if you like funky grooves check it out.


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