August 31, 2000 Of all the places I could go to write this column, I wound up back at Brownies for the second time in a row. I went to see the Miracle of '86 and Ultimate Fakebook on August 14th. The buzz on both bands is swelling, so I decided to indulge on quality indie rock.
I'm always skeptical of the indie rock scene because (from my prior experiences) it can seem quite cult-ish. Groups of young kids pouring over all these recently signed bands, devouring not only the music, but inventing some kind of counter-culture to counter all previous cultures. You know the people I'm referring to. The kind that refuse to drink from the Starbucks fountain because it's become too corporate; or they see Tower records as the threshold to eternal damnation, or wear sweaters when it's 80 degrees out.
I'm pretty sure that both the Miracle of '86 and Ultimate Fakebook would rather put on some Billy Idol music and dance with themselves than have to cater to the indie ennui.
The Miracle of '86 drew in a bunch of lads who looked like they were on a spiritual retreat. They were normal, curious, and didn't act like they had an answer to life's trick questions. They came looking for something to point at and connect with, and they just might have found it. Kevin Devine, Chris McAllen, and Joey Martin can assault you with powerful rock riffs and then stroke you with gentle melodic hooks. This band provides a smashing elixir for the empty, sad, and confusing place that empathy can't help but create.
|Ultimate Fakebook|| |
"I've become a pattern. Saying things to say them, doing things to do them.... I need to reevaluate my stance on everything," guitarist Devine sings. "I want to meet a painter who's not pretentious. I want to see a rock and roll that is inventive. I want something, surprise me," he screams.
Normally, folks hang around the bar, afraid to get too close to the stage, but there was a congregation of bodies around M86. The honest, introspective self-examination left the crowd with half-open mouths, glassy eyes, and straining necks. Keep watch for their debut album on Fade Away Records, due out in September.
Next up was Ultimate Fakebook, whose album This Will Be Laughing Week is ready to go home with you right now. The trio, from Manhattan, Kansas (yes, such a place exists), is less focused on emotional identification, and more on living-room rock and roll. I kept thinking of mid-summer house parties where the front door was never closed, and the bathroom was used more for making out than for peeing. The swaggering, slightly affected vocals of Bill McShane work well with his hip-nerd exterior. Big, bald bassist Nick Colby looks like he'd be more inclined to steal McShane's lunch money than start a band with him. But along with drummer Eric Melin, Ultimate Fakebook make pretty rock-and-roll music that the crowd was highly enthused by. I even made out in the bathroom during their set for nostalgic reasons. Just kidding.
| ||Sit n' Spin|
Fast forward to August 26th at Rising Café in Brooklyn. After Moxie's set, Sit n' Spin took the stage and turned the place into a power-pop hoe down. Lots of fearless, dancing lesbians were in attendance. Cool. Check this shit out someone who lived above the Rising Café on the 4th floor actually came down to inform the bartenders that if the noise wasn't cut in half, they were calling the police. What the hell was that all about? You live above a bar, what'd you expect on a Saturday night? The sad thing was the chick that came down to complain couldn't have been over 25. Get some ear plugs, why don'tcha!! Enya don't live here no more!! Sit n' Spin sure as hell didn't keep it down. The four ladies forged ahead with aggressive style and attitude. Rawk and roll.
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More NY Rock Confidential Installments:
by Jeanne Fury:
July '00: Chickfest 2000
by Mistress Persephone:
Apr '00: Joan Jett and Reverend Horton Heat
Feb '00: Elvis tribute at the Continental featuring Mr. Monster, Needlehead, X-Possibles
Dec '99: The Serpenteens
Oct '99: Misfits
by Miss Adena:
Aug '99: Cabaret
July '99: Ancel and the Electric Church
June '99: Tuuli from Toronto rocks CBGB
May '99: The Rise and Fall of Bikini Contest
by Didi Delicious:
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12/04/98: the Misfits
10/19/98: Didi interviews DJ Chumley and DJ Quick
09/01/98: Hellfire '98 (benefit for NY Underground Film Festival) featuring Double Dong and Go-Go Pup
07/28/98: Mad Daddys, Nina Hagen, Blondie
06/04/98: the first annual New York City Tattoo Convention
05/02/98: Didi's S&M Special with Flesh Fetish
03/28/98: No More Tears and Soft Parade
02/27/98: Ace Frehley, Sebastian Bach, Mick Rock, Lenny Kaye, ex-Foreigner Mick Jones, ex-Hanoi Rocks Michael Monroe, the new Max's Kansas City, Joy Ryder, Misstress Formika
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11/29/97-12/11/97: Sexus, Princess Superstar, more
09/19/97-10/26/97: Blowtop, Crazy Raymond & the Watchdogs, more
05/21/97-08/17/97: Toilet Boys, Nashville Pussy, Turbo A.C.s, Waldos, Sisters Grimm, The Independents, more
01/18/97-03/30/97: Sea Monster, Speed McQueen, Bombshell, Dee Dee Ramone, Jayne County, more
09/19/96-12/19/96: Coyote Shivers, The Living Daylights, more
07/23/96-09/09/96: Electric Frankenstein, The Wild Bunch, more
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