This promised to be a strange night, and it
started out wierd right from the get-go. The first act was Tenth
to the Moon, who are apparently a Pineal Ventana side-project.
They were a noise band: strange sounds and screaming. Keyboards
drove the music, and there were odd drum machine bits used to
add percussion. The band members wore lab coats, which made
them seem like a Man ... Or Astroman? influenced act. (I guess
MOAM have ruined labcoats for everyone.)
At any rate, they cranked out 30 minutes of wierd, aggressive,
elctro music. Reference points were Skinny Puppy, early Cabaret
Voltaire, and to some degree Devo. It was interesting to say
the least. The wierd thing is, people were really getting into
it. Tenth to the Moon got lots of applause, and a free CD-R
they stacked on the merch table was gone in minutes.
I suppose that they were the perfect opening band for Suicide,
in that they played a similar kind of music. And of course,
i am sure that some of the applause was from their friends.
At any rate -- i enjoyed them. That was exactly what i came
to this show to see.
Which is more than i can say about the next act: The White
Lights. I dunno if i have dissed these people here on EvilSponge
before, so i am going to do it now. Man, i hate garage rock.
I mean, i like the Velvet Underground okay and all, but really
people -- there were albums released after White Light/White
Heat, and some of them are even good!
Now, this was The White Lights last show -- band members are
moving away to greener pastures, so in a way they were the main
attraction tonight. And they did seem to have a lot of fans.
Of course, as they were performing i noticed that a large number
of their fans were guys who spent the entire performance starting
at the lead singers short skirt. I wonder how much of the "success"
this band recieved was due to her general sex-appeal? It certainly
wasn't due to originality, because the band really had none.
In all fairness though, none of them were bad musicians.
Anyway, they are gone now and i will never have to endure them
again. On this night, they played FOREVER. They even did a couple
of encores. Ugh.
When they finally ended and tore down their gear, Suicide set
up. There's only two of them, and one of them only sings, so
their show started pretty quickly. And let me say that they
look old. Really old. I mean, sure, they are from the late 70's,
but i really thought that they looked awfully rough -- more
than i would have suspected. I mean -- Wire
didn't look that old, and Pere
Ubu didn't look that rough. So i dunno -- i guess that's
New York City living for you....
Anyway, despite their somewhat geriatric appearance, they did
indeed rock it out quite nicely. They are a keyboard band, with
Alan Vega singing, screaming, posing, and dancing about looking
menacing. (No, really. The guy had this creepy "i want to dismember
you and eat your innards" sort of grin that he would shine down
on the audience. Eerie.) Meanwhile Martin Rev is standing at
his keyboards, looking like he is made of sticks held together
by a black turtleneck, grinning like a fool, and pounding away
at the keys.
I have some old Suicide stuff on vinyl, and i have enjoyed
it. Back in the 70's, no one had yet connected electronic music
with dance beats, so Suicide made grating, noisy, keyboard music.
However, for what they played tonight they have gone back and
added thumping rave beats behind their tunes. Not that they
have become a progressive trance band, but rather the drum machine
was more prevalent in the sound i heard here than it is on their
albums. And for the most part, it really worked. The tunes were
toe-tappingly good, and the pace of the music really kept the
crowd going. On the downside, i thought that the drum beat and
faster-pace they added to Ghost Rider (which was covered
by REM, and is probably Suicide's most famous tune) detracted
from the tension of the original. But, otherwise things were
On the whole, i enjoyed Suicide's set. They were very fun,
and they kept a decent crowd at The EARL until after 2 AM. Not