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  SUICIDE w/ The White Lights and Tenth to the Moon  
  The EARL  
  East Atlanta, GA  
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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 great.

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 bad.

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