CHILD ABUSE / GROWING / MICROWAVES @ DEATH BY AUDIO

April 2nd, 2007 |


SATURDAY, MARCH 31: Whew, I’m all worn out. There we were, all of us, dressed like homeless lumberjacks at this new venue, Death By Audio, in Williamsburg (last week’s reader will remember that this is the Silverlake of Brooklyn). Perhaps in celebration of the new venue—one can never be sure—there were like eight bands on the bill, lucky for me and Hee Haw (my roommate and a member of my Peanut Gang; she’s sort of my Linus, and, even though I write this column (me Me ME!) and so you would assume that I would be Charlie Brown, I’m actually more the Lucy of the Group…my buddy Gayseph is more like Charlie Brown…but anyhoo, I digress….) Hee Haw and I can never seem to get out of the house before 11, so we missed Ocrilim, Plotkin/Wyskida and Little Women. I’m not saying, like, “Oh thank the lord I missed those stank-ass bands!” but I’m not like, saying, “Oh thank the lord I saw them!” either.

Child Abuse had just started when we showed up, and, man, they are fucking awesome! They had one of those crazy blinkity-blink lights that makes you feel like you’re about to go blind or have an aneurysm. And that’s exactly what Hee Haw shouted when we walked into the tiny, sweaty concrete room. But you have to understand: this is an aneurysm in like, the best, speediest, craziest, air-guitar, street-construction-drilling-up-the-cement kind of way. Plus the guitarist and singer, Luke, used to be a model in Japan, and when isn’t that worth a couple of chuckles?

Next, Growing went on. They played before this other band, Microwaves, but I had to ask which band was on because I could have sworn after listening to about 10 minutes of Growing’s set that they were Microwaves—based simply on the fact that they sounded how I imagine two microwaves would sound if they were mating underwater. And just as I was getting used to this somewhat horrible noise, they went and flipped their shit on me and played another song that I shall refer to simply as, “the Rock Lobster Song,” not because it follows any melodic resemblance, but because the entire thing sounds like the end of Rock Lobster when Cindy Williams and Kate Pierson scream “Chased by a Dog-Fish! Followed by a Sea Robin!” and mimic the noises of their make-believe sea friends. Except they’re the B-52s, and it’s actually punk rock, and Cindy and Kate are actually shrieking and shrilling and rolling their tongues in a horrible dog-whistle throat yodel. However, I fully recognize the intrinsic value of a band like Growing, and they managed to keep most of the Unabomber-looking crowd from wandering to the “bar” room. So, hey, whadda I know?

So Microwaves, yeah—they’re a bunch of rad old dudes. It struck me during their radastic, pure-on Metallica set that they could totally be yuppies, and I spent some time trying to read their faces for any sign of ownage of Dwell magazine or stainless-steel faucets and a McClaren stroller. But soon I was sucked into their crazy-old-man rock: dudes can shred. By the end of the first song, I was convinced that they really were a bunch of guys who were into metal and probably enjoy fantasy and wizardry and reading and chess. Their MySpace profile says this about them:

In the anti-tradition of white bread Bay Area thrash metal, the violent morass of New York no-wave, and a familiarity with Ralph Records insanity, Microwaves draws from a palette that is somehow as wide as it seems limited. Kuzy spits tonality-impaired riffs like so much chaff from a surgically calibrated tree shredder. MacGregor processes his fretless bass with all manner of effects, often rendering it as more a bowel-rumbling presence than an instrument.

Um—yeah, I don’t know about all that, but sure enough, after their show ended the lead shredder spoke so politely to me about our last act (who I have saved for last) in such an intelligent and almost inaudible tone that I knew I was right; there wasn’t a yuppie among them. Just a band that shoved all its instruments into a nasty van and drove all the way to Brooklyn from Pittsburgh so they could share their music with a bunch of trust-fund brats dressed up like homeless lumberjack Unabombers.

This is all I have to say about the Thrones — I scrawled it furiously into a text I sent to myself last night so I wouldn’t forget; Japanese Kabuki death theatrer lifted up and off the ground by a stoned Pterodactyl flying through a thundering dark night toward day.

Reporting live from New York,
I’m Nikki Darling, and you’re not.