Thursday, March 5, 2009

THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS

Posted By on Thu, Mar 5, 2009 at 10:58 AM

I had trouble making sense of things last night. The evening just didn't want to stay linear. Maybe that's what happens when you sandwich your brain between the beers and boom of a Blowout music fest. Or maybe the Majestic complex really has magic in it. I don't understand, and I suppose I just stopped trying.

Like when my friend Nick comes rushing in to the Garden Bowl in a state of wonder and tells me I have to get next door NOW to see Sam Cooke. "These white guys... it's like Motown. Or the Stax Records sound... you've got to see this." Those are persuasive comparisons so I obliged. But what I found (the Wrong Numbers) hurt my brain as much as it stirred my soul, starting with the lead singer's fake chest hair. He was dressed out in like ten layers of irony -- mullet, pencil mustache, a retro jean jacket a few sizes too small --- all capped off with a sleeveless rayon blouse thing unbuttoned to the navel and revealing a black triangle of man fur scribbled onto his chest and stomach with a Sharpie. The triangle wanted to draw me in and I could hardly take my eyes off it. But when I did I noticed that the Hammond player was that guy from the Sights. And the guitarist was Matt Thibodeau, who used to play with Stunning Amazon before he got sick and almost died, and then didn't. Here he was resurrected for my blues entertainment, lanky and bobbling like a ghoulish puppet.

But yeah, Nick was right. The band were killing it.

I'm leaving the Wrong Numbers set when I spot my friend Scott. We have like ten minutes of polite conversation (politely shouted above the sound system) before he deadpans this to me: "I have your Blowout check."

Me: What? What do you mean.

Scott: Some girl here found it in the trash and handed it to me. I thought maybe you threw it away as some kind of hipster gesture.

Me: What the fuck? Are you kidding? I'm broke. Twenty-five dollars is a ton of money to me.

Scott: Ha ha.

Do you see why this might have hurt my brain? First, how did the check get out of my pocket and into the trash. Second, why had the girl who found it handed it to Scott, of all people, who I happen to know but barely. Third... ah, forget it. There are too many levels of strangeness in this.

I'm contemplating the strangeness of this while watching Silverghost. They are all grown up now. I saw their first show a few years (?) ago at the Lager House and I could have sworn there were four of them then, and that the music had more shoegazer sludge in it. But this. This was a different breed of ghost, all sleek and minimal. One woman, one man, one mini Moog synth, one electric guitar, some beats.

I'm thinking, Marcie Bolen was made for this. Not only is her guitar playing super on point, she has the kind of looks that really translate to the stage. I mean, I've seen Marcie around; everybody has. She's a sharp looking woman. But what is it that's appealing about her facial structure from a distance? That's what I'm thinking, only I already know the answer because last week I visited the museum of science at the Cranbrook Institute with my daughter and we looked at a lot of dinosaur exhibits. In one, a replica of a dino babies nest -- instantly fossilized from some cataclysmic event. The plaque drew attention to the large ocular cavities of the tiny dinos and explained how most baby animals have large eyes, which makes them cuter, which gives them a better chance of survival because who wants to kill something so cute? And so I have my answer: I think Marcie looks cute onstage because she has large eyes that look exaggerated with eye liner, and this gives her the look of a very chic, bobbleheaded dino baby. Seriously, she looks like a rock 'n' roll Bratz doll up there.

Silverghost were good.

Where did I put that check?

Did I ever cash out my bar tab?

Why don't they serve food in the cafe after 2 a.m.?

The singer of the Meatmen says he's not a fag and he'll never be. He proves it with a lot of thrusting and ejaculation gestures. Good for him.

Who's driving? Are you driving? Where are my keys?

Tags:

More by Daniel Johnson

Best Things to Do In Detroit

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.