April and May 1997 Live Reviews
Live reviews of shows in April 1997 Including PANSY DIVISION, PLEASURE FUCKERS, CRETIN 66, THE Impotent Sea Snakes, SLIPKNOT, U.S. BOMBS, 30 FOOT FALL & VICTIM's ANONYMOUS
Pansy Division - 4/9/97
APRIL 9th 1997
ALL IOWA AIDS BENIFITS
@ Safari Nite Club
This was a big deal for me because it was a chance to give a little back to the people so to speak and we did raise a fair amount of AIDS money.
I can't remember who the opening band was. All I can remember was they were from Sioux City and they were really artsy.
OK let's clear up something that some of you may or may not know about. Boris the Sprinkler had this date first but when Pansy offered to do a benifit and to drop their $$$$$$, I called Norb and asked if they would drop their's too. Norb said "no", and somehow (god It could have been something I said I don't know), Norb took this as Pansy Division not wanting to play with them (They weren't thrilled but they were more then willing). OK it's a benefit to make money for AIDS and the amount that Norb wanted (an amount they are more then worth)(god there's almost enough() to be one of his columns in MRR) would have cut too much into the $$$$$$ going to AIDS. So I dropped them. Norb took this (quite entertaining as usual) that the Lookout is evil a thing he's had going on for sometime. As far as I know there is no ill will from either side and I think it's more of a joke then anything.
With that out of the way now and forever, Pansy Division came out and did their witty set of Gay but still not pushy set. In this day and age of militant everything, they are a breath of fresh air with their no one's right but then again everyone is right. Their sound is a bit on the soft side almost hitting on Folk and 70s Pop but these guys do know how to get a point across with humor and straight to the point (no pun intended) style that gained my respect. Their deal is we're gay and we're gay and we're gay but we're gay and this is how our life is and we don't care what your sexual thing is at all. The crowd was mixed and everyone enjoyed themselves and they kept us all laughing with songs like "Horny In the Morning", "Dick of Death", and "Vanilla".
ISS / Slipknot - 4/17/97
APRIL 17th, 1997
IMPENITENT SEA SNAKES & SLIPKNOT
21 & [email protected] Safari Nite Club
O.K., I thought, "Five drag queens and a bunch of other freaks running around doing S&M type things how could this not work." Of course the people from ISS were prety much assholes but I did make money....
First up was local heroes SlipKnot. SlipKnot is a square peg that does not fit right into any of the round hole music types. They throw metal, industrial, a little punk, funk, rap, r&b and hard rock together then throw on masks, set up three sets of drums and a piece of metal and bits of this and that and start banging on things. They are a show not just a band but a show and music in equal parts. They used to call themselves construction rock and that fits them to a degree but at the same time they tend to keep throwing curve balls at you. I really don't care for their music though, it isn't what gets me off but if it was I'd love this band and more then likely would have done my best to be in this band. Their intro for the night was circus music and the clown being escorted on stage by two off duty cops on a two-wheel cart. One of the things that strikes me about this band is the way they explode and destroy the stage in perfect control. They make the place burn in new ways. Now if they just did music I liked.........
Next up was ISS and they started off with scenes form Alice in Wonderland and flash pots. OK the first thing you notice is not only are they five of the ugliest drag queens you've ever seen but that they are five of the ugliest drag queens you've ever seen and play music that really isn't that good. I know that they are trying a Dolls type thing but there sure as hell wasn't no Johnny Thunders on that stage that night. Unlike SlipKnot that could let their music stand on it's own and still pull it off, ISS needs the girl being tied to the ceiling and flogged, the girl that lets this guy use a grinder on her g-string, and to pull a tampon out of one of their pants and then squeeze it into the mouths of those in attendance. The only song that was even worth thinking of listening too was "MX missile up Your Ass". If it was a TV show I would have hit Mute. Oh yeah by the way for those that don't know they like to also call the cops on themselves. Not a bad show overall.
Afterwards the members of ISS's "show" they hit everyone up for drugs. We left and went home.
Pleasure Fuckers - 4/19/97
APRIL 19th, 1997
THE PLEASURE FUCKERS
21 & [email protected] Safari Nite Club
The night started out with a Bar-B-Que and Nashville Pussy cancelling. Food good/cancel bad. So we ate and waited for the show to start. I had heard so much about these crazy fuckers from Spain and had of course all the records, so tonight would be a big night of Rock-N-Roll with the added fuzz of the Cretin 66.
Cretin 66 hit the stage and broke the windows with their fuzz driving pounding MC5 sound. They hail from KC and really are a joy to see. They did Break Out Windows, Mother Fucking Rock-N-Roll, Stuff Your head in the Garbage Disposal(I believe that's the name) and their MC5 covers. This is a band that grabs you by the throat and the shakes some sense into ya.
After much delay and waiting, on stepped the Mighty Spaniards, The Pleasure Fuckers. With the announcement "All the way from Madrid Spain it's Julio Iglesias." they busted into 'Feels Like a Woman' and ripped the place apart. They kept the crowd jumping with greats like 'Captain Igloo'," Sexy French Motherfucker', "Snakebite" and 'Hard Morrow Comin''. Then due to the time were driven off stage leaving everyone wanting more.
After the show and picking up liquor we headed to Brian's to drink and eat more meat. We spent the night talking with The 6 foot 3 power house Cory from Nashville Pussy while being entertained by Kike's French chef impression's and him running around with a Buddha statue yelling "Oi! Oi! I skinhead, burn down your house." All the while Norah lay on the floor teasingly swaying her nylon clad, perfect gams (god I still have a thing for that girl) till I decided at 5am it was time to go home.
U.S. Bombs! / 30ft Fall - 4/26/97
APRIL 26th, 1997
30 FOOT FALL & VICTIM's ANONOYMOUS
ALL AGES @ Safari Nite Club
Now, I was looking forward to this show for sometime and they had or should I say that Mike Kelly (the booker with one testicle, a wife who's a prostitute and a 2 year old kid named Darby that takes shits on the dinning room floor while your on the phone with him.) cancelled their show in January. So to say that I was hyped to see these guys is an understatement. We cooked Bar-B-Q and ate beforehand with the guys and started hitting the Guinness about 4:30pm.
First up was our pals from Sioux City Victims and these guys are no more, and greatly missed. They may have been the tightest high energy band to come out of Iowa in years. straight ahead and to the point with the stage barely holding them in place.
Next up was 30Ft Fall the Fearless Records band from Texas. They are a lot of things including a little Guttermounth and a little Vandals mixed with their own thing. they bummed out the gutter punks with the quite funny slams. Including a version of "Punk Rocks in Your Head" That included the line "You got all the right Crass patches". The gutters sulked in the back while the rest of us enjoyed Butch's spinning and hopping and the a pack of fin numbers like "Urine Nation", "Bad Hair Day Punx", The Billie Joel cover "Still Rock 'N Roll To Me", my request "Feel Like Morrissey" and a version of the Billy Idol"s "Dance with Myself" that included doing a little of Korn, Rancid, Green Day, Off Spring, Metallica and a slede of others.
Pound for Pound, Round for Round, The main Event: The U.S. Bombs. They hit the stage with Duane exploded and in true punk fashion busting out all the greats from their Bomp releases. By the time the hit the stage I was well past the point of caring as they swallowed me whole into the power of what they have. For the first time in years a band made me dance not by asking but just by playing. If you haven't seen these guys or bought the record leave 'cause if your that foolish you shouldn't even be reading this in the first place.
After they played we kicked the kids out and ate and drank more while listening to Duane talk about everything under the sun. This guy has done a great deal (Pro Skater, fronted a number of punk band, and may very well have been the first skate punk) in his life and the thing that comes across is that he's the real deal. I also kicked back and talked about the good old days with Kerry Martinez. The Rejects played that night and Duane kept saying,"I'm gonna fuck that little boy in the shiny pants"(about Joey) and then passed out in front of the door to the club and when I asked if he was OK and he covered his ears and said,"This music is scaring me!"(about Junk Poet). After carrying Duane to the van we got more beer and headed to Brian's and sat up with Kerry and Dave from Victim's tell 6am.
You know whenever things go wrong at shows, like the band not showing or being assholes or there's 10 people there, I just think about this night and remember why I was promoting in the first place. Not only for the kids but to meet and get to know great people like these.
Live reviews of shows in May 1997 Including BORRIS THE SPRINKLER, AT THE DRIVE-IN, PEECHEES, DRAGS, THE HUMPERS, THE LEAVING TRAINS, RADIO CAROLINE, NIL8, IMPALER, ARTICAL DEBRIS, SOCAIL DISTORTION, RED 5 & AUTOMATIC 7
Borris the Sprinkler / At the Drive-In - 5/3/97
MAY 3rd, 1997
BORRIS THE SPRINKLER
AT THE DRIVE-IN
All [email protected] Safari Nite Club
OK this was one of those shows I was looking forward to. I had seen Boris play Iowa City in the fall and just loved that whole Dickies-like sound and stage show. I had heard much about At the Drive-In and the CD really didn't do it for me at first but I was in for a little surprise.
There was some Ska show before hand and all I remember was not really digging the whole moon-ska thing. So by the time ATDI hit the stage I was about to fall asleep. They jumped into their first song and put all trays in the upright position. The club went from 0 to 60 in 1.5 seconds. They play a combo of I guess you call it emo but with a great deal of darker emotions. To say they explode on stage would be a bit of an understatement. Jumping, twisting and ripping with Spanish style pantomime dance, that tells the story that hides between the lines of the lyrics from beginning to end. Easy to say that by the end of their set they were my new favorite band.
Rev Norb and the boys hit the stage next with their fast pace power Dickies like punk. Sure they're sloppy, sure they have dumb costumes, sure Norb is a geek, sure their songs are dumb but that's what makes them stand out. They brought out the old and the new and made their bathroom and PBR jokes. All the while Norb spinning on one foot and adjusting the helmet.
Humpers / Leaving Trains - 5/9/97
MAY 9th, 1997
THE LEAVING TRAINS
& RADIO CAROLINE
All Ages @ Safari Nite Club
OK is there one out there that doesn't know who the Humpers are? If so leave cause you missed the boat. The night before the show Mark called and asked if I could put him up and I sent him to Brain's. He came in early with Cory from Nashville Pussy and we spent the night talking and drinking and catching up.
Radio Caroline opened the show. They are by far the loudest band in Des Moines. A good mix of Stone like Rock and Roll and southern rock. This may have been the first time I have ever seen them sober which makes a hell of a big difference. I listened out back while eating BBQ and damn did they sound good.
This was not the first time I have seen the Leaving Trains. The first time was way the fuck back in 87 or 88 at the URW hall. I think it was the Fuck the World Tour. They were like 3 hours late and we had to sit through 2 hours of the Hollowmen (pure hell) to see them. I remember being so happy by the time they showed, that they could have sucked and I still would have thought they were the greatest band on earth. So when Eric Stone(Alone Booking) told me that the Humpers were touring with them I almost wet my pants. To add to this, their dummer is Mad Dog from the old Hollywood band the Controlers. She's been knocking around Hollywood playing with everyone since around 78. James came out and proved that a guy doesn't need to be pertty to wear a dress and worked through a set of songs that could only come from the trash filled streets and clubs of Hollywood and downtown LA.
Then came the main event. Of course, not on time. Mainly because Mark over slept and we had to call Brian's mom and have her wake him up. There was talk of kicking him out by Billy and Scott but nothing came of it. The last delay was Billy couldn't get his guitar case open. So at around 8:27, they set the club a blaze with Plastique Valentine and went on attempting manslaughter with Make-up, Mutate with Me, Wake up and Lose, Sarcasmatron and Apocalypse Girl. I had to wave them off stage 8:55(this was an all age show and the law states that anyone under 21 must be outside the bar by 9pm). Leaving everyone wanting and wishing for more but that's showbiz.
NIL8 / Impaler - 5/11/97
MAY 11th, 1997
& ARTICAL DEBRIS
ALL AGES @ Safari Nite Club
Every once and awhile, you get a bunch of bands that don't fit, bugging you for a date. This was one of those dates. I think Ames' 35" Mudder played this show too. Their a Rage Against Machine rip off and are pretty much lame and boring. Artical came on and proved once again they need to work on getting better but weren't half bad.
Impaler is a metal band and was a bit of a joke for me to put them on this date. They needed a routing date back from Lawrence so I booked them as a favor to Brad. They used to be a big deal opening for all the big metal bands in the 80s. They have all kinds of props and stuff like the Chain mike stand and all that cheese stuff. They did a stripped down show with a few flash pots and some 80s metal. I just sat at the bar and laughed away.
NIL8 is no more and that is really too bad. They had their own sound which in the day and age is rare. They take Punk and sprinkle in funk, rap and metal. They pull it off cause they stay with the root. The lyrics are very witty and inventing and their stage presence is such that it has a comic feel too it. I had seen them a number of times before but never really connected with them until that show. They give you the feel of sitting and watching old reruns on TV with the sound turned down. All the while there's this guy with Dreads hopping and telling all these stories in rhythm to the stereo. They lead us through Land of the Lost, Dominatrix, Blood on the Saddle, Old MacDonald's Straight Edge Dilemma and Zombie Slut.
Peechees / Drags - 5/19/97
MAY 5th, 1997
& THE DRAGS
All [email protected] Safari Nite Club
I really didn't know how the kids would react to this one and it turned out they didn't understand it but couldn't help but enjoy it. This is the day I went out and bought Tito my Iguana. So we set up his cage and played with him while waiting for the show to start.
The Drags are a kinda Cramp like band with that even mix of Rock-a-billy/Phyco-billy, Surf and Garage. Lots of fuzz ale Cramps. Hell, they even did Midwest Monster. For effect the had police lights going the whole time for that whole drag strip experience.
I think from the first time I heard The Peechees CD "Do the Math", there was no question, these guys and dolls have something. Rough guitar and whinny arty vocals in that garage way that I like. They started out with a large flag draped across the front of the stage and then dropped it and went into Pepper, then moved through a set of hits like Do the Math, Beer City and I could Have Loved You while Bob and Carlos did these choppy movements to the beat of the song. Meanwhile Christopher did a crazy dance and belted out the story with Molly who by the way is the best female drummer I had seen next to Mad Dog (The Leaving Trains) kicked out the engine pace. Even with a few equipment problems they held their own.
Social Distortion - 5/23/97
MAY 23rd, 1997
& AUTOMATIC 7
ALL AGES @ Safari Nite Club
This was and still is to this day the biggest show I've ever promoted. My day began around 11am with load in. You see SD tours with it's own PA. Think of it, you tear down the house system and then load in a large system and set it up and then tear it down load it out all in one day. All you've heard about Mike Ness being an asshole and hard to work with isn't true. Of course, him hanging out in the bus all day helps. We sold 500 advance for this show and had at least another 50 or 70 that either sneaked in or worked the show. The joint was packed to the point where dew collected on the walls from all the sweating. SD's rider asked for Solvent Green (you'll only get it if you've seen the movie Solvent Green. Remember "Solvent Green is People.") and I had Shawn running around town looking for Solvent Green for about a week before the show.
Automatic 7 opened with their kinda early SD sound. I watched about 3 or 4 songs and they were quite good but I really didn't have the time to check them out properly. They did do a cover of The Clash's White Man in Hammersmith Palias in which they screwed up the lyrics a little but no the less a good cover.
I don't remember much of Red Five other then they had a girl in the band. I wasn't really that impressed but maybe if I wouldn't have been all stressed out I would have dug them.
Now for Social Distortion, They gave everyone what they came for. Playing for close to an hour and a half. A little of the Mommy stuff like Telling them, 1945, and Mommy's Little Monster. A little of the Epic stuff to round the set out with Ball and Chain, Story of My Life, Bad Luck, and Don't Drag Me Down. Most of the time they were playing I was busy running around checking on the crowd outside and all those fun promoter things like answering the same questions over and over. I did enjoy what I saw and heard.
After the PA was loaded out, we all sat in the back and patted each others backs. We had no fights, no one had gotten on stage (the only club up till then that had done that on that tour) and we did something no one said we could do. Shows like that can kill you if you let it.