This sent my engine into overdrive, nearly overheating: "oh shit, i've got to be a REAL journalist." This sent me into a manic spiral of research and worry, pre-meditating and zen-like calm. I even considered not going at all. On the way over, my tape recorded decided to crap out, and i was off the hook, was able to attend the show without worry or pressure of being legit.
Night Nurse was playing when i arrived, a very satisfying crunchy death/thrash metal band, crunchy low end that eased my worries, that sent my analytical brain to sleep, let me engage in the flow, the bacchanale, the orgy. This is rock 'n roll, its not devoid of intellect, but its not entirely comprised of it, either. Body and Mind, working together. Night Nurse were the perfect appetizer, easing into the evening, whetting my pallet, eager for more. There was a moment when the singer was the most beautiful woman on earth, goddess personified, feral and hungry and sexy and angry, totally fucking owning it. Unashamed. Beautiful to watch. These guys are relatively new, and are from Portland, so i would recommend seeking them out, if you like blackened crust metal punk.
Terokal up next, a hardcore punk bands, with vocals espanol. The singer seemed like a caged pit bull, down on the floor, pacing, screaming at people. He seems like a person who is used to brawls and possibly knife fights, like he wants people to get into his face, to DO SOMETHING. The band was flailing, vicious, taut as razor wire; and for the umpteenth million time, i was reminded why i like punk rock. These guys meant business.
The Lordy Lords were the worst band that i've had the misfortune to come across in a hot minute; imagine the robots from West World, if they were to start a Misfits cover band. All accessories, no meat on the bone. "So, i hope y'all like Rock 'n Roll," stuttered the singer. Too bad there was none to be found. Avoid this band at all costs.
I had run into my buddy Jefferson "3 Moons" Zurna, propping up a barstool, and we commandeered Plan B's free pool table right before Pierced Arrows took the stage. Working on bank shots and the gentle nudge when they began, and all was right with the world: a dingy night club, REAL rock 'n roll, free pool. There was almost some violence regarding a balked corner shot, shit was talked, alcohol and water was consumed. This is the BEST POSSIBLE SCENARIO to encounter Pierced Arrows. Burning ballads like 'This is the Day' or 'Let it Rain' or the jagged, strung-out metal of 'Paranoia', their music dripped with experience and reality, with implied meaning, gesture and inuendo. All the things that can't be spoken, but which come out when people are watching. They got warmed up and into it, their voices found their unity, somewhere between the tempered notes; it was like a punk rock church service, voices and instruments intertwining in the air; a screaming, singing paean to the night, to saturday night. Fred's guitar was ominous, angsty; Toody's bass playing was fast, frenetic, round and robust, driving into the future at a breakneck speed, common to all the best punk rock bassists.
I am glad that i didn't have to try and pretend to be an honest music journalist, and that i took a day to write to this review. This music is not analytical, if you look at the constituent parts, it falls away, like an engine being reduced to greasy nuts and bolts. Often times, their voices and instruments are ragged and out of tune. Their lyrics, on paper, can read like 70s protest songs. On the way to Plan B, i had entered an irreverent saturation point, ready to kill any idols or buddhas i should happen to meet. Just because you've been making music since the 60s does not automatically ensure you my respect, its not enough on my own. In this day and age, everybody is vying for yr ear time, so many bands. It is up to us to not believe the hype, to be discerning and to trust our judgment, and it is my job, at this site, to be honest about what i hear, think and feel. I will not blow sunshine up anybody's ass. Listening to The Rats (Fred's first band, re-issued on Mississippi Records), Dead Moon, and seeing Pierced Arrows the other night, i got it. I understood; these guys are fucking good. They've been playing together, in Dead Moon and Pierced Arrows, since 1987; i can't fathom how many shows they've played, in how many countries, to still be out slinging their shit on a sat. night for 60 people. They walk the walk, and when you catch them in their element, the air shimmers with the potential power of rock 'n roll: defiance, passion, CONFIDENCE. Living yr life the way you want to, unapologetic. All of this comes through their music, in and out of the pummeling bass and paranoid guitar.
Its a real treat that these dudes live in Portland and you can see them a bunch. Thanks so much to Toody, for getting me into the show.
I'm gonna be interviewing PA in the near future, i'll let y'all know when that comes together.