Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Jesika von Rabbit and Demon Lung at the Bunkhouse, Tuesday July 26, 2016

It's not easy to get out mid-week for this old man, but every once in a while I manage to do it and am rewarded with a fun night. This evening promised to be an early show and my old pal Lee Joseph (Yard Trauma, the Unclaimed, The Tommyknockers, Outsideinside and innumerable other bands) was playing so I had to make the effort.

Although the festivities did not start quite as early as was (ambitiously) advertised, we got there in time to catch the openers, Demon Lung. I wasn't familiar with this heavy metal combo, but they laid down a loud'n'heavy foundation for the female singer to wail over. I can't say that I am a connoisseur of modern doom metal, but the players and vocalist were all strong and this led to an interestingly different beginning for the evening.

Lee is now in a duo with Jesika von Rabbit (Gram Rabbit), using her name for the project name, continuing with the new(ish) Joshua Tree experimental/psych/electropop/what-have-you movement. Here Jesika plays keys/drum machine/samples and sings while Lee adds a noisy low end with his fuzz bass. I'm not sure what the preferred musical label would be (if there is one) for their style of electro-noise-pop, but there are multiple layers to the sounds, though usually backed with a techno-dance beat.

There is a strong performance art direction to the group, with two female dancers who would appear in various outfits throughout the set. Of course, Jesika is a dynamic front person with a wild dress-sense, as well, and even when it is just her and Lee on stage, they manage fill out the space. The set was mostly original but with fun covers of the Dickies "You Drive Me Ape" (hence the gorilla/banana outfits) and a Garth Brooks (!) song - "I Got Friends in Low Places". While the club wasn't packed - it was Tuesday in Las Vegas, after all - the crowd dug the show and danced'n'shouted throughout the set. A wild show, to be certain!

We did not manage to stay up'n'out for the headliner, Spindrift, but a big thanks to the Dirty Rock'n'Roll Dance Party and the Bunkhouse for this wacky night of varied sounds!