Thursday, February 14, 2019

Nashville Pussy - Let Them Eat Pussy

By the time NP released this major label debut (on Mercury Records), their live show was a super tight, super-sexy, super-white-trashy, sideshow circus of fire breathin', lesbian kisses, booze drinkin', clothes-strippin', pile-drivin' rhythms and wild guitar antics. Fronted by ex-9 Pound Hammer Blaine on lead vocals and guitar, the band consisted of his wife, Ruyter, on stunnin' lead guitar (like a female, punk'n'roll Angus Young), fire-ball-slingin' giantess Corey Parks on bass and powerhouse Jeremy never lettin' up on the drums. They went from small club dates to headliners in no time and this record was even nominated for a Grammy (!!!) for "Fried Chicken and Coffee"! This is sleazee, greasy punk'n'roll with amazing production by Kurt Bloch (Young Fresh Fellows) and sounds as great now as it did then!

Layers of feedback open "Snake Eyes" which blurs into a wild ride of fast paced punk'n'metal'n'roll - short, simple but filled with crazed guitar work! If anything, they're even more frantic in "You're Goin' Down" and continue on for the sing-along "Go Motherfucker Go", where Blaine's whiskey voice is shouted raw and they even give us a fake ending. The riff-laden screechin' boast of "I'm the Man", no relation to any of the similarly named songs, gives us lyrical gems like "wake up with my balls on fire, sweat gasoline when I perspire" while Ruyter riffs away maniacally which is followed by more lyrical beauty in the start'n'stop dynamics of "All Fucked Up". There's an actual story line to one of their best, the blastin' punk'n'roll ode to dirt track derby, "Johnny Hotrod", with singalong lines like "no you stupid boy you just fucked up again!"

Flip over the vinyl and they speed up even more for "5 Minutes to Live" and they don't let up for "Somebody Shoot Me" and barely even take a breath before "Blowin' Smoke". Smokey Robinson's (by way of the Contours and most likely learned from the J. Geils Band) "First I Look At the Purse" is given the Pussy treatment - sped up with Thunders-ish guitar leads added - and leads into the feedback'n'female groanin' intro to "Eat My Dust" - again, so damn fast it's hard to keep up with - before the grand finale of "Fried Chicken and Coffee" that is actually just moderately fast, with a cool groove, tons of guitars and Blaine's poetic one-liners like "it's time for all of you to line up, get on your knees and kiss my butt" and "wash the sperm outta your ears and put your goddamn heads right in the speakers and listen to the shit I'm about to put down"! What follows is a count down into their longest song and a frenetic freakout for their dual lead guitars (Blaine's simple solo first, with Ruyter tearin' it up at the end), which was once their show stopper where Ruyter would literally tear the strings of of her guitar while climbing up on whatever was available and making a ferocious racket.

The songs are all simple, short, and yes, a bit repetitive, but, combined with the crazed stage show, they filled out the sleeze-punk image that garnered them a huge group of converts.

With the success of the initial release, there was a second pressing that included a bonus CD/EP of cover songs called Eat More Pussy, so, of course fans had to buy that, as well (along with the vinyl, naturally!) This was a compilation of cuts from previous 7" releases where they let their influences run the gamut. Opening with AC/DC's "Kicked in the Teeth", they strip it of the original band's groove, but add their own mania to it, naturally, and practically create a whole new song! They logically follow this with Australia's similarly styled heavy band, Rose Tattoo's "Nice Boys Don't Play Rock'n'Roll", which is much closer to the original. There's a high speed take on the traditional "Milk Cow Blues", a frantic "Headin' For the Texas Border" (Flamin' Groovies, natch), an insane "Sock It To Me Baby" (Mitch Ryder) and a bit more appropriately paced (cuz it was punk rock to start with) "(I'm) Misunderstood" (the Saints - more Aussies!).

Like I said, not a lot of variation, but it's a good, powerful concept, like the Ramones had, so they could run with it and they did vary things a little bit as time went on. In any case, this release is a power house and still a blast to listen to (and see live!).

recommended gigs

Thursday Feb 14 - TV Party Tonight showing My Bloody Valentine with live music by Stagnetti's Cock at the Double Down
Thursday Feb 14 - Shanda and the Howlers at Artifice

Friday Feb 15 - the New Waves at the Golden Tiki
Friday Feb 15 - Sheiks of Neptune, Jerk, the Pluralses, the Deveros at the Double Down
Friday Feb 15 - the Unwieldies, the Red Seduction, Lulu and the Black Sheep at Rebar

Saturday Feb 16 - Monk and the Po Boys at the Goldmine Tavern
Saturday Feb 16 - No Que No, the Sonz at Ocha Bar

Sunday Feb 17 - LV Blues Society Blues Jam at Saddle'n'Spurs

Monday Feb 18 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Tuesday Feb 19 - the Hypnotiques at the Golden Tiki

Friday Feb 22 - the Unwieldies and the Wayside at the Huntridge Tavern

Saturday Feb 23 - the Psyatics at the Double Down
Saturday Feb 23 - Derv Gordon from the Equals at the Fremont Country Club

Monday Feb 25 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Tuesday Feb 26 - Brandon/Whiskey Breath with Sissy Brown at the Pioneer Saloon

Wednesday Feb 27- Thee Swank Bastards at the Double Down

Friday Mar 1 - The Psyatics with Stagnetti's Cock, Not a Robot, and Stereo Assault at the Double Down

Saturday Mar 2 - Bootleg (all female band featuring Andi from the Creamers/Snap-Her) with the Scoundrels and Pet Tigers at the Dive Bar
Saturday Mar 2 - No Que No and the Hideaway at the Huntridge Tavern

Sunday Mar 3 - Thee Hypnotiques at the Golden Tiki

Monday Mar 4 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Wednesday Mar 6 - Franks'n'Deans with Shamehole and Critical Miss at the Double Down

Thursday Mar 7 - Powersolo (insane Danish combo!) at the Bunkhouse

Saturday Mar 9 - The Peculiar Pretzelmen with the Implosions at the Huntridge Tavern

Sunday Mar 10 - the Reeves Brothers at Saddle'n'Spurs

Monday Mar 11 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Saturday Mar 16 - The Swamp Gospel with the Psyatics and Fur Dixon (ex-Cramps / Hollywood Hilbillys) at the Double Down

Monday Mar 18 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Friday Mar 22 - Spindrift, Van der Rohe, Timothy Eerie, Dream Phases at the Bunkhouse for Brian Moy's birthday

Saturday Mar 23 - Bluegrass Festival at

Monday Mar 25 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Wednesday Mar 27 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Double Down

Friday Mar 29 - the Implosions with Get Married, Three Rounds and Jerk at Evel Pue

Saturday Mar 30 - Copycat Delux night, a tribute to the Cramps. hosted by DJ Xerox with the Swamp Gospelthe Psyatics, and Mizz Absurd at the Golden Tiki

Tues April 16 - Dirty R'n'R Dance Party presents Peter Egri (from Hungary), Eddie Clendening, Johnny 7 and more at 172

Saturday April 27 - The Psyatics with 16 Again (70's punk covers from Orange County) at the Double Down

Friday May 3 - The Psyatics with the Implosions and the Sheiks of Neptune at the Huntridge Tavern

Saturday May 11 - The Swamp Gospel with the Sin Eaters and the Rhyolite Sound at the Double Down

Monday May 27 - Save Ferris, Monkey, Franks'n'Deans at Backstage Bar and Billiards

Sunday June 9 - The Psyatics at Backstage Bar and Billiards

Saturday June 22 - Bob Log III with the Swamp Gospel at the Bunkhouse

Sunday August 18 - George Clinton and Parliment Funkadelic at the Brooklyn Bowl

What have I forgotten? Lemme know

The Pine Hill Haints - Smoke

I truly dig the Pine Hill Haints sound, although they can be truly difficult to describe - which is certainly not necessarily a bad thing! They call themselves purveyors of "Ghost Music" - sounds that they feel are generally dead in the modern world. I have said that they mix old-world folk, zydeco, Irish jigs, bluegrass, blues, rockabilly and more and that's about the best that I can do! Lead singer/guitarist Jamie continues to be joined by mandolinist/washboardist/singing saw mistress Katie, along with Steve on washtub bass and banjo, JR Collins on snare drum, Justin Ward squeezing the accordion and stretchin' out the trombone and JD Wilkes from Th' Legendary Shack Shakers playing some wild harmonica on this record and on their most recent tour.

Jamie's distorted modern/old-sounding guitar takes front'n'center on the appropriately spooky "Blue Halloween", but Katie's singin' saw gives it the proper ambiance. They get positively punk-rock-frantic but remain melodic for "Death of the Buffalo Girl" and come across like a high speed Carter Family or Pete Seeger for "I'll Ramble", which uses the accordion for terrific flavoring. "The Col's Last Mardi Gras" fittingly sounds like a heavy New Orleans funeral march, complete with trombone, and then Jamie pulls out his fiddle for some fine playing on the bluegrass dance of "The Full Moon Waltz". "Pea Ridge Blues" is a bouncy combination of blues/folk and rockabilly and they take the traditional "When the Cowboys Roamed the Western Range", which they learned from Leadbelly, and make it their own.

I'll be damned if "The Girl From Shiloh" isn't practically a power-pop song (in their own unique manner, of course), and then "The Cold Blue Hours of Night" sounds like a hip campfire song, with its acoustic guitar and acoustic harmonica (JD can play nice'n'purty when he wants to, as well as dirty'n'bluesy), "Buffalo Girl" is the traditional square dance number with Jamie providing some cool fiddle again, "The Mystic Order of Bones" is their version of New Orleans Dixieland (sorta kinda?!), again highlighted by wavy trombone, "Witching Hour Blues" is a hep jump-blues where JD excels and trades licks with Jamie (who kinda borrows the vocal melody of Chuck Berry's "Downbound Train") and they stay in a somewhat bluesy/folk vein with more superior saw playing for the closure, "Rusty Vans Move West" that has some (probably unintentional) hints of "Deja Vu All Over Again", oddly enough.

Jamie has a great voice that is really evocative and works exceedingly well with this material and I dig the imagery of his lyrics, as well. Heck, I kinda dig most everything about this band! The more I hear, the more I like 'em. See their live shows for sure, but these CD's are fine souvenirs of the experience, as well.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Nashville Pussy with the Quacks and First Sun at Backstage Bar and Billiards, Tuesday Feb 12, 2019

I guess it's been around 20 years or so since I first was knocked out by Nashville Pussy's insane southern rock'n'punk'n'roll show and, while I haven't followed everything that they've done, I have tried to see them whenever they come through town. Their early shows in LA with Cory Parks were completely nutz with fire, lesbian kisses and Ruyter's wild guitar antics. Although they never had another fire breather, Ruyter continues to be a wild rock'n'roll animal and the band continues to be a ferociously rockin' combo.

I think that I might have missed an opening act, but I got there is time to catch the Quacks, a band of young, slightly dorky kids performing a kinda nondescript, alt-rock/new wave music. Not bad, really, just not terribly interesting and an odd choice for an opener for Nashville Pussy.

First Sun followed, an acoustic guitar/drum duo with some fine vocals that ranged from falsetto harmonies to screams and pretty compelling songs that were very different and original, in an unusual, more rockin' singer/songwriter style. The drummer did a damn good job of making us forget that there wasn't a bassist as he handled the harmony vocals. The guitarist picked up an electric for a few numbers that were a bit more 50's-styled and they also had pre-recorded snippets in between songs, including some Cheech and Chong skits. So, they were a bit all over the place, but not in a bad way - I think they just need to pin down exactly what they are going for. Another somewhat peculiar choice to open for NP, but then I can't say what Vegas band would have been appropriate.

Walking on stage to the strains of Ted Nugent's "Stranglehold" (there were named after one of his introductions on his live album) the Pussy blasted through a number of their most potent tunes, with "Say Something Nasty", "Pussy Time" and "Piece of Ass" showing how tight this latest line up is. Guitarist/lead shouter Blaine and lead shredder Ruyter are joined by now-long-time bassist Bonnie and great, new drummer, Ben, who propelled them through a wild, rockin' set. There were new numbers like "Go Home and Die" from their latest album, Pleased to Eat You, mixed in with their greatest "hits" like "Wrong Side of the Gun', "Go To Hell", "Struttin' Cock" and "Go Motherfucker Go". The pacing was good, with the drummer filling in during tuning breaks as well as giving a full-fledged, 70's-styled drum solo, Blaine and Ruyter tearin' out dual leads on their new Destroyer and SG, respectively, and performance pieces like Blaine drinking out of his cowboy hat and Ruyter posing and shreddin' like the rock goddess she is while flailin' about the stage. She does keep her clothes on now (such as they are) and she does not tear apart her guitar at the end of the night, but she is still sexy as hell and a terrific show-person. The night ended with them asking for requests and rejecting most of them saying that this line-up didn't know them before they ended with a long, rockin'ly terrific jam that had them all pulling from a Jack Daniels bottle and Ruyter spittin' booze into the audience.

As I said on Facebook, they might not rock with the wild abandon of youth, but they are still an excellent punk/rock'n'roll show and one of the best live bands out there. Still a highly recommended and entertaining combo.

Thank you to Backstage Bar and Billiards for yet another amazing rock'n'roll show! I hope that they keep up with the stellar bookings that they've had lately!