Monday, August 25, 2008

Ben Weasel/Danny Vapid - "My Brain Hurts" show review

Saturday night started out pretty well. I got some food, had a few RC Colas and was feeling pretty damn good. There was a terrible DVD looping on the TVs of Gang of Four footage. They were really artsy and didn't seem to carry any sort of rhythm. But luckily after that, there was a Dwarves DVD. It wasn't much better, but it beat that Gang of Four crap.
So between looking at the naked Dwarves on four screens and looking at the Repellants on the live Reggie's feed, I decided to get up and go next door. I missed the Repellants unfortunately, but caught the Chinese Telephones. They were great, as always. During the show, a dude that goes by codename Jerry Cola requested "Crying In the Chapel," to which Justin Telephone, the lead singer, said "No requests!"
I figured it was worth a shot. They did play it at the Subterranean a little while back, though.
I was disappointed to learn that the Chinese Telephones might be breaking up really soon. Justin informed me after the show that the show I just witnessed very well possibly could be their last, which sucks. Something about the drummer leaving, I believe, but I don't want to spread non-facts.
That kind of bummed me out, because the Chinese Telephones are absolutely awesome and fun fun fun to watch. It's a shame the crowd is never really into them. Then again, most of the words are impossible to decipher.

Next up were the Jetty Boys, who I wasn't all too impressed with. The lead singer/guitarist of the band played in Ben Weasel's band in May, so I recognized him right away. The music was pretty good, but after all the clap-your-hands stuff, I got kinda turned off. They weren't bad at all. I just wasn't feeling them, and I was so excited to see Danny Vapid play with Ben Weasel, that any band that was up there, I probably would have felt the same restless feeling.

After the Jetty Boys left the stage, Ben Weasel's band came out and tore right into "Making You Cry."
My favorite part of the night was the fact that Reggie's doesn't give a shit who goes backstage. I witnessed the whole show from the side of the stage, and wandered up to the fence-balcony for a song. It was cool.
"My Brain Hurts" is my absolute favorite album, blah blah blah. It's a lot of people's favorite.
What I especially enjoyed were Vapid's background vocals. That's something Ben can't capture solo. His backing band does a pretty dead-on job of nailing the notes and has timing down. Simon Lamb, Ben Weasel's guitarist, did a great job especially. But it's the backing vocals that complete the true sound of the album. Ben is great solo. But Vapid and Ben together were incredible. Ace from the Steinways also took over for Simon on a song. They played, I think, four Riverdales tunes. Which, obviously with Vapid there, was really really cool. Ben will do Riverdales tunes, like in May. Sometimes Vapid will do Riverdales tunes during Methadones shows or that Mopes show in 2006. But having them together was awesome. One more person, and it would have been a Riverdales reunion show.

After the show, there was a free Vacation Bible School gig next door. They were fun. I want to check out some of their stuff. Another band of note was Teen Slut. They were fast and right on as The Queers, and they did a couple of covers, too. They covered "Terrible Monster" by The Vindictives and "Island of Pogo Pogo" by the Groovie Ghoulies. I think they did "Rockaway Beach" too. But I forgot who sings that originally.
After THAT, The Arrivals played next door.
Both shows were free if you attended the Ben Weasel/Danny Vapid show. You can't go wrong with the Arrivals. They've got a certain charm about themselves. I believe they are one of the more underrated bands in Chicago. All in all, though, Saturday night was awesome. The burgers next door in the music joint rule, by the way.

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