DOPE, GUNS & FUCKING IN THE STREETS: Birds Of Maya, Closing Night Of Popped!, Fireman’s Lounge, Last Night
BY SARA SHERR The most thankless job in the world is to be the band that plays the last night of a weeklong festival. Especially one on a Sunday night in the middle of a Nor’easter. But like fungus, the best rock n roll thrives in dank, dark places. Pissed Jeans, Total Fucking Destruction, and Birds of Maya basically gave both the weather and rocked-out indifference the middle finger and brought the beautiful noise. It also helps that the show was in the Firefighter’s Lounge, just down the street from The Electric Factory. Small, bright institutional spaces with disco balls and ladies in black vests serving cocktails in plastic cups are always strangely ideal venues for punk shows. The bill, which also included Sharks With Wings, Satanized, and Drums Like Machine Guns, was sort of like the sequel of the Tuesday night show at the Avant Gentleman’s Lounge. It was basically a survey of Philly’s noise scene, with roots and branches in psych, punk, hardcore, and various other apocalyptic sounds.
Birds of Maya did what countless garage rock geeks try and fail at: dust off 1968 and bring it back to life without making it look like museum piece. Bringing on the best of 60s power trios like Hendrix and Cream, a whiff of Blue Cheer’s bongwater, Black Sabbath’s bass heavy paranoia, and Stooges bum-out, they were sloppy in all the right places. The jamming never got tired and held everyone’s rapt attention. Of course, even for the most ADD, it’s easy to pay attention to multiple acts on abbreviated festival set times.
Total Fucking Destruction brought us back to the future, with short sharp blasts, shards, and screams like Pop Tatari-era Boredoms or The Contortions. Even if this kind of music isn’t your cup of tea, it’s a blast to watch. It’s as if The Tasmanian Devil formed a band with Animal and Beavis’ sugar high alias, Cornholio. I was waiting for the song where they were going to sing, “I am Cornholio! Are you thrrreatening me?!”
Pissed Jeans followed Birds of Maya’s musical procession, like listening to ’60s free love give way to the ’70s “fuck you.” You can’t keep your eyes off frontman Matt Korvette. He looks like Iggy Pop’s clean-cut grandson but moves like the drunk guy recently ejected from the bar. He’s the world’s most forgotten boy, the one who searches and blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! If it’s not clear, I mean that as a compliment. The world is a nausea-inducing place. Right about now it could use a few good puke anthems and a few less cocainesexjams. Korvette howled, barked, slurred, strutted, proclaiming, “I don’t need smoke to make myself disappear.” As with all good ear-sex, my only complaint was that it wasn’t longer. Grade: A
[Photo by JONATHAN VALANIA]