Music » This Little Underground

This Little Underground



O, cruel Nature, how you;tease me with such fleeting farts of effervescent weather! Oh, right, music column. Hey, in case you haven't noticed, we've been putting up posts on OW's music blog, Beatdown (, with more regularity, so check us out. Musicians, hit us up if you've got something notable going on.


The beat


Because of his long-respected local work anchoring celebrated veteran Americana band Hindu Cowboy and hosting the tasteful country and folk radio show Sunday Morning Coming Down (9 a.m. to noon Sunday on 104.1-FM), I tend to approach anything that involves local country slinger Joseph Martens with earned optimism; and so it was with his latest project, Joseph Martens & the Birthday Party (Oct. 14, Will's Pub).


But despite being stacked with some of the city's most seasoned musicians – I'm talking real studs here – this band turned out to be an uninspired snore, all because of its lack of a stylistic core. Their structure was too loose and ended up emphasizing the players' individual noodling tendencies over any collective sense of expression. The unfortunate result was a jammy, indistinct affair with only a hint of country drawl. The most regrettable thing about this is that it's a criminal waste of all-star talent in its current state.


In itself, an acoustic-playing chick with a pretty voice can be a thing of wonder. But the notion gets a little worn when: 1) There are about a hundred billion of 'em out there, and 2) almost all of them are doing the same-ass thing. So simply ; sitting up onstage doing covers – ; barefoot, no less – like local opener Betty Lou Fox did isn't gonna graduate you from the coffeehouse league.


G.G. Allin was the most vile and dangerous rocker that ever lived. Marilyn Manson made his mark on this generation's youth in the shock-rock game, but Manson shows were a night at the opera compared to Allin's truly frightening antics. In comparison, a giant like Allin makes even the reckless Dwarves live down to their name. And that's why it sucks to be the Murder Junkies (Oct. 13, Will's Pub).


Though bearing the distinction of being Allin's final backing band before his fatal 1993 overdose permanently etched them into the annals of underground music, expectation and inevitable disappointment will always dog the Murder Junkies like a curse. Drummer Dino Sex, who looked like he was knocking on the door of senior citizenship, started things off properly by flashing some old-man dick to the crowd. But not much provocation occurred after that, just a basic sleaze-punk tribute show. And that equals underwhelming in their case, because the primary attraction to Allin, and by extension the Murder Junkies, has never really been the music.


This show didn't involve body fluids, which I'm really OK with. But the basic failure of the performance is that there was no real danger. There was potential for it, but it never really combusted. Singer PP Duvee (of New York punk band They Hate Us) punched a little guy in a sideways trucker hat twice, but that was a mild attempt at escalation. Of course he clocked him! Everyone knows that somebody who wears a trucker hat sideways deserves it. And that's just it: It was a cheap, easy and carefully calculated target. Allin would've gone for that whiskey-fueled Goliath who went from being assed out (literally) on the side of the stage for the first quarter of the set to openly and incessantly baiting the singer the rest of the time. And that would've been a show.


But either Orlando crowds are pussies for not getting wilder or the Murder Junkies are, for not inciting them. Or both. But then again, they were the ones whining after the show about getting water and beer thrown on 'em, not us. So there.


There's precious little more I can say about the Venus-by-way-of–North Carolina party-metal machine Valient Thorr (Oct. 12, the Social) than I already have. But I will say that if the live show of those hard-reveling motherfuckers were my morning wake-up call instead of my pestering, hateful clock radio, then every day would be a blitzkrieg of ass-kicking life affirmation. ("Know what I'm talkin' ABOUT?") Yes, they will play both my wedding and my funeral.

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