Saturday, May 8, 2010

Rise of the Amazons at Reno's Chop Shop

Alright, if you are a massive ignoramus and you don't know that the Amazons were mythological warrior women in ancient Greece you have two options : get a library card, or go kill yourself.

So when I call this post the "Rise of the Amazons" it is because I saw a bunch of awesome bands fronted by women at Reno's Chop Shop.

These bands include, One Eyed Doll, Scary Cherry and the Bang Bangs, Screaming Red, and I also saw one other band called Eighth Circuit.

Gawd I fucking hate adding links on blogger!

So one more big fat link for you all, all the bad ass pictures from this show were provided by genius rock photographer Scott Hurst, and if you have a band and you want to look good doing it, you need to hire him right now!

So I heard about this show from Scott, who was pretty jazzed about seeing One Eyed Doll. He sent me a cool video from One Eyed Doll and I was sold. Truth is I was sold slightly before because I had read this article in Lit Monthly called "Chicks Reign."
Lit Monthly is probably DFW's best hipster magazine, though my loyalties to the Observer are unquestionable, the Observer's around town is written for people who can thoughtlessly blow $50 a night, which is not me!

Lit Monthly has one problem, all its reviews are positive. But they are also very descriptive and you can kind of figure out what you like if you read the details. Reading this magazine makes me feel like I have a great responsibility to point out shit and problems where I go and with the shows I see. If all the reviews are positive how is anyone to stand out as exceptional?

Lucky for all of you I am going to talk plenty of shit on this post.

Reno's is a biker bar in Deep Ellum. All in all its a cool place, but biker bars make me nervous. Probably due to my own vast arrogance and self doubt. I like to think I am the most macho bad ass that has ever lived, and large crowds of bikers put that assumption in to question.

As my wife and I approached Reno's we overheard some bikers bullshitting in the parking lot, and one sagely barbarian was pontificating to his friends, "Everybody's gotta have someone to hate..."

Indeed. Hopefully tonight it wouldn't be me.

When we got to the show the price $10 per person, all in all, it could have been worse. Apparently One Eyed Doll has a very strong following, and $10 was probably their fault.

When we got in Screaming Red was playing, much to my delight!

Screaming Red are a beautiful bunch of ladies, and a drummer who resembles Uncle Fester, who played with total fury. My unquestionable knowledge of punk rock tells me that this is the real deal and that this genre may well be alive and well. I was very pleased and bought a shot glass and a CD from this beautiful band. Total cost for CD and shotglass was $10, and the CD is in my car (the UFO on the logo) right now. Unfortunately I only got to hear a couple of songs from these ladies (and Fester) and missed out on too much of the live experience.

Screaming Red is fast, furious, provocative, and has good stage presence. Though all in all they were a little upstaged by the theatrics of Scary Cherry and the Bang Bangs and One Eyed Doll. Don't get me wrong, I really liked Screaming Red.

I also, having lived in Lewisville for a little while, I have to give Screaming Red some love for being from this scary ass suburb. Lewisville is full of violent kids on xanex who all think they belong to gangs and wonder around among the possums causing much chaos. I worked a graveyard shift at a 7-11 there and could probably write a whole book about the drug addled violence of Lewisville.

Here is some more Screaming Red eye candy for you, remember Scott Hurst is the truth, the way and the life:

Just to give some more texture to the environment at Reno's, while most people seemed very nice and welcoming, there was a tough looking scary old bastard wandering around after Screaming Red wearing a T-Shirt that said "I got this shirt from your girlfriend's floor." He looked like he could walk onto the Set of the Sons of Anarchy and get a part. He seemed capable of only saying one word: "nigger." Which he said over and over again to anyone who paid him any mind.

Now for some of my readers the blatant offensiveness of this act is all the more reason to go check Reno's out. Hell to make friends with this guy, and maybe even make babies with him. But somehow I don't think he was doing this as an act of post-modernist critique so much as he really loved saying "nigger" over and over.

This was also accentuated by the fact that there were lots of scantily clad stripper girls at the show, wearing panties and garter belts, and looking very sexy. I thought these girls were celebrating their sexuality at a show fronted by so many beautiful and strong women. It turns out I was wrong, I will come back to this later.

But if you want hard, fast and real music, you are not going to get it at an art museum.

My favorite act of the night was Scary Cherry and the Bang Bangs. They were amazing. They were punk rock alive and well and with a pulse approaching a heart attack. They were sexy and ugly at the same time. They were in your face. They covered the Iggy Pop with perfect channeling of the essence of this Punk rock god.

I am now a totally sold out fan for these 21st century punk rock gods.

Scary Cherry and the Bang Bangs have enough of the style of GG Allen to be amazing, but not so much that you have to worry about leaving the show smeared in shit. The energy of this band was impossible to match, and they probably prevented me from being as fully converted to One Eyed Doll as I could have been.

One Eyed Doll followed Scary Cherry and the Bang Bangs, which unfortunately for them, is an incredibly hard act to follow.
I want to see Scary Cherry and the Bang Bangs over and over and over and over again.

Oh my fucking god I love these guys!

Alright the last band I will have anything nice to say about is One Eyed Doll. But first let me say the things that are not nice.

Everybody in the crowd seems to have seen One Eyed Doll before and loved them. Admittedly the music was very good. At this show it was a two piece band, a beautiful front woman, and a tough looking drummer. Apparently they were short one band member, which at this show was replaced by a stuffed Unicorn with a guitar ductaped to it.

The singer could do and say anything and the crowd ate it up. They loved it. They wanted more of anything she had to offer.

I wish I could have been at the shows that made them act like that. This was not one of them.

This was my first time to see One Eyed Doll, and aside from really liking the music I kept thinking, "Less Talk, More Rock!"

The singer of One Eyed Doll probably monologued minute for minute just as much as she performed songs. That means that if I had missed half the show, I would not have missed a single song. I guess she has enough hardcore fans and doesn't need to impress new comers.

But, with that said. The music was great. She had a vocal style reminiscent of Jello Biafra, the lyrics were dark and psychological, and I really fucking loved the music. When she was giving me music, which is about half the time.

I will go see One Eyed Doll again, I liked it enough for that. But I will be crossing my fingers that music dominates the performance. Or, perhaps she can put spoken word performance on the bill so I can know what I am getting myself into.

The last band was Eighth Circuit. The singer of this band was the only male frontman of the night. He looked like he had spent the last several years of his life trying to perfect looking like both Marilyn Manson and the singer of Korn.

At first I was like, Okay, I need to be open minded. He might surprise me. I have a soft spot for Marilyn Manson.

Then the true purpose of the strippers was revealed as they all got on stage and started dancing to the music.

Which could have been a cool effect. If they were dancing to the music, not the imaginary hip hop music in their minds. Ass shaking Ludacriss would have been proud of was put to what I can only describe as a failed impotent attempt to sound like System of a Down.

The band might have been mediocre if it weren't for the ridiculous theatrics with the stripppers and the front mans Marilyn Korn costume, but the theatrics made me certain that this band had no redeeming qualities.

I will not go see them again, unless they become a completely different act with the same name.

So thats what I did last saturday.

Go Dallas!

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