Luigi’s Fungarden Sunday, September 8, 2013
Nothing beats pizza, beer and punk rock.
Last Sunday at Luigi’s Slice & Fun Garden a group of young men stood still near the entryway, their eyes glued to the TV screen mounted above the door. The New York Giants just scored against the Dallas Cowboys, but who the hell cares about that?
On the other side of the temporary wall, which acted as sound barrier between the sensitive-eared patrons simply out for an evening slice of pizza, was an Atomic Bomb of “noisy-punk-weirdness” that was about to go off.
The flyer for the show promised a night of queer/trans/girl-fronted bands with more fucking grit than any of those muscle-bound football players.
With a sarcastic snarl and plenty of raw, Riot Grrrl power, vocalist Jade Root of four-piece punk band Jesus Christ, Mister! set the tone as the first band for the night. Performing fast-paced, punk anthems off their newest album, “Promotes Gayness and Swearing”, the entire band’s demeanor radiated with a sort of unapologetically brash attitude countered with members like guitarist Morgan Gee, who bounced around stage while shredding his strings with a smile. With this mix of “Who cares? Fuck you!”-attitude, splashed with a sense of humor, it was hard to stand still. I didn’t know whether to run out and punch a cop, or give a kid a high-five? But, I decided I should stick around for the rest of the bands before I had to spend the night in jail.
The second act was an all-girl band from Vancouver, Canada. The look of the band Lunch Lady made you feel like you were back in kindergarten. The two vocalists were standing on stage barefoot, rocking back and forth as they waited for their turn to play. When it was finally time, their set was well structured, chaotic, passionate, and spastic. They would giggle and moan one second and be screaming the next. Sparse, steady drum beats with melodic bass lines followed by simple guitar parts successfully conveyed the band’s frantic nature. The guitarist/co-vocalist candidly described to the crowd how their song “MOTHERWORT,” was about “That time of the month” and then boldly demanded “Drums!” She began to spew and shriek and writhe about on stage while the bass player/co-vocalist, resembling Angelica from the “Rugrats” cartoon series, started shouting “Freak of nature!” They finished their set with “I Wanna Be The Girl On Yr Arm”, with plenty of screeching and shouting to set the stage for Screaming Queens.
By now, the air was thick with the salty smell of sweat, it was way after 9’o clock, and it still hadn’t even begun to cool down. Screaming Queens (also from Vancouver) were dirty and smelled the way the inside of their van must have; something comparable to rock ’n’ roll and feet. Regardless, all members were loud, passionate and in your face—whether you liked it or not. Kay, the guitarist/co-vocalist shared stories of being transgender in the punk community including the difficulties many experience to find acceptance, even in the Trans community. Ultimately, the Screaming Queens melted faces. Loud, squalling and heavy with a dark undertone, the band thrashed and screamed as the drummer pounded the kit, and the crowd, into submission.
Admittedly, Crude Studs are one of my favorite Sacramento bands. From the very first time I saw them in a dirty basement with a single light and nothing but the band and a room full of fists pounding in the air—I was enamored. Their raw sound and through-the-roof energy are enough to incite a riot. Vocalist Sophia Flores gets down on the ground at times and has this natural bravado, like Jello Biafra. She belts out high-pitched roars over the thrash-punk riffs of guitarist Bobby, bassist Nich, and drummer JB. The four rip through songs with lightning fast fervor, and would likely kick you in the teeth then gladly dedicate a song to you, possibly buy you a beer.
If any of you are fans of experimental rock, I highly recommend you come out and see Ancient Astronaut, Cobra Light, Dirty Boots, and Chopstick at Naked Lounge Downtown 1111 H St. on Wednesday September, 25th.
SCREAMING QUEENS (Vancouver, Canada)
LUNCHLADY (Vancouver, Canada)
JESUS CHRIST, MISTER!
CRUDE STUDS (Sacto dorks)