Ok, so I don’t really have a diary, but it seems like the best way to
cover the (use Daffy Duck voice here) plethora of musical action of the past
Clea Simon had a packed house at Harvard Bookstore for the
debut and reading of her new, local rockcentric mystery novel - World
Enough. Great to see a book (you remember those?) pull a Thursday
night crowd that would make a band proud. The murder mystery plot draws from
the Boston rock scene of the early eighties. Simon read the first chapter. She
sets up her protagonist, a not brand new rock gal out to see one her favorite,
back in the day band. She name checks the Rat, the Channel
and Jumpin’ Jack Flash. The crowd of mostly
Simon friends and contemporaries is drawn right in. She takes Q and A. Simon’s
assures everyone that “No, that isn’t your band” and no, “that
is not you” in chapter two. If you were there, and you haven’t really
left - or, if you remember back in the day with a bittersweet smile - then World
Enough will take you back, twist you up with mystery novel hijinks
and play entertaining tricks with your rock and roll memories.
From Harvard to Union Square. Nice smokeysweet Mezcal cocktail and Mushroom
panini at the Independent. Up to Thunder Road for one of their
infrequent punked-upish shows. Caught Svetlanas and the Barb
Svetlanas bring the cathartic aggression. Lead singer Olga
is a Tasmanian Devil with a TV Eye on you. Barb Wire Dolls sound
like they are pulling in two directions. The punk rock girl group with a couple
of guys kick it. Their split alter ego is trying a bit too hard for a radio
friendly hit. No sin in that, but definitely a less satisfying work in progress.
They did get close to the balance point with some of the late set tunes.
Svetlanas dropped out of the tour the next night. The band
was scheduled to play Jewel in Manchester. Some of the patrons were showing
their Nazi colors. According to the Svetlanas crew the Barb Wire Dolls took
an “everyone is welcome” attitude. Svetlanas gave that a big double
bird and said “Nyet”.
The big Human Sexual Response Reunion. Warmed up with a good
crew at the Cask and Flagon. Landed in my sweet spot at HOB’s - center,
15 feet from the stage. Unnatural Axe kept it to the hits of
the hits, Creeper, Hitler’s Brain, The Man I Don’t Want to Be, a
couple Le Peste covers and added first half, tenor horn spice from Moose Parsons.
They set a fine table.
Human Sexual Response
HOB was bursting with buzz and anticipation. The HSR reunion
did not disappoint. The sophisticated harmonies rang out - 12345678910.
Larry’s vocal’s pushed, pinched vocals, unmistakable as
always - evocative on the slow tunes like Anne Frank Story and House of Atreus
and pop post punk heaven on Andy Fell. HSR was always about the interplay. Malcom
Travis’s drums and Chris McLaughlin’s
bass push but never overpower. Rich Gilbert keeps his focus
on the changes, twisted atmospherics and short bursts (sigh) of his mad guitar
chops. They even threw in the Zulu’s Never Again. If this was HSR’s
swan song, it was one hell of a wake. Thanks for the memories!