Saturday was the Black Lip’s homecoming show after six weeks of touring. Even though it was indeed a sold out show at Atlanta’s The Earl, it felt more like the first night of their five day Atlanta rest stop, the first break in six weeks of near-constant touring that has long characterized this infamously messy garage rock outfit.
Either way, it wasn’t weird that the shortest band in show biz looked wasted. Ian Saint Pé (guitarist, grillz) announced that’s how they always looked, and it’d be hard to imagine a live set that doesn’t include a little catatonic swaying in between bursts of frantic showmanship. (Cole Alexander wins for best mid guitar riff somersault.)
The Subsonics played what Quintron announced was some of the best rock and roll music ever known to mankind, but I personally was more excited by his own set. For the uninitiated, Quintron plays a double decker Hammond/Rhodes tower he customized himself, backed by a drum machine and a cylindrical, light-activated analog synthesizer that rotates like an old school music box, ticking off tones based on the bits of light coming out of carefully calibrated holes in the- forget it- look at the picture, try to make sense of it yourself:
Backed by the ferrel vocalizations of Miss Pussycat and a whole lotta smoke machine, Quintron, famous for his press wariness, shows little restraint during his live performance, especially in the face of a house packed with wasted Atlantans seeking affirmation that they were at the best party in the city. (This is a crown that might have passed to the Black Lips house party after the show, one we may or may not dig images of from out of cameras still packed away in bags just recently unloaded from the RV.
Miss Pussycat’s puppet show followed. There was a lot at stake here. Elves straight outta A Nightmare Before Christmas, cut-outs of bears straight outta arts & crafts, up-pitched voices and a finale that saw Santa Claus blowing away a kid with an automatic rifle. I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of sublimely kinky sex Quintron and Miss Pussycat must partake in. Do they let the helper elves in on the fun? Is there minimal techno thumping in the background? One can only hope it’s as mind blowing as their one-two punch of a set.