Dark Meat, stranded somewhere on the highway between Butthole Surfers and The Polyphonic Spree, chugged through its set a few string musicians short of its full 16-member band, though it was unclear where in Silent Barn’s basement the band could have fit any one else. The place was packed like a matchbox, it was hot and sweaty, an overdriven crowd for an inevitably anthemic rockestra. The band, which includes members of Olivia Tremor Control and Neutral Milk Hotel, might have been able to take on the audience in a brawl, but there was no breaking down the barrier between Them and Us, what with their mad-hunter hats and sweat-splattered face/body paint.
For such an enormous instrumental swathe, the band delivered surprisingly uniform, rock-focused songs, with multiple instruments often doubling up on the same riffs and members spending as much time dancing as playing.
Monotonix are a bunch of crazy guys from Israel. Take the crazy guys you know from Your country, and multiply their craziness by suicide bombers and mandatory service and/or conscription and you’ve got a dude with shaving cream all over his face rolling all over the floor! They’re pretty straight ahead rabble-rousing punk, and they pull it off with fiendish glee. They seemed to be uninhibited by the chords connecting their instruments and mics to sound-making equipment, or by the notion of a performance space, since they dragged themselves, instruments intact, all over the basement.
One couldn’t ask for a better nightcap to an evening’s aural binge than Greg Ashley (GRIS GRIS) and his band, which included Brian Glaze from the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Ashley does a flawless Leonard Cohen, and various members of the band also stepped up to the vocal plate for their own numbers, to the point where Ashley no longer came off as the front man of a group touring under “Greg Ashley’s Medicine Fuck Dream”. No matter. Their delicate, repetitive folk dipped into down-tempo Americana, dripping psych and plenty of mellow minor riffs.