Wednesday, December 08, 2004

OVO / Local a.k.a. RockStarBar a.k.a. that bar at South 5th and Kent that has a different name every time you go to it / Dec. 3, 2004

This is why I do it. This is why I risk health, sanity, social life and employment to go out multiple nights a week and stand in a dark room full of drunk strangers. This is why I keep coming back, disappointment after disappointment, over-hyped dance-punk band after over-hyped dance-punk band, ringing eardrum after ringing eardrum.

Because I might stumble upon something like OVO.

A man and a woman, both from Italy. They have matching brown burlap dress/robe things on, and matching serpentine dreadlocks. She looks like Ari Up, he looks like Tim Harrington. He is wearing a Mexican wrestler’s mask, she is wearing a homemade version of the same. She holds a guitar and lets it feed back, occasionally strumming it. She wails and speaks in tongues (or maybe Italian). He attacks a flimsy drum kit that falls apart after a few songs. He moves to a chair in the middle of the room, with a bucket in front of him and a pair of cymbals under his feet. He taps on the bucket with his drumsticks while stomping on the cymbals. She breaks out one of these things. He kneels down in front of a bass guitar, which lays on the ground. He drums on the guitar, which is wired to a delay pedal. The room becomes an echo chamber. A kid grabs the bucket and starts dropping it in time with the beat. Two others join in with their chairs. Everybody else is stomping their feet. The girl takes out a violin bow and starts sawing away at her hair.

Sounds like a total mess, right? It wasn’t. Bands like !!! and Out Hud need four times as many people and instruments to work up that kind of groove.