Friday, March 11, 2005

Death From Above 1979 / Bowery Ballroom / Mar. 10, 2005

These guys are hilarious! Who knew? Not me. They make their grand entrance to the sound of cheeseball MIDI pomp & circumstance, in complete darkness except for a spotlight on their logo. That would be comedy gold in and of itself, but it’s made doubly funny by the fact that both guys were on stage a minute before, setting up their equipment.

The bassist is still rocking the grown-out bowler cut/moustache combo, but the drummer has a faux-hawk now (he acknowledged its fauxness) and his moustache isn’t as extreme. When he takes his shirt off halfway through the set, he looks like a less tattooed version of the drummer from Blink-182.

They talk about the first time they played in NYC, at Luxx a few years ago. They tried to steal an amp from the club but got caught by a security camera. (Could that have been the start of the DFA / DFA feud?) The bassist introduces “Pull Out” by saying, “This song is about not trying very hard not to make babies. It’s about when you love somebody so much you don’t care if you get them pregnant. Which is to say that it’s a love song, not a song about how much fun it is to ejaculate.” He apologizes for getting sick and having to cancel the Mercury Lounge show in January. Two minutes later, a drunk middle-aged woman is pushing her way through the crowd towards the front, screaming “I have a question! Which one of you got sick at the Mercury Lounge!” The drummer tries to have a conversation with the audience, decides it’s useless, then says, “why are we talking about stupid shit? we should be talking about the political situation.”

As for the music, it was exactly what I wanted. Ferociously loud, just the right amount of sloppiness, locked-in grooves all over the place. People went semi-wild during “Romantic Rights”—there was even a crowd-surfer. I figured out why I like the song “Black History Month” so much: the riff sounds just like X’s “The Unheard Music”! Actually, it’s more like the cover of that song that Elastica and Stephen Malkmus did on the Suburbia soundtrack.