Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The David Liebe Hart Band, the Jerkwadz and Slave Graves @ the Red Room (9/20/12)

I'll confess: I'd never heard of David Liebe Hart until this show.  I knew of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, sure, but when it came to Adult Swim, I'd always preferred watching The Venture Brothers and The Boondocks.  But anyway, the right honorable Wes Malvini's excitement about this show got me curious.  I watched a clip of Hart on Tim and Eric singing his song "Salame" with one of his puppets and found it... interesting, so I marked this show down on the calendar.

The crowd started off pretty thin--I counted only twelve people inside--but grew to a decent thirty-plus.  I sat at the end of the bar closest to the stage, listened to the Jerkwadz do their soundcheck and then watched the local band Slave Graves set up a drumkit, a Mac and some humongous speakers.  That looked... interesting.

Slave Graves started off the night.  The funniest line of the night came during their soundcheck: "I'm too loud."  Even if they hadn't said that they wore their red and green plaid flannel shirts in honor of Red Green, I'd have figured out that their manic drumming, blaring noise samples and dunderheaded lyrics added up to one big joke.  As noise/junk-rock goes, not bad, but definitely not as witty as Microbabies.

The Jerkwadz played next with J.R. from local punk band Wilt Chamberlin's Baby sitting in on drums.  Aside from sounding just a little sluggish on "Shotgun," he hit quick and hard enough to give the simple basslines, buzzing guitar and mega-catchy tunes the support that they needed.  Meanwhile, Jimmy Sinn's strong voice sounded in good form.  And speaking of singing, J.R. got to demonstrate that his pipes aren't too bad either, serenading the crowd when Jimmy Sinn and Cacie Lee had to swap out basses.

I just wish I could've gotten a decent picture of the grin on his face when he was done.

The David Liebe Hart Band played next.  Hart's guileless stage presence and charmingly bald-faced lyrics landed somewhere between Wesley Willis and Jonathan Richman (probably a little closer to the former).  Two nifty things, though: 1) the music landed a little closer to the latter (pleasantly utilitarian punk), and 2) Hart sang better than both of them (man had some belting power).  A Christian Scientist hymn set to music rocked just as nicely as original songs about Marlo Thomas, the Union Pacific and a camp counselor who put poisoned mushrooms in people's clothes.  And for an encore of sorts, Hart busted out a puppet and sang a couple more songs.  The first was a version of "Salame" with altered lyrics due to Warner Bros. owning the rights to the original (that got a big boo from the crowd).  The second was a song about a lady who directed his public access show and who dumped him for a guy with ten kids (so did that).

You can find info on these acts on Facebook and elsewhere online.  Special thanks to Wes Malvini, Evil Wine and the Red Room.

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