Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Slim Cessna's Auto Club, Munly and the Lupercalians and A Seasonal Disguise @ the VaC (7/26/13)
I'd heard the name Slim Cessna's Auto Club, but I hadn't thought to look into them until I received a press release about this show. A listen to a few songs, some glowing write-ups in the Weekly and the fact that this band got Jello Biafra to sing a song about how Jesus Christ died for our sins persuaded me to put this show on the calendar.
There were already about sixty people when I got to VaC. The official head count for the night was approximately ninety. Not the 300 that showed up for Peter Murphy, but certainly not bad.
A Seasonal Disguise opened the show. This performance made good and then some on the promise of the band's Red Room set back in January. Z.V. House's unvarnished vocals sounded in fine form, and his guitar solos were as tuneful, elegant and fierce as ever. Meanwhile, Karen Singletary's clean harmonies, Aaron Sup's rippling keyboard and Reggie Townley's roaring distortion blended and weaved with Josh Shapel's steady basslines and Jake Hite's implacable drumming. The cool, spacey aura of the music didn't quite sound like anything I've heard by anyone else in town.
Munly and the Lupercalians played next. I imagine that Wovenhand might have looked and sounded like this if David Eugene Edwards went out to the crossroads and sold his soul to the devil. Munly J Munly's sepulchral croon and bluesy, hypnotic drones fused with tribal drums and atmospheric keyboards. The band's bizarre outfits--straw/twig masks, KKK hoods and gowns (that's what they looked like, anyway)--augmented the sinister feel of the music. Strange, powerful stuff.
Slim Cessna's Auto Club closed out the night. Their music wasn't as creepy as Munly and the Lupercalians' but was still plenty weird. Frantically plucked basslines, hard-charging drums and buzzing guitar decorated twangy, wailed vocals and cockeyed, religious-themed lyrics (one song celebrated hard-rocking Baptist church founder Roger Williams). Happily, these guys rocked more than hard enough to keep from drowning in their own shtick.
The crowd worked itself into a nice frenzy during this set. They danced, bounced, raised their hands high and shouted along. One mustached gentleman got particularly unruly; he peeled off his shirt, writhed around on the floor, tugged people around, stole one guy's hat (the guy's friend stole it back) and formed a one-man mosh circle. He also ran onstage and jumped around during the final number. Slim Cessna and Munly stayed deadpan until he left. They then gave him a golf clap, did some humorously robotic dance moves and went right back into the song.
You can find info on these groups on Facebook and elsewhere online. Special thanks to Wes Malvini and the Evil Wine Show. If you like what you've read and would like to help keep it going, click the yellow "Give" button and donate.