…Starting with Ladyfinger/STNNNG on Friday night, The STNNNG never fails to impress. Frontman lunatic Chris Besinger brought his usual leather-glove-fisted A-game, as did the rest of the band, who haven’t sounded this good since that night at Sokol a year or so ago when they practically burned the place down. A patron mentioned Shannon Selberg and The Cows (“all they need to do is pull out a trumpet”), another legendary Minneapolis band who Besinger said he fashioned his stage persona after. I never saw The Cows except on YouTube (specifically, here). I’m more apt to compare STNNNG to Jesus Lizard, and Besinger to a cross between David Yow and Tre from The Brothers. Decide for yourself, there’s plenty of live STNNNG on YouTube, including this Turf Club show from last April or this 7th St. Entry performance from last November. After about four songs, everything seemed to blur into a cloud of cacophonic noise, that is until their last song, the one where Besinger yells “Row!” over and over for about five minutes. I understand why they played it last. Nothing else could follow that.
And nothing else but something as disturbing as STNNNG could follow Ladyfinger, especially with Chris Machmuller and Co. honed after a week on the road. They felt empowered, I suppose, to play the songs any damn way they felt like it, which is why the set was something special. I assume a few of those numbers I didn’t recognize will be on a new record. If so, Ladyfinger is headed to heavier, nastier territory than what was heard on their debut.
O’Leaver’s 5-Year birthday party was as fun as I expected, but not nearly as well-attended as I hoped, at least not at 4:30 p.m. when we showed up and The Third Men came on stage. I blame a bad first half by The Huskers. The place was set-up with one of those portable tent-stages built in the east end of the parking lot, facing due west so the bands stared directly into the sun throughout their sets. It wasn’t exactly hot out yesterday, but the sun was a bastard, and Teresa and I along with the 50 or so on hand escaped into the shadows of O’Leaver’s, leaving the area in front of the stage and the tables dead empty.
Sound was an issue from the beginning of The Third Men’s set — all you could hear were the cymbals and anything else high-end — piercing and bright. They got it adjusted by mid-set, and the band roared on. The highlight — Mike Tulis doing his best Nick Gilder swagger for a cover of “Hot Child in the City.” It was nothing less than impressive. Maybe if you’re lucky you’ll get a chance to hear it when The Third Men open for Anders Parker tonight at The Waiting Room.
The sound got better for Coyote Bones and Life After Laserdisque. It was pretty loud, and I had to wonder if the neighbors were getting irritated. In fact, cops apparently did show up a couple times, following up on noise complaints. The show went on anyway. We left at 7:30 when Ted Stevens was on stage (and after a couple otherworldly delicious Italian sausages). By then, more people had trickled in.
As mentioned earlier, tonight at The Waiting Room it’s Anders Parker, with The Third Men and Kyle Harvey opening ($8, 9 p.m.), while down at Slowdown, Dirty Projectors play with Yacht and FTL Overdrive ($8, 9 p.m.), while O’Leaver’s hosts Outlaw Con Bandana, Or Does It Explode and Darren Hanlon ($5, 9:30 p.m.). Happy Labor Day…
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