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Working Off the Turkey

As promised, I'm filling you in on the show I saw Friday night at T.T. the Bear's in Cambridge.

As I drove there, there was hardly anybody on the roads at all, but by 10, the place was quite crowded.

First up was Da Horna Troof, which was a pretty silly rap/electro duo that did just two "songs." I now have a sneaking suspicion that the tall thing guy in ultra-short shorts and a ski mask who just danced around might have been Brezel Göring, half of Stereo Total, but who knows ?

Second up was Mr. Quintron. To start, Quintron and his assistant/wife Miss Pussycat did a rather strange puppet show involving a sewing bee that goes awry when a kindly old lady drops by to donate hallucinagen-laced cookies. Then he launched into his unique brand of beatbox-driven organ-accompanied songs/rants, with Miss Pussycat providing the occasional interjection. It was kind of like the B-52s in a bad mood, with the keyboardist from Deep Purple sitting in to jam. But sometimes it actually sounded pretty good, and you could also be mesmerized by the rotating light can of his own Drum Buddy. Near the end of the set, he pulled a Hendrix by leaving the stage, running out the door, coming back, and dropping something flammable into one those rotating light cans. It produced a most impressive flame but managed to leave the club in good enough condition for Stereo Total to follow.

And they didn't disappoint. Stereo Total are just a duo now, Brezel Göring handling the synths, guitar, and some vocals, with Françoise Cactus playing drums, but they've got all they need to produce a great garage/yeye/electro mix of sounds. Their entire equipment inventory was: guitar, snare, tom, kick pedal, "Basstation" mini-keyboard, and a handful of small and occasionally noncooperative sound generation devices. Françoise was very charming and told the audience what each song was about before performing it (how I love my radio/the national 7 road in France/Ringo/breakdowns on the road/etc.). They dedicated "Kleptomanie" to Winona Ryder, the jokers. I recognized a lot of stuff from their two last albums, like their great cover of the Plastics "I Love You Ono," (which Brezel referred to as "20th century classic music") but even the stuff I've never heard before was immediately appealing. They also did an abbreviated version of "Push It." I am definitely going to have to check out their back catalog.

Interesting connnections: Stereo Total's European label is Bungalow, which also has/had a lot of other neo-lounge bands on the roster, including Combustible Edison. Françoise used to be in the Lolitas, a French garage band, and of their albums was produced by Alex Chilton. (This from an excellent fan page.)

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