Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Paul Cary, Total Control, Thee Oh Sees - (Le) Poisson Rouge

Paul Cary and the Small Scaries

Total Conrtol

Thee Oh Sees

Doug McQueen, who made the night a real rager.

Paul Cary and the Small Scaries came to town on tour with Total Control and Thee Oh Sees, and I got to go see.

Paul Cary is responsible for creating one of my all-time favorite records ever, the self-titled “The Horrors” lp released on In The Red back in 2000. (You can download a FREE ,legit copy here.) I still remember the first time I ever saw that band play. I was on a road trip with friends and we were staying in Colorado Springs with an old buddy. It was snowing like crazy and we drove across town at minimum speed through the mush to see The Horrors play at a punk house. They were also from Iowa where we all went to school, and I’d hung out with all of them for years but somehow never heard their music. Those guys had driven literally all day through the blinding snow to play this show, had just arrived at like 11 pm, and when they finished setting up there were probably 11 people to play to. They absolutely destroyed the place. They sounded huge, everyone danced like maniacs, and they won my heart forever.

Anyway, I hadn’t seen Paul play in a long time and I was stoked when I walked by (Le) Poisson Rouge and saw his name on the sign. Having mismanaged my schedule on this Friday night I got to the venue just as the guys took the stage. The new songs are a little less frantic, but the same stripped-bare, propulsive, raw, trembling, rock-and-roll howl is there.  The band he’s built is perfect for him. John Crawford can do anything he wants to drums and Adam Penly on the organ adds a current of reverent southern smoothness. Anyway, these descriptions do nothing so please just listen.

Total Control were seriously awesome in a Fall, Gang of Four kind of way and I thought they played an awesome set.

Thee Oh Sees were also awesome, and I was impressed with how big they sounded. A real fun live band. About half way through the show I realized that the male singer /guitar player used to be in a band with some friends of mine, which I then filed under the “oh, neat” category in my brain.

About the same time I was realizing that, my best buddy Doug McQueen, back home in NYC for the first time in 6 months, was realizing that he was pretty much invincible. He also had to dance. Like a ritual of awakening, his dancing started to bring to life the dormant crowd around him. It was his semi-successful stage dive on-top-of /in-to the immobile throng that finally turned everyone loose. His persistence to enjoy hisself whipped up a maelstrom. He single handedly started the party. Sadly, the candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long. He would exit slightly early with a black eye and a smile.