Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Full of Melancholy

Depending on who you believe in this report, Gibby of the Butthole Surfers was either arrested or not last night after the sound guy at Webster Hall refused (or couldn't) raise the volume and he threw a bottle at him. Either way he was escorted off the stage by security guards after a little more than an hour of playing.

It was a crappy ending that left me feeling like my boyfriend stood me up, or my best friend dumped me, or someone made fun of my hair. That feeling you get when you have looked forward to something good and ended up disappointed in a way that is out of your control. It would not have been so depressing if they played more frequently.

Other than the sound being truly awful (and thus making Gibby's anger at the sound guy understandable), it was great to see them, though "seeing" is relative as they played completely in the dark. There were moments where they rocked hard and others where it seemed a little tame. I was hoping to be more blown away by Paul Leary's guitar playing. He seemed repressed up until Gibby got taken away and then he sang the best song of the night (forgive me I don't remember the name of the song.)

The videos on the wall were classic Buttholes, full of violence and genital mutilation. They played with the School of Rock kids coming and going but mostly sitting on the sidelines. I had read that in the past few weeks they had played regularly with the kids, but not last night. Gibby kept moving them around or off the stage for no apparent reason. They hammered out a lot of my favorite songs, but there was no Pepper, which maybe would have been their last song or the encore if they had been allowed to finish. Happily, they played my favorite song "I saw an Xray.." but he didn't get most of the words. No problem, it's an impossible song to remember, 10 or so lines of nonsequitors that begins with "10 foot tall and the nurse stuck a needle in my arm" and ends with "These images were conjured up by talking on the telephone."

For a really insightful review of the Buttholes and their powerful influence on modern music, plus a good explanation for their weirdness, read this.

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