I'd already seen Ben Lee once. He's a cute kid
and I like some of his songs, but I never imagined I'd wait half an hour
just to get into the Electric Lounge to see the kid a second time.
I'd actually come
to see Alec Empire and his Digital Hardcore crew, and I obviously wasn't the
only one. The line was enormous, and the fire marshal wasn't fucking around.
Ben Lee was cool for ten minutes, then he was a little less cool, then I had to
sit down because the heat was making me dizzy.
Glaswegian buzz band Bis
were next. Two guys who didn't look old enough to buy ice cream on guitars and
a girl who looked even younger on the drum machine. They were pretty awesome,
but also only for about fifteen minutes. High-energy snot punk. I think the
folks at Grand Royal should take a lesson from Chuck D. at Slam Jamz and only
release singles and EPs, and they should yank their bands after twenty
Neither prepared me for the full-on assault of Atari Teenage Riot.
This was a jailbreak, or as my friend Chris H. said, "It's like an ice pick in
your forehead over and over...with a strobe light."
Mayhem, thunder-and-lightning electric punk with neck-breaking beats and
attitude. These rainbow
coalition bashers swagger, spit and pummel like computer-programming luddites,
only instead of wanting to destroy technology in toto, these kids want to build
it up, so they can destroy it for the sound it makes going down. It's almost
too intense, with the strobes and all. I knew this was the place to be because
American recordings honcho Rick Rubin said so. He was all smiles.
wound down with a disco volante session courtesy of Ovum Records co-chief DJ
Josh Wink, who had the beautiful people shaking it at Bob Popular after 1
Wink's hard beats and hard breaks had everyone moving, from the publicists to
the A&R folks and out-of-town club owners, and of course, the real people too.
I saw a guy in a t-shirt that said "Disco Still Sucks," but I could tell he
didn't mean it. Bottom line: Too much waiting, too many shows goin' on