Friday, June 25, 2010

Drugs and bunnies

Last night provided a great opportunity to see a lot of bands. First stop of the night was an early performance at Zaphod Beeblebrox by the great Ted Leo. I've been an admirer since the days of Chisel, when his sharp mod rockers provided a snappy alternative to grunge. For this particular show he was joined by New Jersey's Screaming Females.

Perhaps that should be Screaming Female, since the trio has only one, guitarist and singer Marissa Paternoster. The band is a bunch of troopers, having just come off a tour that ended with some serious van woes. Fortunately Ted and Co. lent them their gear so they could soldier on. Marissa's fuzzy guitar actually reminded me of Kyuss at one point. Her playing also makes me think of Dinosaur Jr.'s J. Mascis, albeit not quite as loud.

Screaming Females at Zaphod Beeblebrox
Screaming Females at Zaphod Beeblebrox, June 24, 2010

As for Ted Leo, I think he's one of the best performers around, always super-intense in his singing and guitarwork, witty and charming between tunes. He's an uncommonly intelligent songwriter too, which may be why he's not as popular as he should be. Anyway, it's been a couple of years since I last saw him play at Barrymore's October 6, 2007. I figure this is show number five for me, and No. 6 can't come soon enough.

Ted Leo & The Pharmacists at Zaphod Beeblebrox
Ted Leo & The Pharmacists at Zaphod Beeblebrox, June 24, 2010

The Born Ruffians were also in town, but I couldn't pass up a chance to see Nobunny again - also the Ruffians had apparently sold out a while ago. So off to Nine . I arrived in time to catch the Steve Adamyk Band's last three or so songs.

Steve Adamyk Band at Nine
Steve Adamyk Band at Nine, June 24, 2010

The Nymphets followed them. The band is down to a duo. They sound just fine sans bass player, like a combination of The Television Personalities and a ramshackle Buzzcocks. The Nymphets like to round out their sets with an Oi! tune. At previous gigs it's been Borstal Breakout - this time it was Cocksparrer's England Belongs To Me.

Nymphets at Nine
The Nymphets at Nine, June 24, 2010

The first portion of Nobunny's set was not as wild and crazy as previous Ottawa dates. You can blame the fact he was playing guitar and thus had less opportunity for misbehaviour. Fortunately White Wires' Allie Hanlon soon joined on drums, allowing the drummer to take over on guitar and Nobunny to put the Nine railing to maximum use.

Nobunny at Nine
Nobunny at Nine, June 24, 2010

A short set that ended strong.

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