Review & Photos: Nobunny, Bongwater & Black Swans, 1/24/12 – 1/25/12
January 30, 2012
Written by M B L
“Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel.” – Hunter S. Thompson
No, this photo is not from last week’s show at 1-2-3-4 Go! Records. It was all ages after all and Nobunny kept his clothes on. The room was completely packed and no one was safe from the moshing, flying jackets and projectile vomit. The short set ripped through much of the Nobunny catalog including the signature “Boneyard” and “I am a Girlfriend”. The grande finale was a fueled up version of Weird Al Yankovic’s “Eat It”. Out front the kids were cussin’ and slappin’ each other around. Full on all ages experience. The photo is from SXSW ’09 at the oldest bar in Austin, the incredible Scoot Inn. I think I got my buddy Chuck all signed up to join me in Texas this coming March; hard to believe it is nearly February.
Down the street at the Stork Club, Columbus Ohio’s Black Swans helped us digest the scene we left behind. I got some whiskey into Chuck and he eloquently compared the band to Lou Reed singing Leonard Cohen. The Black Swans continue to experiment with instrumentation since their last SF show at the Rite Spot. This band included Omnichord! I don’t think I’ve ever seen one of these. It’s like an electric autoharp I guess; another forgotten treasure from the early 80s. Soon all the kids will be using them. Lead Swan Jerry is seriously considering a move to the Bay Area and we would be so lucky to have him. The guy already seems to know the best venues…
After a bit of sleep the party moved to Yoshi’s in Oakland where Ann Magnuson brought her latest show: The Drawing Room Apocolypse. Backed by only piano and drums, Ms. Magnuson managed to turn Yoshi’s into some sort of NYC performance art space from 1985. She began the show in an elaborate gold dress, but quickly stripped down to fishnets and a corset. From a coat rack she gradually pulled various costumes. The show celebrated the end of the world that is coming in 10 months (as the Mayan calendar predicts). Bowie’s “5 Years” therefore was transformed into “10 months” with the crowd singing the chorus. There were songs from throughout her career including a Bongwater medley! Plus songs by Bessie Smith, The Doors and Janis Joplin. She spoke brilliantly about everything from the occupy movement to HIV and how fucking stupid we are to be complaining about Obama given the freakishly frightening alternatives. No photos I’m afraid but check out this ridiculous video of her with Bongwater and special guests Bob Weir and Screaming Jay Hawkins!!