Review & Photos: Friday Night Freak Fest — Michael Hurley, Avengers and the return of the Ghost Town Gallery, 5/25/12
May 30, 2012
Written by M B L
Michael Hurley played the Great American Music Hall on Friday night opening for Cass McCombs. Hurley aka Snock is truly one of a kind. His First Songs came out in 1965 on Folkways, and he joined the Holy Modal Rounders for the ultimate party record Have Moicy! in 1976. Snock captivated the crowd with tales of Jocko jacking off too much and then brought out the achingly beautiful “O My Stars” from 1980′s Snockgrass. A lot of these long lost records have been re-released (a few on Portland’s primo Mississippi label). Do check them out. There are a bunch at 1-2-3-4 Go! Records, and, while we’re on the subject, Friday also just happened to be NIGHT 2 of 1-2-3-4′s Go! Go! I bought a print (my 3rd) from Snock, he gave me a lemon, and I raced to Oakland’s New Parish.
The Bananas played their last song as I haggled with Uzi doorman, Max Nordile. Uzi Rash will play one of its ‘last shows’ at Oakland’s fahbulous White Horse this Thursday (Night 5 of the Go!Go! with Twin Steps, Elvis Christ, and much more). Avengers delivered a solid set including 2 covers: “Money (That’s What I Want)” and “Paint it Black.” Formed in SF in 1977, Avengers opened for the Sex Pistols for their last show (at Winterland). Singer Penelope Houston lives in Oakland and has a bunch of excellent solo records. Her seventh, On Market Street, just came out and Avengers’ long unavailable ‘Pink Album’ is also being re-released. Buy it here.
Just a short drive up San Pablo, there was new life at the Ghost Town Gallery. It musta been a year or two since they had a show (or at least an advertised one). It was good to be back. The event was a fundraiser for Sioux Magazine, and if the art hanging on the walls was any indication, a very worthy cause. The place was packed and the blood alcohol content was high. The John Brothers Piano Company came on around 1am with a furious ragtime piano and clarinet duet. People were dancin’, doin’ shadow puppets and falling outta their seats. Do check them out at Rockridge BART sometime, and certainly don’t miss a chance to see them let loose in the wee hours.
Long time tenant Greg Ashley played last and truly unplugged. The room sang along to “You Make Me Feel Like Shit, I’m Gonna Kill Myself.”. The drunken sound man eventually got the mic plugged into an amp while the other sound man (tripping?) wrestled with the dead sound board for 40 minutes. Yea-Ming, the ultimate Dreamdate joined Greg for a June Carter/Johnny Cash type finale. They are finally recording together and hopefully more will be available very soon. For now, do enjoy “Don’t Be Mean” on Bandcamp.