Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Well, it took me long enough but I finally dragged my sorry ass down to Des Moines to The House of Bricks on Friday night to check out a couple of bands that Troy, the Master of Ceremonies around here, has been talking about for some time now. I have missed other opportunities in the past and figured it was time to get in gear, since Troy, being no babe in the woods when it comes to sussing out stuff that one really outta wrap their brain around, insisted that I get myself to this show.

Well, I owe the guy a great deal for this one because what I witnessed was really nothing less than incredible. This is not a bunch of empty hyperbole here, this was something.

You see lately I've been in some kind of psychic funk. I've been stumbling aimlessly through my days like some drunken country bumpkin lost in the streets of New York City, finding it almost impossible to carry on the simplest of conversations, and pretty much out of sync with everything and everyone around me. My ship was definitely headed for the rocky shores of miasmic desolation, but alas, mental destruction was averted and it was due to this great night.

I show up at the House Of Bricks, walk in and it all begins. Troy starts making introductions to many of the cool and kind characters there (one was Rita, one of the scribes who lurks these hallowed halls here at Bigfoot Diaries HQ), various members of the bands, and then C.V. Eckian showed up. My shattered mind reading his appearance as some phantom harbinger of good things about to proceed, noting to myself that with this many of the Bigfoot Diaries gang in attendance, something cool was about to happen.

"Enough already" I hear you saying out there. "Cut this prosaic kaka effluvium and get to the point." All right, I hear ya. So what follows is my take on the three bands that played. It's a quick toss off kind of a thing I know, but I already blew my wad on the self indulgent wankfest of an intro.

The first band up was DDR. A fine three piece laying down some pretty good instrumental heavy metal. I'm using the term heavy metal in the sense of circa 1972 when that music still had a lot of excitement and possibility before the word became some kind of a stylistic straight jacket. A short set but a real nice way to open the festivities.

Next up was SUPERCHIEF. WOW. These guys deliver one heck'uva sonic blast. A loud, savage, high energy Molotov cocktail. There are a few bands out there that need to take notes from these heavy hitters. Vital stuff and the guys are having a mess of a good time on stage laying down their sound. More fun than a barrel full of monkeys even. These guys aren't worried about pose or empty posturing, they're just getting off on the sound that they're making. A sound that's more devastating than an Ox Baker heart punch and as satisfying as being on the winning side of a biker barroom brawl. You need to resensify your rock 'n' roll soul and give these guys a listen. Oh yes indeed.

Jason Boten and Jason Monroe of Superchief
(Photo by Darren Tromblay)
The Maw
Ok. So after recovering from that set It was time for the third and final band of the evening, THE MAW. Heavy, psychedelic space rock is one way to put it. A magic ceremony of inter-dimensional travel would be another. A Krautrock Black Sabbath that set their controls for the heart of Bevis Frond. Crowleyian psychonauts worshipping at the throne of Sun Ra. I don't know. All I know is that these guys are a force to be reckoned with. I actually think I left my body a couple of times. It was kind of the sonic equivalent to eating mushrooms. I just stood there awestruck after the set, watching them tear down their equipment, waiting for my scrambled brain to realign itself. Somebody could start a religion around the sound these guys make.

Later, Erik Brown from The Maw asked me what I thought of it, and I mumbled some semi coherent words which probably made very little sense, but what can I say. I still wasn't syncing up I guess. But on the drive home things started to slide together. I was really starting to feel better. Maybe there was some hope that I would actually be able to get my shit together again. Well, ok, that might be too much to ask for.

Anyway, I've said all of that to simply say this. Check these bands out. Go out of your way if you have too, but do it. I drove two hours through fog and rain each way to see these guys and I would do it again. Go ahead, you know you wanna trust me.



stcartwright said...

Crystallized word-manna...zounds. So glad you made the trek! It was great to meet you.