This Weekend In New York: Frankie Rose Strips Down, White Mystery Rubs It In, And The Dirtbombs Double Up On Drums
In Waste Of Paint, our writer/artist team of Jamie Peck and Debbie Allen will review goings-on about town in words and images.
This weekend, the New York music scene continued to show its support for injured rock and soul DJ Jonathan Toubin with numerous benefits in his honor. Brooklyn Bowl, Glasslands, and Motor City all pitched in, joining venues across the country in bringing people together to help the man whose tireless crate-digging has kept us dancing into the wee hours on many nights. Even the shows that were not specifically Jonathan-related were still peppered with discussion of how best to help the Wonka-esque mensch, and the same sentiment was on everyone's lips: Get well soon, buddy.
Saturday, we stopped by the Toubin benefit at Glasslands, where Frankie Rose, Stalkers, the K-Holes and X-Ray Eyeballs were all set to throw down for their friend. Frankie Rose kicked things off with a short acoustic set of songs taken mostly from her excellent debut full-length. Instead of playing with the Outs, she was backed by a single guitarist, and while her songwriting stood up to the stripped down set-up, I missed the gorgeous vocal harmonies that are usually a part of songs like "Girlfriend Island" and "Candy." That said, Rose's strong, lovely voice was still a treat on its own, especially when she covered Mazzy Star's "Blue Flower."
We wanted to stay for the rest of the bands, but Chicago's White Mystery was playing Gramercy Theater at 11:30, and they're not in town very often. Consisting of brother-sister duo Alex and Francis White, this band combines the raucous energy of garage-punk with above-average guitar proficiency. Both siblings bobbed their giant red 'fros nonstop as sister Alex delivered the monster riffs and sang in a slightly raspy voice; it occasionally reminded me of Grace Slick's in both its declarative confidence and the slight echo effect over it. Francis chimed in from behind the drum set, often making silly faces. At the end of their last song, Alex played the guitar with her whole body (including that magical 'fro), rubbing it on herself and slinging it around to create ringing feedback. One gets the sense the White household was a fun place to grow up.
Next, Detroit's The Dirtbombs performed a more "classic" take on garage rock that incorporated more of rock's blues and soul roots. Anchored by dueling drummers, the group delivered a long set of leg shaking (if slightly repetitive) numbers. It's worth noting that front man Mick Collins was sporting a pair of black-and-blue Village Voice sunglasses provided by our street team, which he removed only to wipe the sweat from his face. For the finale, instead of going bigger, the group gradually subtracted members until only one drummer remained, pounding at his set in an exhausted and haphazard fashion for maybe a bit too long. None of the yelling, moshing fans seemed to mind.
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