Don Fleming and the Folding Men
Sunday, September 11
Better Than: Watching Terrorist Motherfuckers Destroy The World Trade Center
As Don Fleming told the Voice recently, the Velvet Monkeys/Gumball/B.A.L.L./Half Japanese dude and superproducer moved to NYC in 1986 and quickly plunged in the then-crusty-assed downtown sludge of the Bowery and Houston Street, setting the stages at CBGB and the old, old Knitting Factory ablaze with skanky art-pop heroics.
Much has changed since those days of yore. Some trendy fashionista named John Varvatos displaced CB’s; luxury condo monstrosities and Whole fuckin’ Foods line Houston; and the World Trade Center is gone. What better way to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11 than with Fleming and a bunch of his grunge-y cohorts, including Kim Rancourt (When People Where Shorter and Lived Near The Water) and Sally Be (Lydia Lunch collab-er)?
Billed as an evening centered on the John Lennon song “Remember”, Fleming—clad, as ever, in a black leather jacket and dork specs—broke into the ex-Beatle’s piano-driven tune while backed by a trifecta of drummers, a maelstrom of electronics, and sonic guitar-slinging histrionics. He brought a flood of emotion derived from Lennon’s wordsmithery. Beatles disciple Fleming, in his whiny geek drawl, sang the prophetic words “Don’t feel sorry ’bout the way it’s gone/ Don’t you worry” while scattering a blistering solo racket and spiking his guitar into the floor; a cacophony swirled and unsettling film of the Twin Towers burning—taken by Fleming himself—played behind the noise jam, which lasted for 25, maybe 30 minutes. Fleming then stopped the “sorrow and got a back to a little rockin,’ channeling the early ’90s with a scathing take on “Velvet Monkeys Theme Song” and “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road,” the latter of which found him writhing on the Mercury’s stage floor.
Critical bias: Where the fuck were Pussy Galore clankmaster Bob Bert, Chavez’s Matt Sweeney, Bush Tetras’ Dee Pop and Sightings’ Mark Morgan?
Overheard: “We’re on a co-co-co-llision course for doo-doo-doo-doom”—opening band Brute Force
Random notebook dump: Three drummers is as badass as it gets.
Remember (John Lennon)/extended jam
The Velvet Monkeys Theme Song
Why Don’t We Do It In The Road (Lennon/McCartney)