don't you tell me how i feel.

panthers ‘n’ roses by v
August 14, 2012, 8:59 am
Filed under: Shows

faraway frankie

On Friday evening I was fortunate (and fast-moving) enough to see two different shows at two different venues: a free set by Frankie Rose at Prospect Park, and Night Panther at Cake Shop.

Part 1
I know I’ve gone on about this at length before, and I fully acknowledge my own curmudgeonliness, but crowds at free summer shows enrage me. Few people seem interested in the music — everyone’s just pushing past each other with three beers in each hand, yelling at and/or waving their friends over. Or else they’re standing in the aisles and blocking everyone’s view of the stage. Or they’re making fun of the musicians. GO TO A BAR. I hate you.

True to free-show form, Frankie Rose’s set was mostly drowned out by the sound of chatter and punctuated by scattered applause. Which was sad, since it was one of the longer and livelier sets I’ve seen from Ms. Rose, who was channeling Stevie Nicks in a bell-sleeved getup (I wish I had better images). Her former band, the Outs, has been replaced with entirely new players, and her guitarist in particular nailed Interstellar’s clean guitar sound live. The only thing missing was the harmonizing so unique to her and the ladies of the now-defunct Outs — with the exception of a single backup singer/keyboard player, she was going it alone on vocals.

Rose and co. closed with the quiet-loud punch of “Interstellar,” then an extended version of the slow-burning “Save Me” from her previous record. The set ended with Ms. Rose on the ground, scratching away at her guitar while her band made a jubilant ruckus.


night panther, mostly obscured by wild dancing

Part 2
Cake Shop, by comparison, was far less crowded — an $8 cover is a decent barrier to entry. I was there to see Night Panther, members of which you may recall from Lehtola’s tour diary last fall. They recently released their second single, “Fever” (below), a bouncy four minutes of near-impossible, Bee-Gees-shaming falsetto. Their performance revealed a few new tracks since I saw them last, rife with showboaty guitar solos that wouldn’t be out of place in the climactic scene of an ’80s teen movie. Excellent.

The evening’s strange bonus was an act called Popular Culture — a young-looking, wild-eyed gent with a Flock of Seagulls haircut and a creepy X scratched on his palm in permanent marker. He played preprogrammed tracks, singing over them in way that seemed both earnest and satanic. But it was hard to focus on the music, distracted as I was by his aggressive physical performance. Culture (real name: Henry) threw himself onto the grimy bar floor and writhed around, when he wasn’t getting in people’s faces or spitting beer at the audience. Part of me wanted to leave the entire time, but I couldn’t look away. I guess his shtick worked.

More on PC here.


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I got questions for Henry.

Comment by wKZg1^U#Iz$U

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