Monday, August 19, 2002 @ 2:07 PM
Nashville Pussy And Bionic Sto
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The last time I caught Nashville Pussy live was back in mid-September. The world was still reeling from the WTC attacks, Saskatoon seemed to get a tad colder, my student loan was held up from the fallout from the terrorist attacks (surprise!), I was going through endless withdrawals from excessive cabin fever because I had barely enough money to go to the bar and spent my time at the campus library on KNAC mulling about Canada having about 600 of its citizens unaccounted for following the attacks and proclaiming that September 11 was Air India Flight 182 all over again. You know you desperately need to get out a bit more when you're debating about CNN's coverage of the Sept. 11 attacks in the chatroom and how many of your countrymen you think really did die in the attacks. Ugh.
Then again, my RackTheCasbah nick made a few people happy that same day.
Anyway, the night was September 15 or 16 of last year. Craig Williams' high praise of Nashville Pussy pushed me to buy a ticket when they played at Amigo's that night. Amigo's was a small and somewhat cramped Mexican-themed style restaurant that had been experimenting with live music for a while. The stage was no bigger than knee-length, which meant that the only non-physical barrier between Ruyter Suys and a doomed existence of being an engineering student's shower plaything was gravity. Vocalist Blaine wasn't in a good mood about that, especially since he had to fight off some members of the audience from stealing his mic and his setlist at least four times and threatened to take out a few of the audience members to the back and show them what's up. Corey Parks was long gone, but her replacement Tracy Almazan killed on the bass and had a shapely body. I sat next to Ruyter Suys for 15 minutes before the opening band took to the stage and didn't know it. The opening band was largely forgettable and did some punk rock covers that only Frank Meyer would be able to remember.
And that was all I could recall from that concert.
Much has changed since last September if you'll pardon my Wolf Blitzer. Especially the quality of the music of the opening act. In this case it was a band by the name of Bionic and you could tell that they weren't a local band by the following:
1) They didn't sound like Radiohead, Boy Hits Car or Guided By Voices
2) They had some actual support from their growing fanbase
3) Vocalist Jonathan Cummins announced "We're Bionic from Montreal, Quebec!"
Despite the constant sound problems that the guitarist had during most of the set, which explains why I could only make out only 3 songs at best from their setlist ("Mission", "Turn You Out" and "Ballad Of The Electric Brains"), they were living and breathing proof that rock 'n roll was about tattoos, long hair, unwashed and sweaty concert T-shirts, a Charles Manson-like guitarist who looked like an ex-POW, but played like a bastard hybrid of Angus Young, Jimi Hendrix and Zakk Wylde, a far-out looking singer who looked like Nick Oliveri (at one point, I thought that Bionic was actually Queens Of The Stone Age touring secretly under a new name until I realized that "The Feel Good Hit Of The Summer" wasn't in their setlist) and lots of spontaneous screaming against a garage-rock-meets-stoner/doom-metal hybrid. Sure, it was done before and usually better, but this was real rock 'n roll being played tonight. Someone forgot to mention this to The Hives and The White Stripes while they were out purchasing their matching outfits at Old Navy since matching tuxedos in a rock band got pretty lame after 1979 when Paul Weller raised the bar a notch.
"Once we become fuckin' famous, we'll be able to get our own roadies!" -- Jonathan Cummins.
As previously stated, the difference between Nashville Pussy at the Odeon last night and Nashville Pussy at Amigo's nearly 10 months ago really showed. The Odeon's stage was at chin length even if it still didn't prevent people from groping Ruyter's legs during the solo to "Shoot First And Run Like Hell." Blaine didn't threaten to fistfuck the first person in the audience that he saw touching his wife but since Ruyter can deliver a swift kick with ease he wasn't worried anyway. Almazan has since been substituted by KatieLynn Campbell who could best be described as a more petite version of That 70's Show's Laura Prepon, able to handle her own onstage and an ass that ranks somewhere between Jackie Kay and Jennifer Lopez. Drummer Jeremy Thompson looked even more like Kid Rock than from the last time I've seen the band live. Blaine still scares the hell out of me but I have since outgrown my "if he sees me talking to Ruyter Suys he'll skullfuck me" paranoia. And I finally remembered the names of the other three band members.
Highlights of the concert included the opener "Say Something Nasty," "The Bitch Just Kicked Me Out," "High As Hell" (Blaine insists that this should be the new Canadian national anthem now that we've overtaken the Dutch as the marijuana capital of the world, allegedly), "Keep On Fuckin'," "You Give Drugs A Bad Name" (dedicated to "the assholes who don't know when a fuckin' party's supposed to end"), "She's Got The Drugs," "Wrong Side Of The Gun," "Fried Chicken And Coffee," "Johnny Hotrod," "Go Motherfucker Go" and a cover of AC/DC's "Shot Down In Flames," as well as the aforementioned groperrific "Shoot First And Run Like Hell" and the brief interlude in which Blaine crams a bottle of Bud (or whatever is the drink of choice endorsed by Nashville Pussy) down Ruyter's throat while she's playing a solo (as well as the obligatory lesbian moment between Ruyter and a female member of the audience -- I wish I had taken photos of that). I didn't catch the last song because Ruyter had decided to strip down to her bra and panties, causing me to lose concentration after that.
"Canadian girls are the most beautiful, intelligent girls in the world!" -- Blaine Cartwright, reminding everyone that Ruyter Suys is Canadian by birth.
"I've yet to read a bad review about us on KNAC" -- Ruyter Suys, who said that she "probably" read my September concert review.
To summarize, Nashville Pussy and Bionic are REAL rock 'n roll, and you look stupid right now if you paid $20 for the White Blood Cells CD because Spin or Rolling Stone told you to while ignoring these bands.
Bionic's website is at Bionicland.com if you're interested in knowing more about them, or if you're Jack White currently looking for work once your passing MTV fad--er, garage band breaks up by next year.
Nashville Pussy's website is at NashvillePussy.com if you agree that Avril Lavigne sucks.