Naam at Saint Vitus
I think I took about four years off from seeing this band. The last time I saw 'em was the last time I shot 'em. Aside from some new band members they really haven't changed at all, not even the beards. They also still don't have much of an Internet presence. You'll have to either watch the videos on their Facebook page or catch 'em live.
Nothing at Saint Vitus
I suppose I should write something about Nothing (yes, the lineup of this particular show had a "Who's On First" quality).
Nothing are not as mellow as I had expected. You know how some bands, especially some psych/shoegaze bands, rock harder on their albums (because it sells) but are relaxed or almost sleepy on stage? Nothing are the opposite of that, closer to A Place To Bury Strangers or Nightmare Air without being consistently as loud. Unlike those bands Nothing's songs do have dreamy parts, but when they get to the rock parts these guys get aggressive. I think one of their guitarists did some real damage to his equipment, and he lost his shoe too. I like that level of intensity.
100% Black at Shea Stadium
Okay, there are these three guys in terrible drag, and one of them looks like Charlie Chaplin. I just had to shoot this in black and white. As it happens their look seems to be more Twin Peaks inspired. Someone book these guys at The Flat, pronto!
I believe 100% Black only did three songs. They were long, they were atmospheric, in a sort of angry gothic style. Even their cover of Bela Lugosi's Dead was more aggressive than the original. Yet it is noteworthy that the band rarely (if ever?) looked at the audience. The drummer actually performed with his back to the crowd. So the aggression was not directed at the crowd. It seemed to be something more internal, seething up inside but not (yet?) spilling out.
LODRO at Shea Stadium
Here are some more photos from my recent black and white experiment. Although I have photographed LODRO recently and hate to keep shooting the same bands over and over, their musical style (and those projections!) are such a good match to black and white photography that I just had to do include them.
King Dude at Club Europa
Vaguely gothic heavy folk is an actual genre these days. King Dude distinguish themselves by emphasizing the American Gothic quality of their music (I would have said "Southern Gothic" but they're from Seattle). Certainly the visuals are along those lines. The all-black American flag they used as a backdrop is a big clue, and with those outfits they just have to be going for the Night of the Hunter look. There is plenty of religious imagery in songs with titles like "Jesus In The Courtyard" and "Lucifer's The Light Of The World" as well.
Their music draws upon folk, country, and maybe some early rock-n-roll in their (relatively) optimistic numbers. It does not however seem to be influenced in any significant way by metal, industrial, dark wave or any newer vaguely gothic music. It is certainly not just acoustic black metal. Instead they have created an alternate take on folk music where hope drowned years ago and you would only "smile on your brother" right before you slit his throat, or perhaps decided at the last second not to. Perhaps.
In the past I have only seen T.J. Cowgill perform these songs solo. I couldn't tell you when King Dude became a 3-piece but they sound great. No complaints about that. The three-piece lineup sounds a bit more like a country act. If nothing else adding drums will do that. Perhaps we are seeing the first steps in a new direction for King Dude?
Mutant Genes at Tommy's Tavern
These guys had to change their name the day of the show. It turns out another, lamer band also used their old name. Sometimes it sucks to be a new band. You come up with a good name and someone steal it, you get to play hole-in-the-wall venues, and the only press you get is from some crappy wannabe photographer who doesn't even use a photo of the band as the lead-off shot. Pathetic! But at least the music is awesome.