Naked Truth About Doll Rods: Refreshing, Maybe; Talented, Nope
What follows is a show review. The content is rated PG-13. If you’re offended by brief nudity, move on to Dan Webster’s Videofile on the next page.
The Demolition Doll Rods have one gimmick.
And it has nothing to do with their horribly mangled, doltish garage blues.
Yet the Dolls would be the first to admit music isn’t exactly their forte. Rather, playing in the near-buff is.
Last Thursday at Ichabod’s North, Detroit’s Demolition Doll Rods spat out some unihibited trash rawk, peppered with a little bare flesh.
Well, a lot of bare flesh.
The three Doll Rods, guitarist/vocalist Margaret Doll Rod, drummer Christine Doll Rod and guitarist/vocalist Dan Doll Rod, donned red satin and lace bikini panties, white stockings, knee-high white vinyl boot and tiny, paste-on valentines over their breasts. And that’s all.
Appearing in their flesh tuxedos in front of an audience is nothing new for Margaret and Christine. The two sisters are ex-strippers. And judging from his hip stage moves, Dan, too, is a natural go-go dancer.
To the delight of the mostly male audience, the Doll Rods let it all hang out, wiggling and jiggling their naked skin to the tune of sloppy, gritty rock ‘n’ roll. The crowd urged band members to remove their undies, and Margaret and Dan happily obliged.
I must say, I don’t mind a little nudity with my rock. Sorry Jesse Helms, rock ‘n’ roll has a duty to boldly break the rules every now and then, to make us feel a little awkward and to even pander to our vices, which are kept hidden on computer hard drives and credit card receipts.
And, that is exactly why these “alternative” blokes bore me. They play it so straight. These sensitive nerds whine passionately about their unstable emotional states and their Jack Kerouac first edition novels over a contrived din of distorted guitars and pedestrian rhythms. Neat.
Rock today is so safe it’s disgusting.
What’s my point?
When the Demolition Doll Rods took the stage in the near-buff it made me smile. And many others, too. Not because it was like, “boobs, oh boy.” It was because it was unexpected, provocative and a tad repulsive. It was sinfully refreshing.
Although, their nudity baited us curious spectators, the Demolition Doll Rods’ music unhooked us. The stage show sagged after about 20 minutes because the music wasn’t clever and compelling enough to sustain it.
Minx and Martin
Thursday’s show at Ichabod’s did yield some other highlights on top of the near-nude Doll Rods revue.
Martin Vs. His Big Ass delivered a clunky, uneven, broken-down set of knuckle-head rock. They were great.
And local opener Minx produced a fine set of atmospheric and dreamy music.
Minx - guitarist/vocalist Jenny Tiffany, guitarist Jason Campbell, guitarist Tammy Birdwell and drummer Ron Titman - dangled some very pretty, drifting melodies with its trio of guitars before a mostly inattentive audience. Tiffany also sang with a endearing twang.
Though I hate to drop names, Minx roams the fringes somewhere between the insurgent country of Tarnation and the damaged folk of Silver Jews.
It’s been a while since we visited those pesky Fumes. OK, so it’s been just over a month. So what. They’ve got a lot happening right now, including a show at Ichabod’s North with Jetpack, the Withdrawals and Fiona’s Fate.
At the beginning of March, the fearsome punk-rock foursome motors to sunny Austin, Texas, to play the industry-clogged South-bySouthwest music conference. The annual event draws record industry bottom-feeders from around the world.
The Fumes will play the Scooch Pooch Records showcase with labelmates Zeke, La Donnas, the Count Downs and Gomez at Austin’s favorite punk joint, Emo’s.
Following the conference, the Fumes will embark on a two-week West Coast jaunt with the Count Downs. One of their stops is the infamous Viper Room in Hollywood, the club owned partly by actor Johnny Depp.
“I’m working on my River Phoenix jokes,” says the perpetually irreverent guitarist/vocalist Dee Farmin. If you recall, Phoenix died from an overdose outside the club a few years ago.
“Why didn’t River Phoenix cross the road?” I don’t know Dee, why? “Because he died on the sidewalk.”
Ba dum bum.
Oh those Fumes, making friends wherever they go. Suffice to say, the band’s first Viper Room appearance will be its last.
The Fumes plan to record their third album and debut for Scooch Pooch in the spring. Look for the album later this year.
Saturday’s show starts at 9:30 p.m. The cover is $4.
Blues a brewin’
All-female rhythm and blues combo, Sweet Mama Johnson, holds court at Fort Spokane Brewery tonight and Saturday.
There is nothing very swampy about the band. Its funk-inflected blues has more in common with Texas and Chicago than it does with Mississippi.
Swamp Mama Johnson, whose members are scattered across the west side of the state, have spawned two highly touted releases - 1994’s “River Hips” and 1995’s “Wetlands.”
The cover is $6 both nights. Music starts at 9:30 p.m.
Local band bailing out?
The ever-popular Mama’s Dogma is back in action tonight at the Northern Corner and Saturday at the Panida Theater in Sandpoint. According to a source, the jazz-funk band is leaving the old Lilac City for the rainier pastures of Seattle. Music starts at 9:30 tonight. The cover is $5. Tickets for Saturday’s concert are $8, showtime at 8 p.m.
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