Seeing the band playing for the 3rd time shouldn’t be full of surprises, but this case was different – for one the invitation seemingly came out of the blue (credit goes to Matt Icklan, Melvinhead extraordinaire) and was delivered via Facebook.
Surprise #2 came in the form of a bearded bass player – he surely didn’t look like ex-Karp Jared. First thought that crossed my mind was that Jared was kicked out of the band and replaced with Kirk from Crowbar. Further investigation revealed that the owner of the beard in question was Jeff Pinkus, a former Butthole Surfer! (hope that my ignorance can be forgiven since all bearded folks look more than a bit alike and there are few photos of Mr. Pinkus lying around).
Anyhoo…revving up the night was a Mexican trio called Le Butcherettes of whom I know laughably little (other than the country of origin and the fact that more recently they and Melvins shared a split on AmRep). Their sound could be loosely described as garage rock/punk and isn’t terribly original by any means, but is alright if you’re into that kind of thing.
Their main attraction of the trio is a frontwoman by the name of Teri Gender-Bender. She struts across the stage, she extract squiggly noises out of her keyboard and at times she looks like she’s plugged into the amp along with the guitar. I believe that she would’ve made an excellent one-person art performance piece – there’s no need for music even (not that its bad or embarrassing, but its got that “been there, done that” kind of feel to it).
Back to Melvins….
As stated above, Ex-Karp Jarred Warren wasn’t present on stage that night (paternity leave) but the trio of Buzz, Dale and Jeff still did an amazing job (not that I expected anything else out of them). Its not every day that you see a bunch of 50-somethings playing with an abandon reserved for people half their age, but that certainly can be said about Melvins.
Loud and raucous and weird and noisy – they always seem to deliver on all those fronts, both on record and live (even with an occasional misstep here and there). I pity the day when Melvins will retire and hang up their microphones for good, but hopefully that day won’t happen in the foreseeable future.