As a highly-experienced concertgoer, I know that each show I attend has a quality of unpredictability: that the chances of the unexpected happening sometime during the night are pretty good, and this, for me, is very good. I don't like to go to shows where it's something slick and overproduced, where each crowd is told they are the very best that ever was tonight and that their sportsball teams are also the best. Sometimes the surprises I get are good, sometimes they are bad, and sometimes are just "huh?"  I'd say that at least two of those categories were fulfilled last Saturday night at The Crocodile in Belltown, and now I will tell you why and also show you photographs of the event that I personally took with a camera device.

The opening act of the evening was Seattle's Thunderpussy, a new band that held good promise via the past work of members formerly from La Luz, The Grizzled Mighty, and Cumulus. Five minutes in, it was obvious that all eyes would be hot-glued on singer Molly Sides for the remainder of their set to the exclusion of just about anything else, including perhaps Mount Rainier exploding or Justin Timberlake walking in the club with a naked Miss America and a Corgi puppy. Usually such performance skills would be a very good thing. In this case, Sides (who is also a professional dancer) made me feel like I was peeping in on a carefully-choreographed "gentlemen's club" act -- so over-the-top sexualized that I was waiting for a shiny silver pole to raise up from the floor at any moment. Was this satire? Was this a celebration of the female sexual essence? Was this curious display of fitness at a punk show meant to tantalize us into listening to Thunderpussy's musical output? I'm afraid the band impressed me with the wrong things. If Sides' Superchick persona was meant to be funny, I missed the joke, and if it was meant to make me drool, I am a straight female. I'm sorry if I didn't get it, Thunderpussy, and the music itself was not strong enough to make me a fan. Best of luck, though, and you do make for very nice photos.

(As always, click to enlarge photos and click on the Flickr set links to see more!)

I moved from the balcony to the floor for Melbourne, Australia's Ausmuteants, here on their first American tour. As they tore into their first song, I breathed a sigh of relief and smiled, back in my comfort zone of fast n' loud and nasty. On record, the band's retro/Casio-style keyboards take a more prominent placement, along with lovely snotty vocals, neither of which I could hear live whatsoever because of my placement directly in front of the bass and guitar amps. I am not complaining, though, because I enjoyed myself mightily. Lyrically, Ausmuteants remind me of Seattle own wimps, who take the ordinary details of life and complain about them in such as way as to make them fun and funny. Get thee over to the always-groovy Goner Records and pick up "Order of Operation," available on vinyl and CD. I feel really good that I didn't mention one single Australian cliche in this review. G'DAY! Ah, FUCK. 

Ausmuteants, The Crocodile, Seattle 10/11/14 Flickr set

I've had the pleasure of seeing both King Khan and the Shrines AND King Khan & BBQ Show a few times now, and if you have not, you are not having enough joy in life. Dressed like a tribal, semi-naked Elvis/God, King Khan pairs a furious garage guitar with soul-soaked vocals, pacing the stage with the intensity of a caged, hungry tiger. This night, his soul-pal Mark Sultan (aka BBQ Show) adds his studded mask and nipple-baring black clothing to the visual feast, along with his bare feet driving snare, bass drum, and tambourine, his hands shredding on rhythm guitar, and his equal-parts sweet-and-shoutin' singin'. The crowd was more than ready to get their cray-z-tymez on, with a few missteps. Sultan quickly and forcefully reprimanded the turds who threw ice and beer cans onstage, and security quickly and forcefully removed stage divers who where clonking people on their skulls with unfortunately-worn platform shoes and/or who were too drunk to realize they were being turds. This was expected by me, and I protected myself and my camera gear like a wise old wary tiger, and I fared well.

Here is the really nifty thing about King Khan & BBQ Show, other than all the things I've mentioned: when you get inside the music they play, you can so hear that both men have a deep knowledge and love of the roots and soil of American rock n' roll music. Wash away the satisfying layers of garage grit and gunk, and there is doo-wop, Delta blues, Sun Records, Dion, Louis Prima, squeaky-clean balladeers and sketchy hillbilly rockers. They know their stuff, and are able to bring all those flavors into their own weirdo thing. Bless you guys.

King Khan & BBQ Show, The Crocodile, Seattle 10/11/14 Flickr set

Thank you Thunderpussy, Ausmuteants, King Khan & BBQ Show, The Crocodile, Kitty Page, and Pete Capponi for an unpredictable night!