Well. It's time to write about this show. I think I will begin with the time-tested Adjective Toss while I gather my sentence-forming abilities.

Unsettling. Massive. Fun! Weird. Heavy. Insane. Jaw-dropping. Repellent! Endearing.

I've seen Ty Segall play many times over the years. I am a yuuuuge fan, and admire so much about our young blond friend: his relentless and top-quality musical output, ultra-fun, dynamic live shows, and willingness to leave the garage every so often to give us work that is quiet and reflective all the way over to sledge-hammer heavy metal. Every so often, I think MAN AM I LUCKY that I get to be able to be a part of that talent tsunami, even in my very small way as a photographer, writer, and fan.

And of course, I am not the only one who thinks this way. Everyone at the sold-out Neptune Theater did, I'm sure, as well as all those poor sodden souls who hovered outside the venue in the rain hoping to score a spare ticket. Having a raincoat might have been helpful inside the venue, as it turned out, but you'll have to wait a few paragraphs to get the explanation.

I have no good explanation for why I missed seeing openers Bread and Butter, other than suburban traffic and poor time management. Lo siento, friends. Please click on their name link above and listen to their fine tunes!

I had just a few minutes to settle in at the side of the sweet Neptune stage before CFM turned up to play. I was expecting and did receive a highly-enjoyable set, for CFM stands for Charles F. Moothart, lion-maned mainman guitarist/vocalist for most of Mr. Segall's work and tours, including Fuzz and GØGGS. He also collabs with musical superhero Mikal Cronin (see further below as well), and both were in the Moonhearts, a most-loveable lo-fi project. Projects! Err buddy got projects!

Mr. Moothart and his flying hair were joined most ably by Tyler Fromm on bass, Michael Anderson on guitar, and Audacity's drummer, Thomas Alvarez. I would have absolutely no good explanation for your behavior if you do not purchase "Still Life Of Citrus and Slime" released April 8th by In The Red Records as soon as you are able.

(Click on the photos to enlarge, and click on the Flickr links to see mo' fo toez! If you are viewing this on a cellular telephone device, put it down and go to a computing device so you can see the embedded videos! Blame Blogger.)

 I can't really express how happy this next photo makes me.

Children, let me tell you, I have seen Ty Segall play guitar. I have seen Ty Segall play drums. I have seen him play pretty solo acoustic guitar sitting on a chair. I have seen him do all kinds of shows that reflect his outstanding versatility and musical abilities. But this was the first time in all these years I've seen him appear onstage in a circa-1975 silver-studded leisure suit wearing a Booji-Boy-baby face mask that shot fake snot out the fake nostrils and real spit out the real mouth, named Sloppo. Oh my. Say hello to Ty Segall & The Muggers!

Now, you might be wanting to ask me, "Hey, Marianne, what is going on here?" After much reflection, I can say with confidence that I HAVE NO ACTUAL EFFING CLUE. It's not essential that I do, though, and that became apparent as the show went along and my bewilderment turned into head-banging enthusiasm. It was remarkable.

It was a lot to take in, seeing Segall as a non-instrumentalist character frontman, screeching odd proclamations that seemed like overarching in-jokes that perhaps were meant to confuse rather than entertain. Or perhaps it wasn't meant to mean anything whatsoever! I'm telling you, I really, really don't know. What does this persona have to do with "Emotional Mugger," Segall's new, challenging, and excellent album? This won't help you figure it out. Babies, sex, bodily fluid leakage, rock star posture and decadence, Mommy issues, Daddy issues...brothers and sisters, if you want to take on the psychological ramifications, sharpen your pencils and carve out an A+ grad school thesis. Me, I'm just takin' pictures.

Let us speak of The Muggers, as they are legend: marvelous Mikal Cronin on bass, vocals, and ginormo saxophone, Kyle Thomas of King Tuff on guitar and vocals (dressed in nuclear-waste orange), Evan Burrows from Wand on drums, Emmet Kelly from The Cairo Gang on guitar, and Cory Hanson, also from Wand, on guitar, vocals, and skronky synths. Sloppo got himself a garage supergroup, and the gentlemen outdid themselves.

The first half of the show featured almost every track from "Emotional Mugger," punctuated by Sloppo rants and crunches of heavy electronic noise, bordering on (dare I say it?) what felt like a deliberate and extended performance art piece. Was it? AAAH, I DON'T KNOW! I'm from Wisconsin! But we all dug it! The theater really exploded with pit action and stage diving during the second half "more familiar songs" section, including celebrity dives by Shannon Perry of Gazebos and Old Gary from King Tuff. No one died. Shannon lost her red shoe.


So, here's where the raincoat part comes in. Sloppo is a fan of spit. Not old school nasty punk lugies, mind you; more drool pools and saliva-infused handshakes. Some of the crowd were OK with this (see baseball cap man in the photo below), and some...not so much (see girl going EWWW below). I personally am not a fan of spit, but it beats other fluids, ya know? I bet you do. WWIT (What Would Iggy Think)?

I did a "slo mo" video, which features an epic spit take at :50.

Segall, at 28, has already equalled or surpassed the musical output of most artists in the game for many decades, and has delivered consistently interesting, damn good music. Would we be surprised if he should want to push the boundaries, for any reason or no reason? No, we would not. Consider this: Sloppo, while an absolute freaky mess, surrounds himself with very close compadres onstage, and faces an adoring crowd that reaches out to touch him, non-ironically. From my position, seeing the literal split at the stage edge between those two worlds in real-time was fascinating, and would explain more than the rather private Segall would ever wish to give away. 

As I left the building I heard several different people exclaim that this might be the best show they've ever seen. In a few years, they will be sure of it.

My infinite thanks to Michelle Cable at Panache Booking, the Neptune and STG Presents, the Target Corporation, who made my raincoat, and of course, Bread and Butter, CFM and Ty Segall and The Muggers.