Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Vaselines! at the El Rey. Los Angeles, CA. May 10, 2009.

What should serve as the perfect follow-up to local sunny pop act the Tyde, whose moppy blonde bass player wore jeans so tight that the pantylines of his boxer briefs shone through, and whose singer Darren Rademaker, holding a beautiful Gibson and blessed with a perfect porn 'stache, would lead his band in a flawless performance of Twice track “Go Ask Yer Dad” upon request? Why, yes, the Vaselines would do.

Reformed for now, visiting L.A. for the very first time, Glasgow's Frances McKee and Eugene Kelly played a couple of new songs to balance out a brief set of goodies from their equally brief late '80s catalogue, and it was during these that it became truly apparent how much of an influence they'd had on Nirvana.

McKee delivered all sorts of filth in a sweet Scottish accent – 10 p.m.'s never too early for muff, and yes, we could use a wank about now – while Kelly, actually quite handsome twenty years later, sans all that hair, played modest. They've aged well and sounded quite close to their recordings, though even McKee had trouble delivering the “man/boy” chant of “You Think You're a Man” without giggling. Not that it's an easy job – their Divine cover does have a chorus somewhat reminiscent of the “whore/nun” call and response of '90s SNL skit “Dieter's Dream.”

The show on the whole was a mecca of geek chic boys and indie kids from yesteryear, though the Vaselines' audience saw one token chick who resembled a bad LSD trip epitomized, as well as a couple engaged in face sex toward show's end. But the set ended on a high note, with an encore consisting of “Rory Rides Me Raw,” “You Think You're a Man” and “Son of a Gun.” New lyrics let us know that they've got nothing to say but they're saying it anyway – not that anything's changed, of course. Luckily, there's a small following that still gets the joke.

The Vaselines - Rory Rides Me Raw
The Vaselines - Slushy
Purchase the just-released Enter the Vaselines, which contains everything (!) recorded plus demos and live recordings.
The Tyde - Henry VIII
Purchase Twice.

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