If you live in New York, you are probably aware that a ridiculous amount of stuff happened last weekend. American Nightmare played twice, Prurient played twice, Iceage played twice and I opted out of all of those to see Call of the Wild play with Fang in front of about 30 people at the Ding Dong Lounge in Harlem. I regret nothing!
Call of the Wild is from Brooklyn and they’ve been around for over a year and for the entirety of their existence people have been telling me I need to see them. As soon as they went on my brain was electrified and I wanted to kick myself in the ass for not listening to everyone sooner. They are a perfect power trio. Mayhem in a concise package. They have everything a good rock band needs: crazy eyes, tight pants, skinny pants, unpretentious lyrics, a tough-ass girl, and enough jokes to get through a broken string, which happened.
Thankfully Allison told us a story about passing out in the park after a long night of partying and had a couple of jokes at the ready (“What did Cinderella say when she got the ball?”) She reminds me of Peppermint Patty if Patty listened to Oi, loved hockey, and was from Michigan. Also let’s note how nicely Johnny Coolati’s hair looks when it’s blowing in a high-speed fan.
Despite the setback, they played a killer set and you are very highly encouraged to see them for yourself. They’re playing a free show at Union Pool on August 4thas part of J Penry’s Summer Thunder series. They are the perfect band for day drinking.
Dez Cadena’s Penny Dreadful was supposed to play but the drummer threw out his back. Everyone is officially old.
Waiting for Fang to go on I meandered around the Ding Dong Lounge. The bar has been open for a little over a decade but feels much older thanks to the old punk show flyers and posters plastered around the place. Most of the shows advertised on the walls didn’t actually happen at the bar, but you get the feeling that someone involved was probably at least there.
Can we talk about how happy I would be to have a time machine so I could ring in New Years with the Heartbreakers and the Ramones?
Before Fang went on a very excited (read drunk) Larry served as hype man.
Fang was great. They played the majority of Landshark to a crowd of very excited 40-somethings and 20-somethings. I thought Sammytown would be scarier seeing as how he, you know, killed someone, but he was affable, energetic and seemed pretty sober as he reminisced about the corners where he used to cop asking the crowd if Harlem had gone the way of the Lower East Side to an answer of unhappy nods.
These guys were going nuts during the entire show. This is what happens when Fang plays “Skinheads Smoke Dope.”
These two ladies made me really happy that I live in New York City in a way that’s difficult to explain if you haven’t lived here for at least 10 years. New York is a place where being a lifer isn’t depressing—it’s awesome. They also make me wish I had awesome boobs. The gal on the right spent the whole show dancing while chewing her bubblegum in the pit with the dudes. There was a lot of visible cleavage at this show. I think it’s a requirement to have lots of tattoos and a nice rack if you’re gonna be a bartender at the Ding Dong. It’s kind of great. That’s how the Lower East Side used to be. Now you just have to be a model to work at a bar down there.
This lady was either filming or photographing the show. She would periodically emerge from the crowd with her spiky rubber backpack and get really close to Sammytown and shoot right in his face and then sneak stealthily back into the crowd all crouched low like a ninja. It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen.
She was there hanging out with Joe Coleman. I tried to sneak a picture of him but none of them turned out. I’m not sure if anyone else would find his presence at the Fang show exciting but I sure did.
The proper set ended with Sammytown doing a face plant into this girl’s chest right before their encore of the Jim Carroll Band’s “People who died.” In summation, I saw Call of the Wild, I saw Fang, and apparently I wasn’t the only one distracted by lots of boobs.