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Butthole Surfers w/ Psychic Ills @ Paradise in Boston (Pics/Review)

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Butthole Surfers with Psychic Ills - The Paradise (Boston, MA) - September 30, 2009

 

Mix together a kiddie pool full of beer, an André The Giant handful of blotter, two full drum kits, and five demented psyches bent on rearranging your DNA via whatever powers they can summon. Add in a mute, naked dancer. Steep for weeks in the hot Texas sun. Unleash. This was the beautifully disturbing mindfuck that the Butthole Surfers foisted upon the world in the '80s and part of the '90s before it all unraveled. Equal parts unhinged lunacy and cunningly crafted psych of the highest order ever, the Surfers were among the most potent live acts ever assembled, and their stretch just after the rudimentary hardcore days, from Cream Corn From The Socket of Davis through Hairway to Steven was as potent a recorded legacy of willful provocation and original creation as I've yet heard. I never did catch them when Kathleen was the sixth member, dancing naked in a much different manner and purpose than Stacia Blake did for Hawkwind, and Teresa had just left the band, but the two shows I saw in '89 and '90 were genuinely disturbing, menacing, bracing and 100% engaging.

 

Flash forward to today...the classic lineup sans Kathleen is on the road, and once again probing your frontal lobe with a rusty screwdriver. To a packed house, the Buttholes had their classic backdrop of projected images (no penis reconstruction surgery clips this time) and two full kits at the back, King sitting and Teresa standing; Flanking stage right was Paul Leary, Pinkus on the other side manning his bass, and in the middle near a rack of electronics and delay effects was the ex-accounting major Gibby Haynes, looking like Johnny Depp after an intensive human growth hormone binge and no sleep for weeks. The set list they played couldn't be improved upon; the bloodless curdle of "Creep In The Cellar," the heartfelt paean "Rocky" to fellow traveler Roky Erickson, the madcap rush of "The Shah Sleeps In Lee Harvey's Grave," the perfect blend of drum pound/tremulous guitar of "Dum Dum (King was on fire...great drummer!)," they hit all the right parts of their best work. About the only song I'd truly loved to have heard and didn't would be the coruscating "Concubine." However, the menace, the unpredictability, it was missing. In a most obvious way. It all felt like once being terrified by a large neighborhood dog when you were a kid, only now that dog's old, mangy, missing a few teeth and can only manage a half-hearted growl...the drool is the only disturbing bit left...Maybe it's me, twenty years later the context is much different, my experiences are much different. The mosh pit didn't seem to care.

 

Openers Psychic Ills had a perfect name for their take on psychedelic music. Brooding, hazy, uneasiness, all of these were painted in broad brush strokes over a simple hypnotic bass line provided by lithesome Elizabeth Hart. Drummer Brian Tamborello had a great sense of style, heavy on the toms and really driving the music. All chest thud, very little head splash. Bad trips never sounded so good.

 

Blitzen Trapper - Blitzen Trapper @ El Rey (Pics) Ghostface Ghostface Killah @ Hiro Ballroom (w/ Crowd Pics)
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Love the review and photos Tim.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/daba/me-bermudajpg.jpg Daba

Where are the pictures of Paul Leary? That's unforgivable!

Corb Revolg

hey Corb, Leary was blocked from my view via Gibby's rack of delays. I did get one shot of him (last image) when I was side-stage before getting booted out.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/tinnitus_photography/profile.jpg tinnitus_photography

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