Across town at the Comet, things got wild without the use of video cameras. Atlanta's Black Lips went through bass strings, the bar's newspaper collection, and, by the end of their set, any attempt at keeping their shit together. In the course of playing a primitive set of perfectly sloppy garage rock, the band was pelted (favorably, of course) with plastic beer cups and wads of newspaper, a general commotion that hit its apex at the end of the set, when singer-guitarist Cole Alexander lived up to his legend and played a couple of chords with his dick before the other guitarist threw his instrument at the bassist and socked the singer in the face and the whole band somehow ended up rolling around on the ground.
Opening that Comet set were Electric Blanket, who played twice last week. Earlier they performed at Vito's, a bar so great for small shows that I wish they'd have live music there more often. The place just drips Mafia class, from the old man in a fedora and full-length fur I saw leaving the place when I arrived, to the photo collages of distinguished-looking men lining the walls by the bathroom. With its smoked-mirror walls, dark booths, and dim lighting, the club is perfect for style mavens looking for an offbeat hangout. The Start! DJs have had a weekly night there on Wednesdays for a while, and once the band was done they filled out the intimate dance floor by mixing up the Smiths with OutKast and Archie Bell. I heard the Start! folks might be losing their grip on the place, though, due to low attendance (although the house looked fairly full for a Wednesday night when I went). I hope they're able to keep their good thing going.
It was a terrible summer for band accidents, and unfortunately the frequency of ambulance rides hasn't changed with the shifting of seasons. Dub Narcotic Sound System were involved in a crash in Montana on October 15, when driver Chris Sutton swerved to avoid hitting a deer in the early-morning hours. Sutton and Calvin Johnson were thrown from the van. Sutton lost some teeth and broke his jaw, requiring a fair amount of time in the hospital, while Johnson broke three ribs and has a "nasty concussion." (Heather Dunn walked away from the crash unhurt, fortunately.) Like most indie-label musicians, the band members don't have health insurance and are asking anyone interested in donating money toward their medical bills to check out the K Records website. I hear there will also be benefit shows for the band throughout November.