Earlier I'd hit a different sort of bro-fest, where the movement in the club seemed to be less about being some chick's caboose as driving a haphazard human train wreck toward the stage--but that was only during the Locust's spastic set. But the adrenaline was high from the get-go that night, as the new, aptly named Portland band Terrific opened for headliners the Dillinger Escape Plan at the Showbox. Terrific took the stage in high style, with a frontman dressed in a china-white face mask and black cape and vomiting ghoulish growls, while the rest of the band went for a similar Marilyn Manson-meets-killer-clown look--latex headgear, white face paint, and midnight-colored clothing. The mysterious death metal band includes Ron Avila, the drummer in Get Hustle, Chromatics, and Holy Molar (and previously in Antioch Arrow) and a powerful force in this theatrically gothic metal act.
Speaking of metal, if you haven't grabbed the self-titled release from the new Dave Grohl side project, Probot, I highly recommend picking up this disc, which includes his dream lineup of heavy-metal hitters. In a comp that makes the Foo Fighters look like the Dave Matthews Band, Grohl plays nearly every fucking instrument on every fucking song (Kim Thayil helps out on guitar for a couple of tracks, and on others vocalists bring in riffs as monstrous as their voices). The lineup of guest stars includes Cronos of Venom, Max Cavalera of Sepultura, Mike Dean of COC, Kurt Brecht of D.R.I., and tons of other names that will probably make most heshers pee their pants with excitement. (I grew up on "metal" bands with names much more dangerous than their sound, like, um, Slaughter, and didn't know about guys like these until more recent years. The exception to that rule, of course, is Lemmy from Motörhead, who contributes bass and vocals to "Shake Your Blood," a song that belongs at a biker bash right around the time the stools go crashing through the liquor cabinet.)
The last time I saw Lemmy live was when Motörhead tore up the Northgate Theater, the same evening I learned about 91.7 FM, Tacoma's "classical rock" station, from our denim-vested, mustachioed van driver, a local musician who sang the praises of the station's late-night speed metal shows. I've since had the station playing in my car, and although I can't seem to find that metal show anymore, I've come to enjoy the stoner DJs and promo spots from this station, run by Bates Technical College but as far from your typical college radio as you can imagine. Not to be confused with "classic rock," the classic-al rock realm at one time meant anything from Motörhead to the Stones and Bad Company, although more recently it's meant music that's tough to crank in the car unless you've got your irony shield on--we're talking Phil Collins, Huey Lewis and the News, Journey, and a pretty odd assortment of the kind of time-trapped hits that usually go in the dollar bins at garage sales. Still, the station was a good little novelty, although that will soon change when KEXP takes over the 91.7 slot this week to expand its coverage in the Washington area. The longer I can get KEXP on my drives down I-5 the better, but it'll be a little sad to say goodbye to the station that time forgot.
And before I forget, don't miss the Melvins/Mudhoney pairing at the Showbox this Sunday, March 7. The show is part of the Melvins' 20th anniversary tour, when they'll also play the Capitol Theater in Olympia-- the site of their first performances--on March 9 with Fitz of Depression. I'd hoped to help celebrate the band's two decades of noise manipulation and fractured feedback with "20 facts about the Melvins you didn't want to know" by Buzz, but the band's been busy recording a new album and unfortunately you'll have to make up those facts yourself--or read the new book Neither Here Nor There, which comes with a limited-edition Melvins comp.