Suicide Girls Tour with Bloom and Sluts of Trust
Wednesday · Southgate House
The Suicide Girls traveling burlesque show — an offshoot of the Web site, suicidegirls.com, which features "alternative" pin-up girls (i.e. nudie pics with lots of tattoos and piercings) — returns to the Southgate House this week. Last time they pulled through town, threats of police action kept the show tamer than what other cities got to see. But how do you, well-intentioned guy or gal wanting to ogle sexy lasses without resorting to going to a strip club, talk your significant other into letting you out of the house for a little good-natured naughtiness? Just as you look at Playboy for the articles, simply say you read in CityBeat that there are a couple of kick-ass bands you must see. If that doesn't work, just say you're going out for milk and eggs.
If you choose to play the "Rock band card," you won't be lying. Florida trio Bloom proves that there is, indeed, more in Orlando than boy bands and Metal groups. Bloom's stunning fourth album, O Sinner, was recorded with Brian Paulson, known for his work with Beck, Wilco and Hüsker Dü, at Cracker/Camper Beethoven honcho David Lowry's Richmond, Va., studio. O Sinner shows the band to be a clever, swaggering Pop Rock group that pulls in '80s influences (from the paisley underground to The Cars) and swirls them together with a glammy, sassy strut worthy of early Bowie. Singer/bassist Devin Moore's pitched-high vocals have an alluring affectation — you'll swear he's singing with a British accent at some points, but careful inspection reveals that it's merely the way that the words and melodies drip off of his tongue.
There's a warm romanticism and grandeur to Bloom's sound, but there's also a grounded liveliness in the band's dramatic sway. They will rock you, but they'll caress and sweet-talk you through it all, live a thoughtful lover.
Where Bloom seems a bit more in touch with their feminine side, fellow Suicide Girls tourmates Sluts of Trust have enough testosterone to share with everyone. But the Glasgow-based Scots aren't merely bashing away, bonehead-style. The group's aggression is distilled through an arty filter, channeling the raw power of deconstructed Blues through syncopated beats, warped, metallic guitar sparks and vocals that fall somewhere between Jello Biafra and David Yow of Jesus Lizard. Amazingly, SoT is just a two-piece, but John McFarlane and Anthony O'Donnell create a firestorm of sound that is at times almost symphonic in its bleedingly libidinous eruption. The group's debut album, We Are All Sluts of Trust, is a sex album for modern times. (Mike Breen)
The High Strung with Hot Pipes
Saturday · Southgate House
There's so much going on in the Detroit scene right now that it's easy to dismiss the next stripped-down, lo-fi batch of thrashers as more grist for the Motor City hype mill. And although the High Strung hit a lot of the same sonic touchpoints that have been rattling tools off the walls of Detroit's garages since The Stooges and The MC5 played local gigs in front of Jack White's dad, the quartet is clearly doing something over and above the standard homage to simplicity and volume. Triangulated somewhere between The Who's early maximum Rock & Roll, The Kinks' gorgeous melodicism and the Beatles' raw Pop power, the High Strung have found an infectious way of paying tribute to their influences while simultaneously advancing their own Rock flag a little further up the hill. In that regard, the High Strung is like Detroit's answer to Guided By Voices, a band that makes no pretense about where their music originates while throwing enough originality and energy to make the comparisons superficial at best. The band's 30-minute, late-afternoon set at Tower Records in Austin during SXSW was every bit as tumultuous and energetic (and rapturously received) as their normal concert gigs. When The High Strung takes the stage, they're not saving anything for the next night. You're going to get the whole Motor City big Rock enchilada, guaranteed. (Brian Baker)
FLUTTR with patientZero, Buckra and KK
Saturday · The Mad Frog
Boston's FLUTTR makes a pre-Independence Day stop in Cincinnati at Clifton's The Mad Frog for what promises to be something you've never quite heard before. Composed of an electric cello, a MIDI marimba, guitar, drums and dreamy-voiced singer Kara Trott, FLUTTR's head is in the art clouds while their feet are planted on solid heavy metal. They take Bulgarian Folk music, Irish fiddling, powerful guitar riffs, solid drumming and Trott's voice — which puts one in mind somewhat of Natalie Merchant locked in a beautifully mortal battle with Evanescence's Amy Lee — and then they place those elements in a blender during a midnight ceremony and see what pours out. Couple that with FLUTTR's unique visual style, and it's a potent, exotic cocktail. Cincinnatians might have gotten their first taste of FLUTTR during January's Chicks RockFest. FLUTTR was also recently invited to play the MidPoint Music Festival in September, so when you see them Saturday, you'll be deliciously ahead of the learning curve. There's truly no one else out there doing quite what they're doing with their combination of art, Rock and passion. You'll be surprised at how much a marimba can actually rock. (Dale Johnson)