[NOTE: This is the third post in my Forgotten Concerts of 2017 series. These shows took place last year, so I’ve been relying on the handwritten journal entries I wrote at the time. This one has a couple additions, but it’s basically what I wrote in red ink last June. This post was published on January 22nd, 2018, but I have altered the date so that it fits in chronologically.]
The big event for today was the Le Butcherettes concert down at the Taft Theatre. Crankypants sent me an email a couple weeks ago suggesting that I go if I didn’t have anything else going on. I’d never heard any of the band’s songs–although I think I remember once watching a couple minutes of an acoustic Tiny Desk Concert performed by the band’s singer, Teri Gender Bender–and I successfully fought the urge to check out their music before the show. I ended up going to tonight’s concert never having heard even a single song by the band.
I drove down to the Taft Theatre at a little after 8:00. It was raining and my car sounded terrible.
Speaking of sounding terrible, the opening act was a local duo called Lung. They made too much noise with a cello and drums. I sort of liked the first song I heard by them, but the second song sounded exactly the same and the third one sounded just like the second. On and on. I balled up some damp paper towels and stuck them in my ears.
The homemade earplugs turned out to be a good idea as they later allowed me to get up close to Le Butcherettes, who were fascinating to watch. And also very loud.
Teri Gender Bender was engaging and theatrical and a magnet for the eyes. It seemed like everyone in the audience was staring at her for the entire show. The drummer could’ve been a wind-up cymbal monkey and the bassist a coat rack with a guitar hanging off it, and I doubt anybody would’ve even noticed. Teri was perhaps the most charismatic performer I’ve ever seen on stage. She sounded a bit like Polly Jean Harvey on some of the songs, but the singer she reminded me of most was Tim Taylor of Brainiac. They both juggle back and forth between guitar and keyboards and appear to have been born on other planets.
Le Butcherettes played for an hour and I was hooked from the very beginning, despite the fact that I was unfamiliar with everything. I would’ve gladly taken a second hour. Here’s the setlist:
Le Butcherettes setlist: Burn the Scab / Spider Waves / I’m Getting Sick of You / (madre monologue in Spanish) / Dress Off / Boulders Love Over Layers of Rock / Bang! / The Leibniz Language / Shave the Pride / Witchless C Spot / Stab My Back / “I feel real…oooooh” / Sold Less Than Gold / La Uva / Henry Don’t Got Love
Teri sang “take a piece of me with you” at the end of the last song and then hopped off the stage and began hugging members of the audience. I hung around for ten minutes hoping a merch table would develop, but it remained a sweaty hug session. I eventually gave up. I drove on home a little disappointed that I wasn’t able to buy some records, but very happy that I’d taken Cranky’s recommendation.
[NOTE: That setlist up there took me about six hours to put together. Even with my extensive notes and a lot of online research, there’s still one song that I’ve been unable to identify. That’s the one with the lyrics in quotes. My notes for that one were particularly unhelpful. Like I’d be able to identify a song by a mere “oooooh”; Teri Gender Bender screams that in a third of the songs! I should also mention that “The Leibniz Language” and “Henry Don’t Got Love” both featured lyrics at the end that weren’t on the original studio recordings. I have no reason to believe that these additional lyrics were separate songs, but I suppose there’s a chance they were.]