Posted in music | pictures on March 31, 2014

photos by Amanda Hatfield; words by Klaus Kinski

Trail of Dead @ Bowery Ballroom 3/29/2014
Trail of Dead

On Saturday (3/29), I dragged my dead-bones out of the cozy confines of my apartment and sleazed my way over to the Bowery Ballroom to catch ... And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, where they were set to perform their seminal third album Source Tags & Codes. It was their second show doing so in NYC. (They played MHOW on Friday [3/28].) Support for the evening was provided by Midnight Masses and La Femme.

As one might expect, because of the insanely inclement weather and the fact that the show wasn't sold out, the room was quite empty when Midnight Masses took to the stage a little after 9pm. If you go to the Bowery Ballroom page for this show, readers are treated with some profoundly nauseatingly expressed praise for this band by 'critics' who laud their 'lush' sets and claim it's "As if the religiosity of down south collided with a full throttle rock band creating a haunting spiritually engrossing psychedelic rock experience" and other such platitudinal nonsense. Such accolades are dangerous as they create an expectation in one's mind that the reality of the band can rarely live up to. However, I did enjoy this band (two of whom are also in Trail of Dead). But come on people, let's not get too crazy with the praise. In no way did their sound wash over me like Spiritualized or the like. Nor was there anything profound about it. If anything, they seemed pretty danged blasé up there. Their music had moments of greatness, but they could never hold onto it and it was fairly inconsistent. Not the worst way to start the show, but they were in such stark contrast to Trail of Dead.

La Femme @ Bowery Ballroom 3/29/2014
La Femme

Next up was the French surf-rock-electronic-cassarole La Femme.  I fully understand why people (such as most of the BV staff) like this band; they are fun, uptempo, extremely quirky and entertaining, and French. An easy formula for easy popularity. But the whole experience came off as total schtick ["I Disagree" - Bill Pearis] and I cannot think of a less appropriate opener for Trail of Dead ["You have a point there' - Bill]. You have some members dressed up like 50's greasers, one guy dressed like a Vietnam-era pilot complete with green jumpsuit and beret, another guy with a hideous mustache and some weird American cowboy vibe, and a lady who reminded me of Dawn Weiner from Welcome to the Dollhouse. And they are playing proto-surf-dance-pop, in French. Ninety percent of tunes were the exact same tempo. Exact. No, not close; EXACT. Plainly, I am too old for this shit. [PS I am older than Klaus, but I like them a lot. Also, BV presented their Glasslands show, which was crazy and awesome. Chacun à son goût. - Bill] I can see how they'd be fun at parties and the folks at Bowery sure were shaking their booties, but let's not kid ourselves people; they are using an extremely old formula. People have been doing this crap for 40 years. And they won't be the last. I think I broke the world record for most eye-rolls in a 40-minute time span.

Two bands, three hours, and many many many beers later, it was finally time for Trail of Dead to hit the stage and destroy my earholes with Source Tags & Codes plus an encore of other heavy hits. By this point, the non-sold out room was packed, and as TOD tore through their set there was plenty of pushing and shoving happening all over the place. I've only seen TOD a few times, but on Saturday I was reminded that part-time front man, part-time drummer Jason Reece is the fucking man. When he was on drumming duty, he was absolutely destroying his kit. But when he'd pick up the guitar and take up the mantle of part-time time front man, boy, he sure brought the stank. An aggressive guitarist/vocalist, there were several times where he'd fall into the crowd, still strapped to his guitar. When Source Tags came out in 2002, I was the drummer for a ska-core-reggaeton band and touring with bands like Murphys Law, The Pietasters, and The Toasters, so this album didn't really hit my radar at the time, nor did it really impact me in any way. But all these years later I cannot get enough of it and thought they really did it justice and brought the album to life. It was a fun, sweaty, drunken, crushingly great time and one of the better shows I have seen in years. I am still vexed at the choice of openers, but whatever. My name is Klaus and I hate most everything.

More pics from Trail of Dead, La Femme, and Midnight Masses' show at Bowery Ballroom, below...

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Midnight Masses

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La Femme

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...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead

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Comments (19)

this guy's a little large to be jumping into the audience

Posted by Malembi | March 31, 2014 5:19 PM

Retro 60's French Pop + B52's rip-offs = La Femme
Not even a shtick... Cute for 2-3 songs and that's it. Plus no one likes an English speaking French guy!
You guys at BV are falling for non sense way too often.

Posted by ME | March 31, 2014 5:47 PM

Funniest write-up in a while. The Kinski/bill_p interaction between the lines is great. More of this please, and less Sacherism

Posted by Anonymous | March 31, 2014 5:49 PM

Also, they've reminded me of that long running nyc french pop cover band, le sans culottes. If these guys were locals, no one would've paid any attention to them. Unless, of course, BV is getting paid by their label to create a faux buzz for the summer...

Posted by ME | March 31, 2014 5:59 PM

It's refreshing to read a writer on this blog that's not afraid to be critical. Everything that you post about can't be "great" or else you lose all credibility.

Saw the MHOW show the night before. Trail Of Dead were, focused, tight and slaying shit. Having not one but two excellent drummers in a band is such a plus. They used it well!

I agree that La Femme on the other hand are fun but for the most part irrelevant. But they sure would've wowed 'em at Danceteria or Hurrah's back in 82.

Posted by Anonymous | March 31, 2014 6:10 PM

"but let's not kid ourselves people; they are using an extremely old formula. People have been doing this crap for 40 years"


Oh but Trail of Dead is so cutting edge and original


Idiot

Posted by Anonymous | March 31, 2014 6:13 PM

"When Source Tags came out in 2002, I was the drummer for a ska-core-reggaeton band and touring with bands like Murphys Law, The Pietasters, and The Toasters..."

It takes a brave man to admit that!

Posted by Anonymous | March 31, 2014 6:18 PM

Badger?

Posted by Anonymous | March 31, 2014 7:39 PM

klaus! you write like i did when i was in junior high.

Posted by Anonymous | March 31, 2014 8:08 PM

C'mon Klaus's post was the best review I've seen on this site in a couple of years. More Klaus!

Posted by Anonymous | March 31, 2014 8:12 PM

La Femme = douchegaze

Posted by Anonymous | March 31, 2014 10:12 PM

Did Sacher write this? Oh I know who is says wrote it, I'm asking who actually wrote it.

Posted by Anonymous | March 31, 2014 10:21 PM

Yeah that review was a breath of fresh area compared to the normal DCK sucking reviews of terrible douchegaze that usually happens on this site.

Posted by Anonymous | March 31, 2014 11:19 PM

^ air

But I digress, keep cashing those checks. I would.

Posted by Anonymous | March 31, 2014 11:20 PM

still better than perfect pussy. i give it a 3.8

Posted by ben from the men | April 1, 2014 12:08 AM

this tool based on Android system

Posted by launch x431 scanner | April 1, 2014 2:31 AM

If you are really into heavy metal, We think you should audtion for this band. Serious players need apply only.

Posted by Metal Player Wanted | April 1, 2014 10:48 AM

I like Trail of Dead a lot. You are all clowns.

Posted by Feed the Children Reviews Part 2 | April 1, 2014 2:09 PM

Brilliant band. Was listening to Here Am I today in my new car.

Posted by Lee Woodhead | May 9, 2014 6:26 AM

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