March 29, 2006

SXSW Report #29: This Moment in Black History @ Gene's Deli

I began Friday evening by driving to Gene’s Deli to see Cleveland quartet This Moment in Black History. I knew we were in for an interesting set when I saw singer Christopher decorating his keyboard with raw shrimp (not even kidding). As soon as the first song began, he jumped off the stage and started running into random audience members. Chris’ voice switched from a gruff bark to a full-throated wail a la Cedric Bixler. When he actually stayed on stage for more than 30 seconds at a time, he’d flat-hand his keyboard to produce piercing sound effects. Guitarist Buddy’s playing was a fuzzy mess of power chords and quick leads. It was up to bassist Lawrence and drummer Lamont to hold the music together, and they did a superb job. The band’s MySpace profile lists them under the genres “Punk,” “Hardcore” and “Comedy,” and for good reason! The stage banter often lasted longer than the actual songs, and most of it consisted of the band members getting into silly arguments with the audience AND each other. “Don’t worry about the audience,” Chris said; “We can be like Bikini Kill and talk out our problems on stage!” Halfway through the set, an audience member let Chris take a sip of his can of Sparks. “Thanks,” Lawrence sneered; “You just f*cked up my evening by doing that.” I loved the band’s energy and goofiness. On the other hand, a friend of mine who was with me said that Chris reminded him of someone he hated in high school. He might need to get some counseling for that.

1 comment:

Eric Wolf said...

I got a kick out of this. I'm not a fan of This Moment In Black History and I've never seen them live, but Chris and Lawrence are both former WCSB members, and I know Lamont, too. The stage banter you quoted sounded just like them. ^_^