It's a lot of fun when you go see a band and then, later in the night after you and the band have had a few, you get to talking with the singer, and it turns out that even though she snarls and wails and thrashes her head around onstage like a woman at once possessed and in complete command, she's really approachable, sweet as pie, girl-next-door and all that. And if she's as much of a badass as Marissa Paternoster, it's also cool if she just kind of shrugs at you and walks away.
We went to The End Thursday night to see Paternoster's band, Screaming Females, and must admit that the reputation that precedes them is well-deserved. They tore shit apart.
More specifically, Paternoster shredded in a way that made us want to take back all the bad things we've said about "aimless" guitar solos, and the times we've used the word "noodling" disparagingly. Actually, what Paternoster does is not so much noodle as hit you in the face with a pot full of scalding hot ramen. When she's not doing all the snarling, wailing and thrashing about of the head we mentioned earlier. That is not to say this is some sort of sloppy, energy-instead-of-ideas band. They are a riffing, surging punk rock machine. With flames shooting out the exhaust pipes. And lightning bolts and a funnel cloud full of fire-breathing unicorns. OK, we're exaggerating now. They totally ruled our face off, though, and Paternoster's like some freak combination of J. Mascis and Carrie Brownstein. Badass.
We were going to say more about openers Heavy Cream, the punky new band featuring Jessica of MEEMAW. Unfortunately, they had some pretty crazy technical difficulties and we're not sure if some of those GBV-esque amp noise-blasts were intentional or the consequence of fucked-up gear. A friend of The Spin remarked, "They couldn't find another girl?" (The band is three-fourths female.) Then again, the dude who said that had a spray-on beard made of Good Looking Hair. Oh, and "Little" Jack Lawrence was there whoopin' it up with the kids, and JEFF the Brotherhood were great, but we say that a lot. (Both those things, actually.) 'Twas a mind ride, indeed--a sweaty, shirtless-guy-with-a-shaved-head-keeps-trying-to-start-a-pit mind ride at that.